The Top 10 Footballers in the World

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Everything changes after the World Cup. New stars emerge, old ones shine brighter than ever while some of the very top players in the world are forced to watch the Cup from their own living room. We’ve compiled a list of the very best footballers on the planet as things stand in the time since the World Cup ended. If you disagree, or you want to write your own version (even for a different sport if you want), email it to us and we may even publish it!

Unlucky Mentions:

Neymar (Brazil), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Robin Van Persie (Netherlands), Mesut Ozil (Germany) & Karim Benzema (France).

10. Arturo Vidal

Age: 27

Club: Juventus

Country: Chile

Vidal is a midfielder who can do everything. He scores goals, he defends, he passes, he runs… he does it all. Few players are more valuable to a team than a true box to box centre mid, and if you doubted that before, just read how desperate Juventus are to keep him. He was outstanding for Chile in the Brazil with his nation so unlucky to lose to the hosts on penalties.

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9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Age: 32

Club: Paris Saint Germain

Country: Sweden

The man they call Zlatan! Sweden missed the World Cup this time around, and as a result we all missed Zlatan. He has scored goals for some of the biggest clubs in the world, and currently keeps on doing so for PSG in France.

8. James Rodriguez

Age: 22

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Colombia

Who would have guessed it? He was an unknown just a few months ago, yet having won the Golden Boot at the World Cup, leading his nation to the quarter finals and scoring one of the best goals the tournament has ever seen in the process, Rodriguez landed a massive transfer to Real Madrid… and a spot in our top 10.

7. Arjen Robben

Age: 30

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Netherlands

Robben gets a lot of heat for his diving. Still, it does not take much to trip up a player who runs as fast as he does. With the close ball control that he has at pace, and his ability to turn players and finish with that lethal left foot of his, Robben is one of the most feared wingers in the sport.

6. Thomas Müller

Age: 24

Club: Bayern Munich

Country: Germany

A hat-trick against Portugal was just the beginning for Mr Müller, who went on to help his nation to the World Cup trophy, playing in every game. At only 24, he has already scored 10 World Cup goals, along with a whole bunch of trophies with his club team. By the time he retires, there won’t be many pieces of silverware left without Müller’s fingerprints on them.

5. Yaya Toure

Age: 31

Club: Manchester City

Country: Ivory Coast

There are few sights more frightening for a defence than Yaya Toure making one of his trademark runs from midfield. He tackles as well as any defender and has a shot more lethal than most strikers too. Yaya Toure is a rare kind of player that could actually play in any outfield position. Even though the Ivory Coast could not make the second round, he still cracks our top 5 players.

4. Gareth Bale

Age: 25

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Wales

It is a pity that Wales are not a better side, since we were robbed of seeing Gareth Bale at the biggest tournament of all. Bale rose through the ranks of Sunderland and later Spurs as a left back, but it was as a winger that he truly began to shine. One of the fastest players in the world, he was a key man in Real’s Champions League win and will be hungry for more glory in 2014/15.

3. Luis Suarez

Age: 27

Club: Barcelona

Country: Uruguay

Suarez’s World Cup was overshadowed by his biting incident, which made him the butt of jokes for a while. On the field however, you could see just how important he is. His double against England capped off a season where he scored an incredible 31 times for Liverpool. His transfer to Barcelona makes him the third most expensive player of all time.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Age: 29

Club: Real Madrid

Country: Portugal

Injuries ruined his chances to shine at the World Cup, but even still he was the best player for Portugal. Ronaldo is the reigning Ballon D’Or winner and he led Real Madrid to Champions League glory last season.

1. Lionel Messi

Age: 27

Club: Barcelona

Country: Argentina

Ronaldo may have won the Ballon D’Or, but Messi won the Golden Ball. He was a superstar at the World Cup, leading his team all the way to the final. Messi scored four goals and an assist, confirming on the biggest stage of all that he is the best player in the world. For now anyway…