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.

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THIAGO ALCANTARA Bayern/Spain/11/04/1991

Talented central midfielder who has been tormented by injuries since moving
to the Bundesliga.

THIAGO SILVA – PSG/Brazil/22/09/1984

Arguably the world’s best defender. Has lost the Brazilian captaincy to Neymar since Dunga returned as coach, but is still hugely important.

Ryan THOMAS – PEC Zwolle/New Zealand/20/12/1994

Winger who has made a dramatic impact at Zwolle in the past, earning a senior international debut in March last year.

Youri TIELEMANS – Anderlecht/Belgium/07/05/1997

Exciting prospect who is already a regular in Anderlecht’s midfield and is the youngest Belgian player ever to appear in the Champions League.

Erick TORRES – Houston Dynamo/Mexico/19/01/1993

His signing by Houston from the now defunct Chivas-USA was proof of the growing pulling power of MLS for Mexican stars.

Oliver TORRES – Porto/Spain/10/11/1994

Perhaps the sign of things to come for Portugal’s biggest clubs. A fine talent but Porto can only afford to loan him from Atletico Madrid.

Francesco TOTTI – Roma/Italy/27/09/176

francesco-totti

The grand old man of Roman football continues to roll back the years. Says he will retire “when I start making a fool of myself”.

Yaya TOURE – Manchester City/Ivory Coast/13/05/1983

Africa’s footballer of the year for the fourth successive time, the midfielder is a colossus for both his club and country.

Robbie ROGERS – LA Galaxy/USA/12/05/1987

Bertrand TRAORE – Vitesse/Burkina Faso/06/09/1995

One of Chelsea’s many loaned-out talents, the striker has been in terrific form in the Eredivisie this season.

  1. 1. Introduction
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