We have endeavoured to compile a list of the world’s most talked-about players – the most newsworthy players who, by definition, are the most important. We started by drawing up a list of the key players by league – starting with 50 each for the leading leagues in Europe (England, Germany, Spain), 40 for France and Italy, between 15 and 25 for middle-ranking leagues, and ending with between five and 10 for smaller leagues. We then added players who were important figures for their national sides and in their respective regions.
Ari SKULASON – OB/Iceland/14/05/1987
Has been Iceland’s left-back during the national side’s run of good form over the past two years. Plays in midfield for his Danish club.
Wesley SNEIJDER – Galatasaray/Holland/09/06/1984
Attacker midfielder who remains a key figure for Holland. Could move back
to western Europe this summer.
Yann SOMMER – Gladbach/Switzerland/17/12/1988
National-team keeper who has impressed in his first season in the Bundesliga since moving from Swiss side Basle.
Heung-Min SON – Leverkusen/South Korea/08/07/1992
Exciting attacking talent who excelled at this year’s Asian Cup despite opposition from his club side who didn’t want him to go.
Jonatan SORIANO – RB Salzburg/Spain/24/09/1985
Former Barca B striker who has been prolific in Austria, with virtually a goal a game for the past three seasons.
Moussa SOW – Fenerbahce/Senegal/19/01/1986
A regular scorer for Lille and Fenerbahce over many seasons. Appeared for France under-21s before switching to Senegal.
Dario SRNA – Shakhtar/Croatia/01/05/1982
Captain of club and country, and a vibrant presence on the right flank. However, his time at Shakhtar is coming to an end.
Raheem STERLING – Liverpool/England/08/12/1994
Can provide pace on the wing or playing through the middle. Already an important figure for both club and country.
John STONES – Everton/England/28/05/1994
Confident, ball-playing centre-back. His form has dipped this season due to injuries, but is still the brightest young defensive prospect in the English game.
Martin STRANZL – Gladbach/Germany/16/06/1980
Veteran defender who has excelled at Monchengladbach, since returning to the Bundesliga after a spell in Russia.