Best in the World; chasing the pack
The best player in the world, what makes the best player in the world?
Some would say their skill with the ball, close control, some would say amount of goals, others the impact they have on every game that they play. This current era there’s very little talk on defensive minded players to be in contention and this will follow the trend so if you expected some I apologise, but let us for a second indulge ourselves in the joy of attack.
The top three current best players are Messi, Ronaldo and Ribery. But this differs on bias, style of play and whether you prefer the tempered but persistence of Ronaldo, to the work ethic of Ribery, to the pure genius of Messi. Now as we come to the end of 2013 are we about to have a shift in order, with Messi having been in and out with injury, Ronaldo has already taken advantage by stepping up his already incredible scoring record, who’s to question that maybe Messi will be taking a back seat this season and the other superb talent will get a chance to shine.
Who out of these players currently match up to the three at the top; Ibrahimovic, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Aguero and a Wayne Rooney? There are several other players I could have put in but to keep it concise I’ve left them out. Even the likes of Robin Van Persie, he may have been in front of Rooney last year as he became the highest scoring player in the Premier League of 2013 last weekend against Arsenal, the argument I have is that Rooney is on World Cup year which could be a pushing factor as well as the fitness he seems to have gained under David Moyes has allowed him to become on par in significance to one another. Neymar could also be a mention but I feel future seasons are for him.
Firstly let’s look at the statistics, the numbers, the figures which get all football geeks drooling and puts the facts behind the arguments.
Domestic and Champions League 2013/14. (12/13)*
|Messi||14 (43)||14 (54)||4 (14)||69 (204)|
|Ronaldo||17 (46)||24 (46)||5 (11)||130 (316)|
|Ribery||15 (39))||7 (11)||6 (16)||48 (79)|
|Ibrahimovic||16 (43)||15 (33)||3 (15)||85 (196)|
|Ozil||14 (42)||3 (10)||5 (17)||15 (39)|
|Aguero||14 (35)||13 (14)||6 (2)||57 (101)|
|Rooney||13 (33)||7 (13)||5 (13)||46 (101)|
|Bale**||10 (42)||4 (24)||5 (7)||19 (186)|
*Stats from (www.espnfc.com )**(includes Europa instead of Champions League)
There’s a lot to be extracted from these stats for example the assist maestro in Ozil and even with injury Messi is still a goal a game. But what they don’t express is the all round play, the man who will get back, and the player to control games and have the key pass to unlock the defence.
Imbrahimovic is a player that may not be to everyone’s taste such as the bravado around the trial at Arsenal showed when he said that he does not do trials. As a striker he makes the impossible seem like a walk in the park; e.g. the bicycle vs. England or either goals in last week’s game vs. Anderlecht were in the swagger and confidence to what we expect from him.
You say it and he’s done it at Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and finally PSG. There aren’t many players that could be consistent mainly at domestic level but still shows the talent he has. On his current form he deserves a mention to be the best player and at the age of 32 this maybe his last time to be in the running.
To unlock an unbreakable defence, Mesut Ozil is the one to call on, the flicks, one touch passing or a pinpoint cross. After his departure in the summer from Real Madrid all the talk between them and the Catalonia is the threat Ozil possesses. And the assist machine has already found his feet at Arsenal and with them top of the league he could be the factor to change the fortunes of the London club. Maybe being the main player at Arsenal the eyes of every football fan are on him.
Sergio Aguero is the forward every team needs, quick feet, balance and a touch of class in front of goal. I’ve added Aguero as he’s shown in the past of how vital he can be for city with the last minute winner versus QPR to win the league in 2012. He is a striker that can link up with all types of players and with the linking up with Negredo in recent games shows that Man city are full of attacking talent. And as City have progressed into the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time, we could get to see the best of Aguero.
A player that everything seems to hinge on for England is also the player that even with the immense contribution of Van Persie is still the key to making Manchester United tick. The man I’m obviously talking about is Wayne Rooney. He’s a player who will get up and down the field, tackle, play it short or long and Shoot from range or a tap in a couple of yards out. But as Sir Alex Ferguson stated in his book is that Rooney is best when his fitness is at its peak and with David Moyes’ strict training regime the best of Rooney could be yet to come. An example of this already showing was the last game versus Arsenal where he ran an estimated 11km which is an incredible distance, is just the beginning and his work rate even for a team he’s asked to leave is next to none.
The Final player I wanted to look at is Gareth Bale. The start to his Real Madrid dream has been a tough one, with the constant reoccurrence of injuries, he hasn’t been able to hit the ground running, and has had to deal with the criticism that seems to be expected in Spain. Even so he’s still managed to assist 5 goals and at the height of 6”foot he is a force in the air carries and the skill to pretend he’s at full pace when he’s not. The amount of pace and power he has gained whilst at Tottenham, the way he takes free-kicks, the way he takes on players everything about him he’s ended up with a lot of comparisons to Ronaldo and even though he has still a lot to do, to be on par let along above Ronaldo, he can still be right up there as he has the belief and is round the right kind of players, and being the most expensive player he has the fact to believe in his ability.
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