Four Four Two’s Top 100 Soccer Players Bias or Analysis?
The English football magazine “Four Four Two,” published their list of the Top 100 Players. We can argue about the list all day in civil discourse at the local tavern down the street. The reality is, it is almost impossible to measure the best players in the world, because in essence soccer/football is a team game.
There is so much that needs to happen for a player to stand out or come out of his shell. If you have ever played soccer you understand that team cohesion, player quality, planning, club management, finances, individual technique, coaching, junior/base squads as well as many other events influence a player’s rise or failure. With that said, I think it is best to judge a players ease on the field, technique, vision, ease with the ball rather than their club victories.
Here is the list of the top ten from the list of 100:
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
5. David Villa
6. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
7. David Silva (Manchester City)
9. Van Persie (Arsenal)
10. Özil (Real)
Where is Neymar some might ask? Well, he is listed at #23.
Overall I feel Four Four Two did a great job, and their list is right on track. However, certain players I have to question.
David Vila and Pique are great players and deserve to be in the top 20, but I question their presence in the top ten. If David Villa were at his old club Valencia he would not be on this list.
Pique is an awesome defender, top quality player and professional. But, for the life of me I can’t put him above other “quality” defenders in the world like Thiago Silva, Nemanja Vidic or even Pique’s teammates Mascherano and Puyol. Again, I want to express that Pique is awesome and should be in the top 20, but I don’t understand how he finds himself in the top ten above other defenders or other players in the world.
If we are speaking in terms of players who have helped transform Barcelona into the team they are today, then Dani Alves should be in the top ten instead of Villa or Pique. Alves gave the majority of assists after Messi and supports the midfield like no other [Assist stats 2010/2011 season]. There is a reason Barcelona re-signed Dani Alves and gave him a salary equal to Iniesta and Xavi. So if Pique and David Villa are top ten, then why isn’t Dani Alves?
If we are talking about pure skill, then I feel it was disrespectful for Neymar to be left out of the top ten, 15 or 20 of this list.
David Villa and Pique are top players, but to put them before a Thiago Silva or Neymar is somewhat misconstrued. Europeans and especially English say, “The Brazilian league is not that good and that’s the reason for Neymar’s success.” Well I don’t see many other 17-year-olds becoming professionals and in three years dominate a top league. You can say what you wish of the Brazilian league but the truth is, there are some amazing players and defenders coming out of Brazil constantly. Maybe the Brazilian league has lost some of its flair from the past, but it has countered it with faster play and more defensive English style than ever before.
Ultimately, this “Best 100 List” means nothing; however, I find it amazing how each nation or groups of people evaluate soccer players based on bias. I mean even I do it ?
*Sources: Four Four Two: http://fourfourtwo.com/ and http://www.imscouting.com/
Roberto Avey is an ex-soccer player from Brazil. Club, Associação Atlética Ponte Preta in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 1995-1998 under coach, Francisco da Silva Júnior “Chiquinho." He has since graduated from Midwestern State University in Texas, with a bachelor degree in journalism and helps coach teams in Southern California. Read more