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Discussion Starter #1
Goal.com are compiling a list fo the top 50 players in the world for 2008. Very nice of them. Don't be suprised to see a Madrid player come 1st.
Anyway, I decided to make this a thread. Discuss it and argue.
The Results So Far...

[50 - 41]

50 - Ashley Young - Aston Villa, Premier League - Score: 1109

49 - Javier Zanetti - Internazionale, Serie A - Score: 1104

48 - Daniel Guiza - Fenerbahçe, Super Lig - Score: 1089

47 - Juninho Pernambucano - Olympique Lyonnais, Ligue 1 - Score: 1083

46 - Juan Román Riquelme - Boca Juniors, Argentine Apertura - Score: 1077

45 - Luca Toni - FC Bayern, Bundesliga - Score: 1064

44 - David Silva - Valencia, Primera Division - Score: 1060

42 (T) - Thierry Henry - Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 1040

42 (T) - Daniel Alves - Sevilla, Primera Division / Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 1040

41 - Antonio Cassano - Sampdoria, Serie A - Score: 1028

[40 - 31]

40 - Klaas-Jan Huntelaar - Ajax Amsterdam, Eredivisie / Real Madrid, Primera Division - Score: 1027

39 - Ricardo Carvalho - Chelsea, Premier Division - Score: 1025

38 - Samuel Eto'o - Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 1017

37 - Philipp Lahm - FC Bayern, Bundesliga - Score: 1009

36 - Javier Mascherano - Liverpool, Premier League - Score: 1008

35 - Julio Cesar - Internazionale, Serie A - Score 1000

34 - Robinho - Real Madrid, Primera Division / Manchester City, Premier League - Score: 970

33 - Diego - Werder Bremen, Bundesliga - Score: 955

32 - Carles Puyol - Barcelona, Primera Division - Score: 915

31 - Wesley Sneijder - Real Madrid, Primera Division - Score: 887

[30-21]

30 - Daniele De Rossi - Roma, Serie A - Score: 878

29 - Esteban Cambiasso - Internazionale, Serie A - Score: 877

28 - Giorgio Chiellini - Juventus, Serie A - Score: 870

27 - Emmanuel Adebayor - Arsenal, Premier League - Score: 862

26 - Nemanja Vidic - Manchester United, Premier League - Score: 829

25 - Ruud van Nistelrooy - Real Madrid, Primera Division - Score: 827

24 - Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid, Primera Division - Score: 733

23 - Maicon Douglas Sisenando - Internazionale, Serie A - Score: 729

As you can see, the player with the lowest score wins. I will try to keep it updated, but for now......44th?!?!? David Silva deserves a place in the top 20! Did you see him against Atletcio last night. Stupid Goal.com. I think Eto'o deserves a higher ranking also.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Looking back at my post, I have realized I sound like some Moderator of XT. Which makes me look cool:smileani: ,like that guy Bentex.
 

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Lost all credibility with Mascherano being at 36th, should clearly be much higher.
 

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http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2009/01/04/1039845/the-goalcom-50-alessandro-del-piero-22

Goal.com's countdown to the greatest player of 2008 continues with one of the Serie A’s most influential players, the icon of Juventus: Alessandro Del Piero.


22 - Alessandro Del Piero - Juventus, Serie A - Score: 712

Juventus’ Alessandro Del Piero is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in world football today. Despite being 34 years of age, the captain of the Bianconeri is back to his very best, with some startling performances over the course of 2008, which has rightfully seen him included in Goal.com’s top 50 players.

Return Of The Kings

The 27 time Italian champions easily regained promotion from Serie B, following the Calciopoli scandal that saw them demoted to the second division in 2006. Many were unsure as to how the most successful club in the history of Italian football would fare upon their return to the topflight, as a result of the numerous additions to the squad.

Following a bright start to the season however, these fears were immediately forgotten, as the club roared into the top four of the standings. They were led by their talismanic captain Del Piero, whose brilliant performances made a quick return to the Champions League a reality, as the Bianconeri defeated all of the big guns – Inter, Milan and Roma – at some stage of the season.

The club recorded just two wins from their first nine matches of 2008, however the dominance and stunning goals scored by Pinturicchio, ensured that the Old Lady maintained their spot in the top four, as they rounded off the season in style. The club secured third spot with a number of rounds to go, meaning that they were back in Europe.

Alex The Capocannoniere

Heading into the final weekend of the 2007/08 Serie A season, Del Piero was deadlocked on 19 goals with his compatriot David Trezeguet and the Genoa hitman Marco Borriello, in the race to win the Capocannoniere award for scoring the most goals in the Italian season. Alex managed to grab a brace against Sampdoria in his side’s 3-3 draw, whilst Trezeguet scored one, to finish outright second, ahead of Borriello who failed to find the back of the net.

Del Piero’s brace took his tally to 21 goals, meaning that he was successful in winning his first ever Capocannoniere award in his long and illustrious career. The Bianconeri captain became only the second Italian ever to win consecutive Capocannoniere titles in two separate leagues, with the former Juve and 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi being the other. Just as Alex did, Rossi won the titles firstly in Serie B, and then in Serie A.

His outstanding season for the club was finally rewarded with the Scirea Award, which Del Piero received on July 26. The award commenced in 1992, and it is awarded by journalists to a player over the age of 30 that has excelled throughout the season. Prior to Del Piero, Milan’s Pippo Inzaghi was the recipient, following his impressive form in the Champions League competition of 2007.

Bigger And Better Than Ever

Prior to the commencement of the current season, the World Champion declared that he will try to keep playing football at the highest level with the Bianconeri, until the age of 40. It was a massive statement made by one of the greatest players to ever pull on a Juventus shirt; however his form thus far has indicated that this may very well be the case.

Juventus were desperately struggling after seven rounds of football this term, as they had recorded a meager two victories and nine points to languish in the middle of the standings. As was the case in the season prior, the captain was the main protagonist in the side’s dramatic turn around in form, as his incredible performances resulted in the club rapidly rising up the table.

Arguably the turning point for the Bianconeri came on match day three of the Uefa Champions League group stage, when they travelled to Spain to face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. Many expected a Madrid victory; however one of the greatest individual performances by Del Piero ensured that this was not to be the case, as the most successful club in Italy ran away with a well deserved 2-0 victory thanks to an amazing brace by the skipper. The Juve number 10 became only the third opposing player to receive a standing ovation at that ground, following his incredible individual performance.

At this stage, Pinturicchio has scored six times in the league, five in Europe, and he has set up many, many more, as the Bianconeri currently find themselves in second place in the Serie A. With just six points separating themselves from the league leaders and reigning champions Inter Milan; the Scudetto is still very much a possibility for the club. If the captain can continue his sparkling run of form, then the Old Lady are a genuine chance of dethroning Inter as the champions of Italy, as they go in search of their 28th Italian championship.

As for Del Piero, he is undoubtedly a phenomenal talent, one who continues to impress and inspire us all with the ways he goes about things. He is the all time top scorer for one of the world’s proudest clubs, whilst he also has made the most appearances for the Bianconeri of all time. If he is to play until he is 40, then there are still many bright years ahead for the World Champion, who certainly will be forever known as one of the most creative and influential players in the history of the Italian game.
 

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http://www.goal.com/en/news/1717/editorial/2009/01/04/1039845/the-goalcom-50-alessandro-del-piero-22

Goal.com's countdown to the greatest player of 2008 continues with one of the Serie A’s most influential players, the icon of Juventus: Alessandro Del Piero.


22 - Alessandro Del Piero - Juventus, Serie A - Score: 712

Juventus’ Alessandro Del Piero is undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in world football today. Despite being 34 years of age, the captain of the Bianconeri is back to his very best, with some startling performances over the course of 2008, which has rightfully seen him included in Goal.com’s top 50 players.

Return Of The Kings

The 27 time Italian champions easily regained promotion from Serie B, following the Calciopoli scandal that saw them demoted to the second division in 2006. Many were unsure as to how the most successful club in the history of Italian football would fare upon their return to the topflight, as a result of the numerous additions to the squad.

Following a bright start to the season however, these fears were immediately forgotten, as the club roared into the top four of the standings. They were led by their talismanic captain Del Piero, whose brilliant performances made a quick return to the Champions League a reality, as the Bianconeri defeated all of the big guns – Inter, Milan and Roma – at some stage of the season.

The club recorded just two wins from their first nine matches of 2008, however the dominance and stunning goals scored by Pinturicchio, ensured that the Old Lady maintained their spot in the top four, as they rounded off the season in style. The club secured third spot with a number of rounds to go, meaning that they were back in Europe.

Alex The Capocannoniere

Heading into the final weekend of the 2007/08 Serie A season, Del Piero was deadlocked on 19 goals with his compatriot David Trezeguet and the Genoa hitman Marco Borriello, in the race to win the Capocannoniere award for scoring the most goals in the Italian season. Alex managed to grab a brace against Sampdoria in his side’s 3-3 draw, whilst Trezeguet scored one, to finish outright second, ahead of Borriello who failed to find the back of the net.

Del Piero’s brace took his tally to 21 goals, meaning that he was successful in winning his first ever Capocannoniere award in his long and illustrious career. The Bianconeri captain became only the second Italian ever to win consecutive Capocannoniere titles in two separate leagues, with the former Juve and 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi being the other. Just as Alex did, Rossi won the titles firstly in Serie B, and then in Serie A.

His outstanding season for the club was finally rewarded with the Scirea Award, which Del Piero received on July 26. The award commenced in 1992, and it is awarded by journalists to a player over the age of 30 that has excelled throughout the season. Prior to Del Piero, Milan’s Pippo Inzaghi was the recipient, following his impressive form in the Champions League competition of 2007.

Bigger And Better Than Ever

Prior to the commencement of the current season, the World Champion declared that he will try to keep playing football at the highest level with the Bianconeri, until the age of 40. It was a massive statement made by one of the greatest players to ever pull on a Juventus shirt; however his form thus far has indicated that this may very well be the case.

Juventus were desperately struggling after seven rounds of football this term, as they had recorded a meager two victories and nine points to languish in the middle of the standings. As was the case in the season prior, the captain was the main protagonist in the side’s dramatic turn around in form, as his incredible performances resulted in the club rapidly rising up the table.

Arguably the turning point for the Bianconeri came on match day three of the Uefa Champions League group stage, when they travelled to Spain to face Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. Many expected a Madrid victory; however one of the greatest individual performances by Del Piero ensured that this was not to be the case, as the most successful club in Italy ran away with a well deserved 2-0 victory thanks to an amazing brace by the skipper. The Juve number 10 became only the third opposing player to receive a standing ovation at that ground, following his incredible individual performance.

At this stage, Pinturicchio has scored six times in the league, five in Europe, and he has set up many, many more, as the Bianconeri currently find themselves in second place in the Serie A. With just six points separating themselves from the league leaders and reigning champions Inter Milan; the Scudetto is still very much a possibility for the club. If the captain can continue his sparkling run of form, then the Old Lady are a genuine chance of dethroning Inter as the champions of Italy, as they go in search of their 28th Italian championship.

As for Del Piero, he is undoubtedly a phenomenal talent, one who continues to impress and inspire us all with the ways he goes about things. He is the all time top scorer for one of the world’s proudest clubs, whilst he also has made the most appearances for the Bianconeri of all time. If he is to play until he is 40, then there are still many bright years ahead for the World Champion, who certainly will be forever known as one of the most creative and influential players in the history of the Italian game as well as a big match choker for Italy in Euro 2000, and a drug taker.
Updated
 

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Sitting and analyzing your user-name (Tony75), and came to the wrongful conclusion of it might have been the year you were born in. But that means that you would be 33 years old. But you horribly proved me wrong.

I'm just asking, why would anyone put their IQ score in their user-name?
 

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Freedom for all
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I love Goal.com. They seem to post 3 sentence "interviews" that say something obvious like "We will try to win the next match", or comparisons between a player and a legend the the player in question refutes. And the comments section will have people slagging the person in question regardless of what he has said, and they are always from the furthest away places imaginable. A Barca fan from Laos will be arguing with a Madrid fan from Nigeria, then a Liverpool fan from China will appear, then a Man U fan from Thailand, etc. I think Europeans are banned from posting or something. :D:D
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here are the next two.
21 - John Terry - Chelsea - Premier League - Score: 705

20 - Frank Lampard - Chelsea, Premier League - Score: 668

20 left..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The Goal.com 50: Marcos Senna (19)
Goal.com's countdown to the best player of 2008 continues with El Submarinos Amarillos' influential midfield star Marcos Senna...


If European football didn’t already know about the vast talent that Marcos Senna possesses, 2008 was the year that the Brazilian-born midfield maestro’s status among the world’s best was confirmed in glorious fashion.

If the La Liga season ran from January to December, Villarreal would have been champions, highlighting El Submarinos Amarillos' incredible form throughout the year, and no-one was more influential than Senna in their outstanding run to second in the 2007/08 Primera Division table.

Loyalty

The 32-year-old has been at El Madrigal since 2002, and in that time he has slowly established himself as the beating heart of Villarreal’s vibrant midfield. Energetic, skilful, creative, but also tenacious, he is the blueprint for the modern, multi-faceted midfielder. It is little wonder that so many clubs wish to secure his services, because simply there are very few players like Marcos Senna in world football.

Fernerbahce tried to lure him to Turkey in the summer, and moneybags Manchester City have expressed an interest in bidding in January. But Senna isn’t interested – he has committed himself to the club that has nurtured his talent so proficiently over the past six seasons.

Euro Glory

Luis Aragones, the Spanish coach who masterminded his nation’s success at Euro 2008, may look back to the day he secured Senna for Spain as the coup that set the perennial underachievers on the road to glory. His ability to destroy and rebuild, to win the ball and distribute to Xavi & Iniesta, was absolutely instrumental in Spain’s success. Could they have triumphed without his disciplined style allowing the mercurial players to flourish? Undoubtedly not.

Striker David Villa said after the 1-0 final win over Germany that ‘He gives us the balance that we need and does the dirty job’.

As Villa says, it is a dirty job, and one that is rarely appreciated. But someone’s got to do it, and who would you rather have doing it than a player of the ability of the brilliant Brazilian?

Senna became many observers' unofficial player of the Euro 2008 tournament, and it isn’t difficult to see why.

He strolled through the final against the Germans, nullifying the threat of Michael Ballack so completely that at times the former Chelsea man looked an average footballer. To make someone of the quality of Ballack look so ordinary is testament to Senna's dominance in the premier match in European international football.

He Doesn’t Always Play Ugly

The role that Senna plays with Villarreal, although similar to his water-carrier style for the Spanish national team, is given more of a creative element. He is also a free-kick specialist, both when shooting directly at goal (as Celtic found to their cost in the Champions League this season) and when whipping a dangerous cross into the area for the likes of Giuseppe Rossi and Joseba Llorente. He has also contributed seven goals and seven assists over the past season-and-a-half, an impressive haul for a player who supposedly has a reserved approach on the pitch.

If you want an example of a player guiding his team to victory within the cauldron of the Camp Nou, see his truly magnificent display in March where Villarreal played the Blaugrana off the pitch, winning 2-1 and rubber-stamping their reputation as the second best team in Spain that season. It set the tone for his performances in 2008, and he hasn't looked back since for both club and adopted country.

A Model Of Consistency

Villarreal coach Manuel Pellegrini knows that his side are a different proposition without Senna in the team, which is why the player only missed five league matches in 2008 for his club side, all through injury. It is now difficult to envisage a La Seleccion starting XI without him patrolling in front of Puyol and Marchena, and similarly Pellegrini knows that he could spend the next ten years scouring the continent of South America, and never uncover a player of the class of Marcos Senna.

Team Honours:
Euro 2008 Winner, Spain

Individual Honours
Euro 2008 Team of the tournament

Paul Macdonald, Goal.com
 

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my top 10 of the last year- based on performances.
10. karim benzema
9. franck ribery
8. steven gerrard
7. cesc fabregas
6. david villa
5. iker casillas
4. zlatan ibrahimovic
3. fernando torres
2. cristiano ronaldo
1. lionel messi
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The Goal.com 50: Rio Ferdinand (18)
Goal.com's countdown to the best player of 2008 continues with the man who lifted the Champions League trophy last summer; Rio Ferdinand...


18 - Rio Ferdinand - Manchester United, Premier League - Score 610

Former West Ham stopper, Tony Gale recently described Rio Ferdinand as the Rolls Royce of defenders, a description most fitting of a man who, despite his talent, has always been somewhat sold short throughout his career.

He is the world's most expensive defender, yet often finds himself being considered second best: whether to John Terry at international level, or now Nemanja Vidic alongside him for Manchester United. In truth, 2008 was a year in which he proved he is superior to them both and has that extra dimension to his game, with not just the physical presence and athleticism of a top class defender, but the anticipation, awareness and leadership required in any backline if it is to be as successful as United's was last year - the best in Europe, no less.

And speaking of Europe, it was Rio who captained the Red Devils in the Champions League final and lifted the trophy in Moscow after a hard fought victory over Chelsea on penalties. He was second only to Cristiano Ronaldo in the MVP stakes for United in their winning of the Premier League and even the Club World Cup - it was, in essence, a faultless season, that could have only been made perfect if he had pipped John Terry to the England captaincy (or if indeed England had made it to EURO 2008 to begin with and thus had a shot at winning it).

Rio's problem is perhaps that he makes his job look too easy, not unlike Alessandro Nesta, who himself has long lived in the shadow of Fabio Cannavaro, particularly after missing most of the victorious 2006 World Cup winning campaign due to an injury. Such types of defenders don't dive in with quite as much enthusiasm or chase down every ball with such a rabid look in their eyes and thus are too often overlooked for the quality and stability they bring to a team.

Now in his prime, Rio has been hailed as the world's best by names such as Alan Hansen and John Terry in recent months, on top of which, he has stepped up to lead Man United when neither Gary Neville or Ryan Giggs are on the field, which he has done to good effect - the odd accidental kick at a steward notwithstanding.

Whether or not Rio can top his 2008 remains a matter of contention. On an individual level, there is the possibility he could yet improve; but whether or not that would yield such an impeccable defensive record as United's was in 2008 - not to mention the resulting silverware - is far less probable. This is the closest a player like Rio is likely to get to any individual recognition, and not only was he out of sight for the Ballon d'Or, he was even dubiously overlooked as John Terry won the UEFA Champions League's best defender award.

Better luck next time? Unlikely - and it is in a sense testament to the general underappreciation of defenders in an era that is well and truly lacking in the world class that has graced previous generations.

Team Prizes:

Champions League,
Premier League,
World Club Cup,
Community Shield

Individual Accolades:

Premier League Team of the Season,
FIFPro World XI


Sulmaan Ahmad, Goal.com
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The Goal.com 50: Gianluigi Buffon (17)
Goal.com's countdown to the greatest player of 2008 continues with arguably the best goalkeeper in world football: Gianluigi Buffon. A troubled year for several reasons, but you can bet that Superman will come flying back to reclaim his throne in 2009…

17 – Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus, Serie A - Score: 589

SuperGigi Discovers His Kryptonite

Let’s just say that Gianluigi Buffon might have been somewhat relieved to wave goodbye to 2008. The year started off in the best possible way for the Juventus and Italy stalwart, but then took a turn for the worse.

The former Parma youth product ushered in the New Year by welcoming the arrival of his first-born son Louis Thomas, as his partner Alena Seredova gave birth to the baby boy on December 28, 2007.

But just a few weeks into 2008, Gigi had a taste of the unfortunate year that lay ahead for him: after the home game with Sampdoria, he pulled up with lumbago, which flared up relentlessly throughout the rest of the campaign.

He missed the crunch Coppa Italia quarter-final ties with Inter, which saw the Bianconeri crash out of the competition, and also the Serie A games with Livorno and Cagliari, returning to action at the Stadio Friuli in Udine on February 10.

From then on, it was a constant battle with pain, but he nonetheless managed to give an important contribution to the Bianconeri cause in their first season back in the top flight after the Calciopoli events.

Three matches stand out in particular, in which Buffon superbly helped Juve realise their dream of completing a swift return to the cream of European football.

He managed to keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 home win over Roma on February 16, brilliantly keeping out a rasping Daniele De Rossi free-kick from over 30 yards towards the end of the game to further dent the Giallorossi’s title ambitions.

And he was also the Old Lady’s saviour in the thrilling meeting with Milan in April, as Claudio Ranieri’s men triumphed 3-2. But the Rossoneri had taken a 2-1 lead at the Stadio Olimpico and could have scored more during the first half, were it not for marvellous saves from Buffon, who dealt with a Kakà volley from distance and a Gennaro Gattuso looping effort. And his heroics made the difference, as Hasan Salihamidžic bagged a stunning brace to claim the Diavoli’s scalp.

But Gigi was even more decisive in the eagerly-anticipated showdown with arch-rivals Inter on March 23, when he frustrated the Nerazzurri's fearsome array of strikers, as Juventus condemned Roberto Mancini’s side to their only home defeat of the season.

Gigi Shuts Mutu Up

After featuring in the penultimate game against Catania, Buffon skipped the final chapter of the Serie A season to have more time to recharge his batteries ahead of Italy’s adventure at the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland.

But not even Superman could stop Holland cruising past the Azzurri in the opening encounter of the tournament, as the Oranje ran away 3-0 winners.

And the World Champions seemed on the cusp of a humiliating quick exit in the second game of the group stage, as Romania were awarded a penalty ten minutes from time with the score-line poised at 1-1.

But Buffon, who was also wearing the captain’s armband after Alessandro Del Piero had left the pitch, once again came to the rescue, admirably saving Adrian Mutu’s spot-kick to keep alive the Nazionale’s dreams of going through to the knock-outs.

Roberto Donadoni’s side then progressed at France’s expense, but Buffon’s unlucky record in penalty shoot-outs continued in the quarter-final clash with Spain, and there was no David Trezeguet to save the day for the Italians this time around…

His 2008 essentially ended at the Ernst Happel Stadium, as he suffered a lesion in his right thigh adductor muscle in the game with Palermo last October, and is expected to make his comeback to the starting XI after the Christmas break, when Siena will pay a visit to the Stadio Olimpico.

The lengthy recovery period has given him time to publish his autobiography – Number 1 – in which he revealed his brief battle with depression, while Premier League side Manchester City have continued to tempt him with a big-money offer which is likely to fall on deaf ears. After all, he did not jump ship after Juve were demoted to Serie B, so why should he do it now?

Austrian Alex Manninger has been outstanding between the posts during his absence and has managed to keep the Bianconeri within striking distance of leaders Inter, but he will now have to step down and hand the gloves back: Superman returns!

Team Prizes:
None

Individual Accolades:
None
 
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