Friday, January 03, 2014

Best players of 2013

My (very personal) top ten list of the best players of 2013 is as follows:

10. Mario Gotze: While in Borussia Dortmund the German youngster was one of the leading players in taking the Germans to the Champions League final. He was purchased for a record sum by Bayern Munich, where he remains struggling to become a steady player, but still has time.
9. Yaya Toure: Manchester City has many great players, but the best is Yaya Toure, who is solid, technically skilled and an incredible shot. He is also a core player of the Ivorian national team that qualified for the world cup, but could have done better in the Africa Cup of Nations.
8. David Alaba: The young Austrian has established himself as a star in the best team of the world and was named Austrian player of the year for the third year in a row at the tender age of 21. He is set to become one of the world's greatest and is surely the world's best left back.
7. Lionel Messi: Yes, he continued scoring goals like a Duracell battery until his injury, but at the end of the year he was immersed in a soap opera of "sadness", tax-evasion and gossip. He was ok for the Argentinean national team, but was not the one leading them to the World Cup, and it may seem that the most glorious days are over for the Argentinean.
6. Philipp Lahm: Lahm is the captain of the best team in the world, Bayern Munich, and captains the German national team, for whom he played his 100th game in 2013. As captain of the Germans he has been an inspiration, playing as one of the world's best.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic: If anything, Ibrahimovic is one of the most charismatic players in modern football, but is surely also a great striker. He is the top scoring player in the French league in a Paris St. Germain side that will do great things, and is surely the best player of Sweden.
4. Neymar: For a long time I doubted whether Neymar was that good, but he has certainly won me over as a fan through hard work, humility, and skills that are out of this world. In Barcelona he has fought hard to prove himself but is now a certain starter, and in Brazil's side he was one of the leading players, a role that will also be expected of him in the World Cup.
3. Luis Suarez: As always, the Uruguayan was mired in controversy and drama, but in the fall he has managed to control himself and has become the best striker in the world for Liverpool FC, scoring many and beautiful goals. With Uruguay he has also been an important player in qualifying them to the World Cup, and if anything, the absence of Liverpool from European football in the spring, may end up with Suarez being fully fresh in Brazil...
2. Cristiano Ronaldo: Also immersed in controversy in the spring under Jose Mourinho in Real Madrid, the Portuguese has nevertheless grown to be the one player who carries a big part of Real Madrid on his shoulders. He is a complete players with extraordinary skill, and was also almost single-handedly responsible for qualifying his country to the World Cup.
1. Frank Ribery: With so many amazing players on Bayern Munich's amazing very complete side, it is almost impossible to see any one player independently of another. That said, Frank Ribery has come to show everything extraordinary about the German side, with skills, power, speed and intelligence, as well as taking responsibility when things are difficult. The last thing he also showed with France's qualification for the world cup, where he will indeed be crucial if France is to have any hopes of advancing.

No comments: