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Published by Sudip Khanal

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Published by: Sudip Khanal on Jun 17, 2010
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06/17/2010

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1
Country
: Argentina
Club Team
: Barcelona
Position
: Forward
Age
: 22
STATISTICS
NATIONAL TEAM41 appearances, 13 goalsWORLD CUP2006: 3 app, 1 goal
Lionel Messi is the best pound-for-pound soccer player in the world, and perhaps of all time. At 22,Messi has won just about everything there is to win, both individually and in club soccer. Missing isany sort of hardware with Argentina, aside from an Olympic gold medal. Messi's game relies on itsunpredictability and magnificent control of the ball, which seldom demurs to anything Messi asks it todo. Listed at a charitable 5-foot-7, he's even a good header. While transcendent with his club,Barcelona, in the last few years (his 17 goals this season are tied for the most in Spain), the knock onMessi has been that he doesn't match that dominance for Argentina. For the most part, this is blamedon Argentina manager Diego Maradona's refusal to deploy him in his natural position -- on the right,allowing him to cut in -- and posting him behind a deep striker instead. Maradona, one of the best of all time as a player, has named Messi his successor as Argentina's soccer savior, a label that has proved disastrous for all others so designated previously by Maradona.
Scouting thumbnail:
Technical genius with a low center of gravity and pace who can break downany defense off the dribble and conjure something out of nothing. Struggles when used as a striker and prefers playing out wide and cutting in on his left foot.
RankPlayer
2
 
Country
: Portugal
Club Team
:
 
Real Madrid
Position
: Midfielder
Age
: 25
STATISTICS
NATIONAL TEAM68 appearances, 22 goalsWORLD CUP2006: 6 app, 1 goal
"Buy that kid," Manchester United players told manager Alex Ferguson after an 18-year oldCristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, whose middle name allegedly honors Ronald Reagan, hadtorched Man U in a friendly in the summer of 2003. Ferguson obliged his players' wishes,shelling out some $20 million and handing Ronaldo the No. 7 jersey, previously worn by legendsGeorge Best, Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and David Beckham. Ronaldo responded by outdoingall of the aforementioned in a six-year romp during which he scored 118 goals and won threePremier League titles, one Champions League and one Club World Cup, swiping 42 individual prizes, including the 2008 FIFA World Footballer of the Year, along the way. Last summer,Ferguson sold him to Real Madrid for a record $132 million. Ronaldo has become a lethaldribbler, superlative header and long-distance shooter and one of the better free-kick takers on the planet and will anchor an aging Portugal looking to shine one last time.
Scouting thumbnail:
Explosive, pacy and an astonishingly prolific goal scorer for a winger.Specializes in long-range free kicks and shows the ability to shoot from anywhere.
RanPlayer
3
Country
: England
Club Team
: Manchester United
Position
: Forward
Age
: 24
 
STATISTICS
NATIONAL TEAM57 appearances, 25 goalsWORLD CUP2006: 4 app, 0 goals
When Wayne Rooney broke through internationally at just 17 years of age and took his placenext to then-England striker Michael Owen, a British journalist referred to them as "the baby-faced assassin and the assassin-faced baby," with Rooney accounting for the less flattering of thedescriptions. An England side without him has become unimaginable, as the Liverpool-bornRooney developed into a world-class striker in a country starved for them. The highly athleticRooney has reinvented his position, swerving all over the attacking half of the field to drop back into midfield when needed or provide the final tap on a goal. With former teammate CristianoRonaldo now in Spain, Rooney has carried the scoring load for Man U, leading the Premier League with 23 goals. Rooney sports a tattoo that says, "Just Enough Education To Perform."While this may be generous, his on-field intelligence is off the charts. One half of another British power couple, Rooney and his wife Colleen have taken England by storm, he as a soccer player and she as a fitness guru/fashion commentator of some sort.
Scouting thumbnail:
Complete striker who can play anywhere across the front three. Powerful build and aggressive attitude poses problems for any defense. Can score any type of goal and hasimproved his finishing skills.
RankPlayer
4
Country
: Brazil
Club Team
: Real Madrid
Position
: Midfielder
Age
: 27

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