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.
Young central midfielder who has become a regular for club and country this season. Born in France to Algerian parents.
Karim BENZEMA – Real Madrid/France/19/12/1987
Born to Algerian parents, he has made the central striking role at Real his own, despite Ronaldo’s preference for the position.
Saido BERAHINO – West Brom/England/04/08/1993
Burundi-born forward who came to England as a 10-year-old asylum seeker. Hugely talented but manager Tony Pulis has warned of off-field distractions.
Domenico BERARDI – Sassuolo/Italy/01/08/1994
Quick-witted striker tipped for a big future. On loan at Sassuolo from Italian champions Juventus, but surely due for a recall soon.
Dimitar BERBATOV – Monaco/Bulgaria//30/01/1981
The veteran Bulgarian centre-forward is enjoying a last hurrah in Monte Carlo amid talk of a return to the international fold.
Vasili BEREZUTSKI – CSKA/Russia/20/05/1982
Defensive mainstay of the Russian national team and CSKA for more than a decade. Often plays alongside his identical twin Aleksei.
BERNARDO SILVA – Monaco/Portugal/10/08/1994
Quick-footed attacker who slipped through Benfica’s net but benefited from agent Jorge Mendes’ connections at Monaco.
Juan BERNAT – Bayern/Spain/01/03/1993
Left-back or wide midfielder who is one of the growing Spanish legion at Bayern. Made his international debut in October.
Lucas BIGLIA – Lazio/Argentina/30/01/1986
Midfield enforcer who came into Argentina’s starting line-up for the knockout stages of the 2014 World Cup. Has Italian roots through his grandmother.
DANILO – Porto/Brazil/15/07/1991