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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Nabil BENTALEB – Tottenham/Algeria/24/11/1994

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

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema

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

  1. 1. Introduction
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