Now that the 2014 FIFA World Cup has ended, it’s time to start looking forward to the upcoming 2014/2015 season so our new UK Sports Correspondent has pulled together a Top 10 list of the best soccer players this season. His list covers everyone and every position so unlike American football where we mainly follow the top quarterbacks, Adam has taken a thorough look at all the soccer players he feels should be on this list. Also, for those of you that love pointing out typographical errors, we always appreciate your input, but remember Adam is in the UK so there may be an extra ‘u’ sometimes in color or favorite so you can give him a break.
As we approach the start of the 2014/2015 season in a lot of the traditional leagues, there has been a lot to talk about and consider. Big transfers, shock title winners and even an incredible FIFA World Cup to fawn over. 2014 has been a good year for soccer so far, and with the World Cup now over it might be a good time to see who has made the biggest impact on 2014. Lots of players have faded, others have shone, and new names have exploded onto the scene to be on our screens for the next decade.
So who has impressed us the most at Movie TV Tech Geeks? Here is a breakdown of our favourite soccer players of 2014. These are the biggest hitters;’ those who drove their teams to silver or returned big names to fallen glories:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
It might be a bit easy to put Ronaldo on this list, but the Balon d’Or winner is one of the best players of all-time, nevermind 2014. His meagre World Cup showings can be put down to a variety of issues. From the team around him being a bit of a disgrace- Hugo Almeida and Helder Postiga? – to carrying an injury, Ronaldo never made the impact on the World Cup that you could have hoped for. Or, indeed, the Champions League final. His fourth goal was a mere nail into the Atletico coffin in Lisbon, but he has still been one of the driving forces in world football throughout 2014 so far.
2. Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona)
The Uruguayan magician has recently completed his big-money move to FC Barcelona, and he’ll link up with Neymar and Messi in the meantime. Suarez is one of the world’s most outstanding footballers, with an incredible stamina and will to win matched with hilarious football smarts and divine talents. He’s one of the top names out there at the moment, and his match winning performance against the English at the World Cup, as well as a 31-goal season with rejuvenated giants Liverpool were testament to the prowess of one of the best in the world. Plus he’s proven that his bark is just as hardcore as his bite!
3. Koke (Atletico Madrid)
Despite a rather meagre World Cup showing, Koke has been one of the best central midfielders in Europe for the last eighteen months. Following on from a brilliant season in 2012-2013, Koke was arguably outshining the likes of Xavi, Iniesta, Modric and Alonso throughout the La Liga campaign in which he wound up champion. One of the best young central midfielders in the world at the moment, he looks set to stay at Atleti for at least one more season.
4. Raheem Sterling (Liverpool)
If you are looking for names that have been in top form for all of 2014, then Sterling has to be mentioned. The young winner made headlines when he first appeared under Kenny Dalglish for Liverpool, and then was a regular under Brendan Rodgers in 2012-2013 before fading and then getting injured. Flash forward to the summer of 2014 and he was one of the top prospects in the world going into the World Cup, and being one of the few performers for England at the tournament only increased his profile. With Suarez gone, Sterling might now explode even more.
5. Ivan Rakitic (FC Barcelona)
Quietly regarded by some as the best central midfielder outside of the “Big Three” in Spain, Rakitic shone for Sevilla in a Europe League winning campaign, putting in some incredible performances throughout the season. He scored big goals, set up many more and his metronomic passing was one of the highlights of the European campaign. He has since moved to FCB, and could be a coup for them moving forward.
6. Arturo Vidal (Juventus)
Although he did not perform quite to expectation at the World Cup for Chile, that was only because his normal standards are so high. The colossus in the Juventus midfield, he makes other central midfielders look tame and laboured and has shown time and time again what his potential ceiling is – the very sky. One of the jewels in a trio of Scudetto wins, with Antonio Conte gone Vidal might yet be on the move, and if he does move somebody is getting a true star for years to come.
7. James Rodriguez (Real Madrid)
The youngster who won the Golden Ball at the World Cup is certainly not a nobody – in the summer of 2013 he moved from Portuguese giants FC Porto to cash rich AS Monaco, and now plays for one of the top sides in world football. His comical ability on the ball matched with outstanding skill, passing and vision make him one of the top names in the game at the moment. Watch this space to see how he develops.
8. Thomas Muller (FC Bayern)
The World Cup winners could have taken this whole list for themselves, but in the interest of at least trying to add some fresh names to the list we decided to only add in one German. It was a tough pick, but Muller is a personal favourite of this writer and although he looks like he just finished measuring the size of your decking en route to laying it, he’s a truly special football. His mind is ahead of the pack, even if his physique isn’t. A truly magnificent footballer.
9. Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
It’s hard to pick a centre-half for Atletico Madrid and know who to choose in your heart. Either way, they were comfortably the top defensive pairing in world football for the first half of 2014, and it’s a disgrace that Miranda – Godin’s partner – never went to the World Cup with Brazil. Godin, however, scored the goal against Italy that sent Uruguay through to the Last 16 and it was also his header against FCB that won La Liga for Atletico.
10. Yaya Toure (Man City)
Despite not sending him a birthday cake, we have to attribute a huge portion of the double that Manchester City enjoyed in 2014 to the performances of the Ivorian in midfield. He can look bored and lazy, but when he comes to life he’s like a gattling gun with the trigger held down. He’s an absolute machine, and plays a huge role in winning matches for City with his craft and dynamism. He’s famous for surging forward and forcing defenders to act as if there is a horse on the pitch, galloping forward before scoring an important goal. His attitude may rub some up the wrong way, but his ability can’t.