Everybody has an opinion about who the best footballers are and I am no different. Having spent a lot of time thinking, I decided to come up with a list of the best 25 footballers in Europe, so here they are.....
25. Ashley Cole
The Chelsea left back has with time proven that he one of the best (if not the best) left backs in the world. He had a torried after his switch across London from Arsenal but he is slowly regaining the form of his Arsenal days.
The pacy winger once had all the potential to become the best winger in the world. Bad choices combined with bad form made him come up short.
23. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
He has the ability to become the best striker in the world but his stuck-up attitude has hindered him from doing so thus far. His laziness on the pitch has frustrated most managers he has played under but once presented with a chance, he has always done the business.
22. David Silva
The little Spanish midfielder has risen to superstardom very quickly in the past year. He is one of the shining lights at a sinking ship (Valencia). He also played a crucial part in the Spanish Euro 08 triumph.
21. Carlos Tevez
The hard-working Argentine would make the starting 11 in any team around the world and he is showing why with pulsating performances for Manchester United.
A very elegant and skillful player. Robinho likes to taunt the opposition with his little tricks and cheeky smiles. On form, he is one the most dangerous players on earth but off form, he can be really frustrating. Drops his head when things aren't going his way.
19. Wayne Rooney
This ex-Evertonian is yet to fulfill the potential seen in him by just about everyone in the country. He is undoubtedly talented and he looked like he would justify his huge pricetag immediately but since C. Ronaldo has been at the scene at United, Rooney seems to have taken a step back and allowed Ronaldo to bask in all the glory. The same contributions by Rooney that were so much highlighted before, now goes almost unnoticed.
18. Didier Drogba
The Ivorian Power house, on his day, is the best striker in the world. Chelsea fans have reluctantly given him another chance at Stamford Bridge and only time will show whether he can re-capture his form of 2006/2007.
17. Arjen Robben
The ex-Chelsea man has lightening speed and great technical ability. He is very injury prone and this has halted his progression as he otherwise would easily have won a few personal accolades. He is still only 25 years old.
16. Francesco Totti
A true one-club man, Totti will never leave Roma. He is loved and adored in his home-town but has failed to justify his hype on the world stage thus far.
15. Cesc Fabregas
This young Spaniard has the world at his feet. At the age of only 21, he has already become the most important player at his club Arsenal. Combining vision with excellent passing ability, he is one of the exciting play-makers in the game.
14. Michael Essien
He appears quiet and unassuming, but the Ghanaian is any manager’s dream. Rarely will you hear dissent from Essien’s mouth, even though he was asked to play in defense far more than he would have liked. Jose Mourinho learned though, that Essien can play just about anywhere and will always give 200 percent.
13. Fernando Torres
The Spaniard provided a much needed 20+ goals a season to Liverpool and was the architect of Spain's Euro 08 triumph.
The little Portguese play-maker would definitely have won world player of the year once but he was unfortunate that his peak arrived at the same time as a certain Ronaldinho peaked. Classy midfielder.
11. Michael Ballack
After a slow start at Chelsea, he is beginning to find the form that made him world famous in his days at Leverkusen and Bayern Munich. When he is on form, he stands above most midfielders in the world but injuries have crippled him and his white Ferrari was named "the ambulance" due to his back and forth trips to the hospital and physio clinics.
10. Andrea Pirlo
He is a player who expertly reads the game and is able to supply the decisive pass at the end of a move. An enormously gifted midfielder who relies on precision passing rather than pace to change a game’s complexion
9. Frank Lampard
An amazing box-to-box midfielder whose goal-scoring stats speak for itself. A midfielder that can guarantee 20+ goals every season, is definitely something special.
8. Rio Ferdinand
The Manchester United man has definitely won over some of his critics over the past few seasons. The fact that he was seriously considered for the England captaincy shows the kind of leader he is. Combine that with superb footballing skills and you have a truly world class defender.
7. Fabio Cannavaro
Having the honour of being the only defender to claim the world player of the year award, Cannavaro has everything needed to be a top defender. Vision, alert, fast and strong.
6. John Terry
The England and Chelsea captain has more than his fair share of critics about his personality but his footballing abilities speak for itself. A great leader and a great defender makes a world class player and that's exactly what he is.
5. Steven Gerrard
Gerrard, unlike many other England internationals, has an enviable amount of raw talent, leading to high praise from across the globe from the likes of Kaká and Carlo Ancelotti, and in guiding the Reds to another European final, confirmed that he is ready to join the all-time greats of the Premiership, and indeed the world.
Twice almost a Chelsea player, Gerrard ultimately stayed loyal and though his long-standing ambition to win the league has not been met, Liverpool’s objectives have satisfied him with the promise that further silverware is imminent.
Brazilians are the most naturally talented footballers on the globe and the 25-year-old incorporates this Latin elegance into his overall, devastating game, which has been perfectly adapted for the robustness of the European game.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Despite all the hate he receives, one can't deny the talent and ability that this youngster posseses. Ronaldo, in a few years, could become the world's greatest, if it isn't for one man standing in his way.
2. Lionel Messi
He is probably the scariest youngster on the planet and the finest talent in Barcelona’s enviable squad. The 2006/7 campaign saw the maturity of the 20-year-old wizard, and he scored one of the most phenomenal goals in memory in the Copa del Rey against Getafe, dribbling past five opponents across a distance of 60 yards before finishing with his wrong foot.
Despite all the criticism he has received for his pretty weak season last season, Ronaldinho remains the best current footballer in Europe (if not the world). Hoping to re-capture the sort of form that made world player of the year twice in a row, he started off brightly with a sensational performance against City rivals Inter in the Milan derby last night. He scored the winner in the 1-0 victory for AC Milan.
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