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.
Experienced Spain international. Known as a winger or attacking midfielder but has excelled for Arsenal this season in a deeper role.
Denis CHERYSHEV – Villarreal/Russia/26/12/1990
Versatile attacker impressing for Villarreal, but could return to parent club Real Madrid. Father Dmitri played for Sporting Gijon.
Giorgian DE ARRASCAETA – Cruzeiro/Uruguay/01/06/1994
Sunil CHHETRI – Bengaluru/India/03/08/1984
India’s captain and record goalscorer. Did not take part in the recent Indian Super League because he was contracted to the rival I-League.
Giorgio CHIELLINI – Juventus/Italy/14/08/1984
Left-sided central defender and no-nonsense organiser of Juventus’ backline. The “other man” in the Luis Suarez biting incident at the World Cup.
Alexandru CHIPCIU – Steaua/Romania/18/05/1989
Key attacking figure for Romania’s biggest club and set to play a big role in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Eric-Maxim CHOUPO-MOTING – Schalke/Cameroon/23/03/1989
German-born under-21 striker who opted to play for Cameroon at senior level. Arrived at Schalke from Mainz.
CICINHO – Sivasspor/Brazil/24/06/1980
Veteran full-back who has enjoyed an Indian summer in Turkey, playing for former Real Madrid team-mate Roberto Carlos until he stepped down.
Jasper CILESSEN – Ajax/Holland/22/04/1989
Calm, reliable keeper. Holland’s first-choice at the World Cup, apart from in the shoot-out against Costa Rica, when he was replaced by Tim Krul.
Jordy CLASIE – Feyenoord/Holland/27/06/1991
Diminutive midfielder, once considered too small to play professional football, now captain of Feyenoord. Holland Under-21 international.