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.
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
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.