Here at Sports Unbiased, we like lists. Heck, everyone likes lists. We’ve done lists of the best NFL RBs, QBs, a HoF for MLB, lists of the best fantasy picks for your NFL Fantasy Football Team, and myriad others. Those of us involved in writing for the World Football section (myself and Kimani Gregoire) decided we wanted to do our own list, a list of what we think are the top ten players in the world today.
Obviously this list is personal opinion and not any sort of set in stone truth. With that said however, both myself and Kimani are massive fans of football around the world, and we both watch as many matches as we can week by week. Along with that we both follow news stories from around the internet and television broadcasts.
The method we used for this was simple. We both just provided each other with our personal top ten list, and then we compared notes. Points were awarded in reverse order, so a #10 ranking is one point, a #1 ranking is 10 points and so on. Not too surprisingly, our top five were identical to one another’s, and I think would match what the majority of football fans would agree are the top five players in the world. That doesn’t mean there might not be some debate on the relative positions compared to ours, but the players would probably be the same to most fans.
The six to ten positions are a little different. Three of the five players are the same on both of our lists, with each of us having two unique players. How we have those three players ranked in the bottom five are a bit different as well.
10. Luis Suarez – 1 point
A wizard inside the 18 yard box, Luis Suarez is a goal waiting to happen at any time. While the Liverpool man has had his share of disciplinary problems over the years, there’s no denying the talent and passion that he brings to the pitch each and every fixture.
9. Mario Gotze – 2 points
The 21 year old ex-Dortmund midfielder who has moved on to Bayern this year is a revelation in German football. Already a veteran of the international game as well, with 22 caps for the Germans, Gotze has established himself as a player to watch. Adept at both scoring and providing, the future is bright for this young star.
8. Mario Balotelli and Arjen Robben tie – 3 points
Super Mario appeared on both of our ballots, while Robben appeared on Kimani’s and not Mike’s. Both players are spectacular in their own right, and both deserve consideration as two of the top players in the world. A contrast in styles, Balotelli is young and brash, with a flair for goal. Robben, on the other hand, is much older and far more adept as a centralized midfield playmaker. Both players play for their national team, and both have impacted them in major international tournaments.
7. Eden Hazard – 5 points
The young Chelsea star is a burgeoning talent with the ability to both score and provide. Hazard can do it all; dribble, shoot, pass, he has speed, and he has great peripheral vision. In short, the 22 year old Belgian is the kind of talent many teams wish they could have in their squad. With 36 caps for an upcoming Belgian international team, Hazard has also been a permanent fixture in his teams starting squads since 2008, when he was 17.
6. Andres Iniesta and Zlatan Ibrahimovic tie – 8 points
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is one of the most versatile and pure strikers the game has in it today, perhaps even one of the best ever. He would be higher on this list I think, if not for the existence of the only man who may be a better pure striker than him in the game today, Robin van Persie. Watching Ibra play is a joy, because he is always in the right place, and very rarely makes a mistake whether deciding to take a shot, or take an open pass to a teammate.
A few years ago Iniesta would have been higher on this list, but age is starting to show a little bit. Without a doubt one of the greatest football players in Spanish history. For both club and country, Iniesta, along with his midfield mate Xavi Hernandez, has been the rock solid foundation that both Barcelona and Spain have built their success on. Both as a playmaker and a shooter, Iniesta is sublime. Always picking the right pass, or taking the right shot, you can count on Iniesta to keep his team in a game.
Here is what our lists, from numbers 10-6, looked like individually:
|10 - Luis Suarez||10 - Mario Balotelli|
|9 - Mario Balotelli||9 - Mario Gotze|
|8 - Arjen Robben||8 - Andres Iniesta|
|7 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic||7 - Zlatan Ibrahimovic|
|6 - Andres Iniesta||6 - Eden Hazard|
Up Next: Numbers 5-1