We continue with the second installment of our top 10 players in the world. 10-6 are available here.
5. Gareth Bale (Wales/Real Madrid)
Even though Bale was unable to lead the small nation of Wales past the group stages of World Cup Qualifying, Bale is a phenomenal talent. Bale struggled at the beginning of his career playing left back for Southhampton and Tottenham. The Spurs manager, AVB, was brilliant enough to move the Welshman to a more attacking roll and Bale thrived. His ability to score big goals got the attention of Los Blancos promting Real Madrid to make a record move for the Welshman. Bale struggled with fitness early this year but has sense settled into the most potent attack in the world.
4. Frank Ribery (France/Bayern Munich)
Ribery is the best player on the best team in the world. His pass in last year’s Champions League final led the German side over archrivals Dortmund. His technical ability combined with his unique understanding of the game make the Frenchmen a handful for any opponent. However, Ribery’s ranking is slightly tarnished by his international form. France has struggled in recent years and a huge part of this is Ribery’s doing. Ribery’s importance of form can definitely be seen in club and country.
3. Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)
When all is said and done Messi will most likely be the greatest player of all time. His vision on and off the ball is second to none, and his inspired runs light up Camp Nou. The importance of Messi can currently be seen at Barcelona, who quite hasn’t looked themselves without the Argentine in the lineup. Messi has struggled with a hamstring injury this year and has limited him in many ways. However, 80 percent of Messi is better than almost any player at 100 percent.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden/Paris St. Germain)
Zlatan cannot stop scoring goals this year and is the best pure number 9 in the world. His knack for finishing almost any ball played his way is unrivaled. His flashy personality is mirrored in some of the unbelievable goals he has scored in the last year. The Swede has had an issue in finding a home throughout his career bouncing from Ajax to Juventus to Inter Milan to Barcelona to AC Milan which seems to have disrupted his brilliance. However, he seems comfortable in his new Parisian surrounding and his production shows it.
1. Christiano Ronaldo (Portugal/Real Madrid)
Ronaldo needs no introduction. The former Manchester United prodigy doesn’t have a weakness in his game. He is fast, physical, technically gifted and, most importantly, the best goal scorer in the world. While most players hope for a goal every few games, Ronaldo scores multiple goals a game. While the Portuguese winger has been occasionally overcast by Messi, Ronaldo has taken advantage of the Argentine’s injury and surged past him. The one knock on Christiano can be that his team sits 3rd in La Liga’s table and his international team struggle during qualifying. However, it’s hard to see any match up this year where a team that includes Ronaldo will not be favored.