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Pro Soccer Talk’s Top 100 World Cup players: 50-26

May 29, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT

Alexis Sanchez AP

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

50-41

source: Getty Images50. 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.

40-31

source: Getty Images40. 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.

30-26

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?

  1. jj871 - May 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    This list is pretty lousy. Hernandez & Drogba in the Top 40 but Schweinsteiger didn’t make the top 50? Zabaleta ahead of Ribery? How is De Rossi on the list even though he isn’t going to the WC for Italy?

    • Nicholas Mendola - May 29, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      Yes, yes and thanks for catching the last one. It was supposed to be Chiellini. Brain mess.

  2. Nick - May 29, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Is Buffon this high because he is this good a player now, or because of his reputation? I’m not sure he’s a clear cut above any of the keepers listed below him, and that high for a keeper that old, regardless of their skills, seems a bit hyperbolic.

  3. atxnole - May 29, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Chicharito’s ranking is of course absurd in comparison to some of the players below him. Still reeling at David Silva being 55th. Unbelievable frankly. Oscar above him? Oscar wishes he was at Silva’s level. He might be in 6 or 7 years, but he isn’t now.

    Ribery is kind of a tough one. He hasn’t played particularly well in 2014 so maybe he’s declining significantly but I’d put him top 20 typically. That Neymar is going to be in the top 25 is criminal btw.

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