Who’s your choice?
For years the world’s greatest players have been debated by football fans around the globe, with club and national allegiances often influencing choices, alongside general playing style and overall ‘likeability’ factors.
France Football went some way to try and formalise the debate (at least, from a European perspective) by creating the Ballon d’Or award in 1956, taking a vote and presenting it to the European player thought to have performed the best over the previous calendar year. It took FIFA until 1991 to formalise their choice, creating the World Player of the Year award, and later the two merged in 2010 to create the FIFA Ballon d’Or; the winner of which is now widely acknowledged as the world’s best.
Rightly, the list of winners (and those who were considered) is made up of players from a variety of positions; however it has always been dominated by playmakers, such is the number 10’s nature in producing match-winning performances and displaying the sublime and spectacular.
We here at Fantasista10 want to solely honour the playmakers, and thus will do so by compiling who we think have been the Top 50 from around the globe over the last (European) season.
Together, with the views of some of the most respected football writers from around the world – experts covering all the major footballing hotspots (and some, a little more obscure) – we have produced a list of what we believe to be well thought through, maintain a real global outlook, and ultimately we hope, be well thought of by you, our readers.
The criteria used for selection is straightforward: The player should primarily occupy the major playmaking role within his team. In some instances this can be made difficult in this age of tactical shifting positions – false 9s and inverted wingers – varying and fluid formations, along with all the complexities they bring; however in such occurrences, we have gone with those who are widely accepted to be true playmakers, regardless of their current predicament.
Most importantly of all, each player must embody the true spirit of a number 10.
Ultimately, it is our decision as to whether we believe the candidates to be in the true playmaking mould. No doubt, there will be names of those you think worthy of inclusion, who we believe don’t hold true, the fundamentals of a fantasista. If you’re looking for names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Neymar or Xavi, you won’t find them on this list.
Those chosen will have had an impact on the season, or have shown vast improvement to indicate they are ones to watch out for in the upcoming year. Age is of no consequence to us, with veterans who may well have been in the midst of a final farewell being considered, just as much as the latest wonderkid on the scene. Neither are honours – just because a team has failed to perform doesn’t mean their playmaker hasn’t.
For each of the Top 50, we’ve recorded our observations and asked a number of individuals whose opinion matters to us to provide a view on that player’s impact on the season. We’ve based our assessments on watching players play, not training ground whispers, Twitter rumours, or various Youtube compilations. For any gaps in our research, we’ve been ably assisted by the excellent services provided by Whoscored.com – whose insight has been tremendously useful.
Finally, no official vote has been taken, meaning the list isn’t in a ranked order. The feature will be published in five parts over the summer, with each edition containing (a magic) 10 players.
We hope you enjoy the feature and encourage you to get involved. Who do you feel is worthy of inclusion? We invite your thoughts and opinions so please be sure to add your comments below, or tweet us @fantasistaTEN.
The fantasista10 Top 50: 2013
Part 5 – Coming soon