May 29, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT
Pro Soccer Talk asked each of our writers to submit a list of the 50 top players heading to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which would then be combined to make our Top 100 players for the tournament. The rationale was to be pretty broad, with neither limitation nor minimums placed on number of representatives per country or position. After the submitted lists, players were given weighted points for their position on individual lists. A bonus was given if a player was named by each of our writers.
Surely there will be some awful omissions, players placed higher or lower than expected and a bevy of other issues with the list… but that’s why we do lists. There’s much to be discussed. How overvalued is Premier League play, and are English and American players being overvalued (probably and maybe)? Are older players getting lower spots on reputation versus current impact?
In the meantime, we promise not to make you click “next” 100 times. Just check back every day for the next 25 until we arrive at Friday’s thrilling finale.
MORE: Pro Soccer Talk’s Top 100 World Cup Players: 100-76 | 75-51 | 50-26 | 25-1
50. Steven Gerrard, England
49. Tim Howard, United States
48. Thiago Motta, Italy
47. Keisuke Honda, Japan
46. Hugo Lloris, France
45. Oscar, Brazil
44. Iker Casillas, Spain
43. Giorgio Chiellini, Italy
42. Diego Costa, Spain
41. Pepe, Portugal
Analysis: This is where you see names that jump out at you for the wrong reasons. People reacted with vitriol when Schweinsteiger was outside the Top 50, and surely the same will happen with Howard and Gerrard being inside. Is either a Top 50 player in this tournament? Debatable. Keepers are always tricky, and so Lloris and Casillas being just ahead of Howard seem about right.
40. Javier Hernandez, Mexico
39. Daniel Sturridge, England
38. Didier Drogba, Ivory Coast
37. Edin Dzeko, Bosnia and Herzegovina
36. Per Mertesacker, Germany
35. Mario Balotelli, Italy
34. Juan Mata, Spain
33. Romelu Lukaku, Belgium
32. Dani Alves, Brazil
31. Alexis Sanchez, Chile (above)
Analysis: Star-studded group, obviously, and just a pair of defenders in the bunch. Are Drogba and Chicharito getting this high on reputation alone? Likely, while there are some real World Cup X-factors in Dzeko, Balotelli and Lukaku here.
30. Karim Benzema, France
29. Franck Ribery, France
28. Gigi Buffon, Italy
27. David Luiz, Brazil
26. Pablo Zabaleta, Argentina
Analysis: Luiz could very well be the key to Brazil’s tournament, while ageless Buffon gets the nod over the other keepers mentioned. How many will be in the Top 25 tomorrow?
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