Posts Tagged xavi hernandez

Top Ten Players of 2009/10

This would normally have come at the end of May but being a World Cup year, I held it till the Mundial was over before coming up with players I feel deserve to be so recognised. Obviously, performances at the World Cup in South Africa has a lot to do with the players that have made this list; a lot, not all to do with who makes this list.

It’s a three-way tie here made of Luis Suarez of Ajax, Englishmen Jermaine Defoe and Bobby Zamora of Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham respectively.

Africa may not like him no thanks to his hand in Ghana’s quarter final exit, but Suarez is a fine player nonetheless as shown in the three goals he scored at the World Cup on the back of 47 goals in 46 starts last season for Ajax, putting him in good stead to replace Diego Forlán as Uruguay’s main man. Besides, if not for his handiwork, Forlán most probably wouldn’t have got the Golden Ball award because Uruguay would definitely have crashed out.

Defoe appears on this list thanks to his goals that helped Spurs reach the League Cup final, FA Cup semi final, finish 4th in the Premier League and qualify for a first ever UEFA Champions League. Redknapp’s continuous faith in him (from West Ham to present) has consistently being repaid in kind. Admittedly his World Cup was average but he did score a goal (more than Wayne Rooney).

And Zamora, whose crucial goals helped Fulham finish respectably in the league and imperatively in their amazing run to the final of the maiden Europa League, shushed his critics all in a season plagued by injury which ultimately cost him a place with England’s party to South Africa.

9. Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos

It’s difficult to place a defender among the best of them all but Ramos in my view is an excellent defender and with an average of one goal in three games for underachieving Real Madrid last season coupled with a solid performance for newly crowned world champions Spain at the World Cup, fully deserves his place here.

8. Maiçon
It’s a pity Brazil met the Netherlands in that quarter final match either side could have won and had Brazil won, Maiçon would have come in higher on this list. He had a good World Cup, scoring quite a goal but it is his season with treble winning Inter Milan that catches the eye. Maiçon was consistent for the Nerazurri and was one of the stars that helped Inter to that treble.

7. Thomas Müller

Thomas Muller

Thomas Muller

The 20 year old has had a season to remember having broken into the German national team with top rate performances for Bayern Munich on the Bavarians way to winning the league and cup double as well as losing in the Champions League final. Müller capped his season with five goals and three assists at the World Cup to win the Golden Boot award ahead of David Villa and Forlán.

6. Lionel Messi
In my initial shortlist of players, Messi actually did not make the top ten…something definitely wrong there and this is the best I could do for the Argentine hope following a World Cup below expectations for country and a season parallel to our expectations. Messi remained true to his pace, menace and sheer will to disgrace opposition – until Mourinho came with his tactics and the Germans with their machines. Messi remains a fan favourite and his four goals against Arsenal (for me) in the quarter final of last season’s Champions League sums just why.

5. David Villa

David Villa

David Villa

Fernando Torres is regarded as the golden boy of la Roja but a month at South Africa surely must have changed perspectives with Villa running the show up front and from the flanks too, scoring five clinical goals and simply justifying the £30m or so Barcelona paid Valencia for his services. Asides scoring, Villa was a team player (sometimes) and had more shots on target at the Cup than anyone else – the move from modest, cash-strapped Valencia was only a matter of time and his form for Spain with his new club mates leaves the world to wonder, who will stop Blaugrana 2010/11?

4. Arjen Robben
He’s one of those Dutchmen that fall prey to injury season after season and he’s had his little fair share this season which gives his accomplishment this season even more credence in my books, helping Bayern Munich to a German double and the Champions League final as well as playing his part in the Netherlands run to the World Cup final despite missing the group stages (safe for the substitute appearance in the third match). He however will rue for a long time his missed chance one-on-one with Iker Cassilas (who by the way, finished at no. 11 on my shortlist or having more players at the number 10 spot would just have made this lose some cred) that most probably would have won the World Cup for Oranje…bygones I guess.

3. Xavi Hernandez
Xavi’s only flaw is the lack of goals in his games, safe for the occasional free kick and poachers effort otherwise it would be his name; and not Messi or CR9 (with all due respect), that would be on every football lovers’ lips. That said, he again was at the heart of affairs for Barcelona as Blaugrana won a Spanish double and fell short of retaining the Champions League against eventual champions Inter Milan with his ever pinpoint assists and overall vision and intelligence.

2. Diego Forlan

Diego Forlan

I’ve only heard Sir Alex Ferguson state his respect for players he sold twice – Jaap Stam and Forlan. Forlan without question was the spine behind Uruguay’s run to a fourth place finish at the World Cup, finishing with five goals and capping his campaign at South Africa with a goal that had class glossed all over it against the Germans. That, plus a season with Atletico Madrid that saw him lead the Spanish side to the Europa League trophy caps a terrific season for the late bloomer.

1. Wesley Sneijder
Not saying he’s going to be named World Footballer of the year but then again, he won the Italian league and cup and the Champions League being the playmaker of the Nerazzuri before coming so close to lifting a first World Cup for the Netherlands…enough ingredients in my opinion to be named the best footballer for the year #nodisrespect. And to think he is a Real Madrid reject, along with Robben! Sneijder has come a good long way from his torrid time at the Bernabeu where ironically he won the Champions League.

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Top 10 Players of 2008/09 Part One

Lionel Messi
Touted as the next World Footballer of the Year, the Messiless
Argentine ace has been in devastating form for his equalling
devastating club Barcelona this season, being the main force behind
the Trinity at the Camp Nou.

His case for football’s top individual prize is given more credence
with his status as top scorer in the ongoing UEFA Champions League
though winning the trophy itself would all but ensure he gets the
crown he so much craves.

CR7 vs. Messiless Lionel

CR7 vs. Messiless Lionel

Cristiano Ronaldo
The current World Footballer of the Year has not had the same season like he did last season but 25 goals in all competitions so far by a right winger’s standard is a very good season; that’s how much we all love to hate the Portuguese who scored 44 goals last season.

Yes he started the season slow but he has picked up ever since,
becoming top scorer in the Premier League but most importantly, he
actually has begun performing in the big matches, last year’s
Champions League final was the first of such. Besides, Messi has not
scored 30 goals in all competitions this season has he?

Xavi Hernandez
In the walloping of Real Madrid (El whatever else but Clasico), Xavi
returned a 93% record for passes completed in that match, including
the ones that directly led to four of the six goals that night.

That is how influential the longest serving Blaugrana player has
been this season, contributing a few crucial goals as well along the

Andres Iniesta
Lionel Messi may be the trigger, Xavi may be the heart but Andres
Iniesta is the brain of Barcelona this season, silently doing the
hard work of creating opportunities and scoring a few as well.

If the fans had their way with the selection of the Player of the
Year, I get the feeling Iniesta would win or in the worst case give
Barca teammate Messi a good run for his money but we all know that
low scoring midfielders hadly ever get the nod, pity.

Steven Gerrard
Captain Fantastic is a better leader than Rafael Benitez on and off
the pitch as he has created goals especially for Fernando “El-Nino”
Torres and scored a good amount for the club.

Stsven Gerrard with manager Rafa Benitez

Stsven Gerrard with manager Rafa Benitez

It then is unfortunate that all his good work would come to nothing
largely to the big mouth of his gaffer as arch-rivals Manchester
United edge ever closer to a record equalling 18th league title win,
extending Liverpool’s league title drought to 20 years as a result.

The next five players will be revealed soon enough but truth is I
have just two players more to definitely make the top ten and a few
probables to choose from.

After this article, there will be the top ten clubs of the season
which will include a few clubs you don’t get to mention every now
and then. Top ten matches of the season should also raise a few
brows right?

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