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.
Prolific striker in La Liga and for Spain. Now the major MLS draw in New York with the delayed arrival of Frank Lampard.
Osvaldo VIZCARRONDO – Nantes/Venezuela/31/05/1984
Defender who has been ever-present for Nantes during the club’s resurgence this season.
Kevin VOLLAND – Hoffenheim/Germany/30/07/1992
Versatile striker who made Germany’s preliminary 30-man squad for the 2014 World Cup. Has been watched several times this term by Liverpool.
Theo WALCOTT – Arsenal/England/16/03/1989
Speedy wide attacker who missed most of last year with a knee injury. Arsenal are steeling themselves for negotiations on a new contract.
WANDERSON – Krasnodar/Brazil/18/02/1986
Attacker whose career has flourished in Russia over the past two years following a career that was spent mostly in Sweden and Saudi Arabia.
Victor WANYAMA – Southampton/Kenya/25/06/1991
Combative midfielder who has been a key figure in Southampton’s rise this season. Captain of Kenya’s national team.
Danny WELBECK – Arsenal/England/26/11/1990
The former Manchester United trainee made a surprise switch to Arsenal last summer and has enjoyed playing a more central attacking role.
WENDELL – Leverkusen/Brazil/20/07/1993
Left-back who is following in the footsteps of fellow Brazilians Ze Roberto and Lucio at Leverkusen.
Tobias WERNER – Augsburg/Germany/19/07/1985
Midfielder who has risen through the ranks of the Bundesliga with Augsburg since joining in 2008 and is now the club’s top goalscorer.