Every Christmas Kristian Jack assembles his Top 100 Premier League players list. Now, remember this assortment of brilliance is not full of world class talent, at least not in the warped sense of the term that KJ has bastardized over recent times. Regardless, it is a list screaming out to be debated, and debate we do. I still don’t quite understand how he managed to select Darren Bent at number one last year, but I digress. I also lie.
This year, as he announced on Tuesday’s Footy First, KJ will be assembling a Top 100 All World players list, with the help of some the brightest most intuitive minds in the game… and me.
Hence, the process has started. It is incredibly hard. Each of us must submit a Top 35 list. Seems easy doesn’t it? And to be honest, as much as there are some great arguments to be made, I would judge that at least half my list are gimmes.
However, the challenging part is ranking these players.
One and two are formalities of course, Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leap to the top of the page on I would hope everyone’s list, except of course KJ who I am told has serious ambitions for Gabby Agbonlahor this year. But who is next?
Who is number three? Essentially the third best player in world football?
I am going to slot in some defenders into my list, maybe even a goalkeeper or two, but with all due respect, attacking players will dominate because, well they are just more fun to watch, and generally speaking are the game changers in any given match.
So then. Number three?
Xavi seems like a likely selection, but then is he really clearly the better player between himself and Andres Iniesta? What about Zlatan Ibrahimovic? A polarizing figure no doubt, but when motivated is there anyone outside of the top two able to dominate a match like him? Should Wayne Rooney receive consideration? What of Mezut Ozil? David Silva has seen his profile explode this season, while his some-time teammate Carlos Tevez has seen his stock plummet.
A cacophony of offensive magic up for consideration. Perhaps it will be easier to dip into the defensive pool at number three; Nemanja Vidic, Gerard Pique, Thiago Silva, even Vincent Kompany come to mind.
But then, how much fun would that be?
I am torn. I’m only at number three of thirty five and I am troubled. It is going to be a big job this; any help at number three will be much appreciated.