Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Messi's Magnificent Run Against Venezuela

If only he had scored:

Gerrard may be at the top of his game just now, but can any player in the world really match Messi?

Here's a much longer tribute to Messi's efforts in that game:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ronaldo Leads in World Media Value

While Cristiano Ronaldo has fallen behind in global fan voting for the Best Player in the World, The Economics, Sports and Intangibles research group (ESIrg) at the Universidad de Navarra reports that the United star still leads the way in terms of "media value in football":

"We present the media value evolution of three selected top players after two months of competition. As in our precedent measurement, Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) is the current top player in terms of monthly media value. He is followed by Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) and Fernando Torres (Liverpool). The picture has nevertheless substantially changed in between, as right now, Cristiano Ronaldo has lost his previous absolute dominance in terms of global media attention. In fact, Fernando Torres first and Lionel Messi afterwards have become worldwide football reference in October. Media value leadership is completely open."

Footballers by Media Value (mid-season 2008/09 ):

1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
2) Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
3) Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
4) Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
5) Kaka (AC Milan)
6) Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
7) Ronaldinho (AC Milan)
8) Didier Drogba (Chelsea)
9) Robinho (Manchester City)
10) David Beckham (AC Milan, LA Galaxy)

> Info Source

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Capello says Gerrard is at the Top of his Game

"Zidane said Gerrard was one of the best in the world and I agree with him," said Capello.
"It is a fantastic time for him. He is at the very top of his game."

> Info Source

Terry says Rooney is one of the Best Players in the World

John Terry after England defeated Slovakia 4-0:

"Wayne has probably missed 20 games through injuries and suspensions, but he is very young, very talented and one of the best in the world that is for sure...I have said before to let Wayne play, because that is what he is best at doing..Wayne is growing into a very mature man both on and off the field."

> Info Source

Aldridge Agrees With Zidane: Gerrard is the Best Player in the World

"I know that the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs have received a lot of support for the PFA award but as well as they have done for Man United I just don’t think they contribute as much to their team as Steven does to Liverpool.

It is probably a bit easier to do well at United because they have so many match winners and world class players. Liverpool don’t have the same number so that means the likes of Steven have to do it on their own sometimes and the fact that he has managed to do it so often speaks volumes for what a magnificent player he is. I was trying to think of a weakness to his game and I honestly can’t think of any.

The way he performed against Aston Villa last Sunday was a great illustration of how good he is. Overall, he produced a fantastic display which was rewarded with a hat-trick.

Zinedine Zidane couldn’t have been more right when he came out and said Steven is the best player in the world because that is exactly what he is.

But whatever way the vote goes I think all Liverpool fans should just enjoy the fact that they have got the best player in the world playing for their team."

> Info Source

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Barnes says that Gerrard is the Best Player in the World

Liverpool and England legend, John Barnes:

“Player’s like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo may grab all the plaudits as attacking players and are rightly named as some of the world’s best but if you are talking about a complete player, then there is no-one better than Gerrard.”

“For me, he is the most complete player in the world and has been for some time.”

> Info Source

Claridge says Gerrard is the Best Player in the World

Setanta sports pundit, Steve Claridge, commented after Gerrard’s hat-trick against Aston Villa that in Steven Gerrard you have the best player in the world.

“His all-round game is just sensational.”

> Info Source

Friday, March 27, 2009

Benitez Says Gerrard is one of the Best Players in the World

“He would be my vote for the PFA award,” Benitez told The Irish Times.

“For me Stevie is one of the best players in the world. To say one is the best above anyone else is difficult because there are a lot of quality players about, but he is one of the best. That is clear.

“You know when he is on the pitch you have more options to win.”

> Info Source

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Veron says Messi is the Best Player in the World

"Today Messi is the best player in the world and when you have a player of those characteristics it is logical that everyone always looks to him to play. He knows how to assume his role," Veron declared to TyC Sports.Veron believes that the Barcelona superstar "has matured a great deal in the last two years, because he has accumulated experience."

> Info Source

Humble Gerrard Doesn't Believe he is Best

"It's very flattering and it makes me smile when people talk well about my game and how I'm performing," he said in a Champions League special on Setanta Ireland.

"But I don't agree with being the best midfielder in the world. There's a lot of fantastic midfield players out there and it's very nice to be talked about in terms of those top players.

"The players I admire now are playing at Barcelona. Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi and Xavi. They are the players I watch who really excite me and I think to myself they're on a different level to all other footballers out there."

> Info Source

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Gerrard Passes Torres in Best Player in the World Rankings

Our poll is just getting rolling but some interesting stuff is happening.

While Lionel Messi continues to have a huge lead over Cristiano Ronaldo in the Best Player in the World race for 2009, the news this week is that Steven Gerrard has moved into third place ahead of Liverpool teammate Fernando Torres.

McAteer thinks Steven Gerrard is better than Kaka

"When a player like Steven Gerrard, arguably the best player in the world at the moment, gets space then he'll hurt you all day long.

"You can't really compare him to Lionel Messi because they both influence the game in different ways.

"The closest to Steven Gerrard at the moment is probably Kaka - and I would say Gerrard is above him in the best player ratings.

"He influences the team all over and it's not just about the goals. It's what he does off the ball, his movement and the way he brings players into the game."

> Info Source

Redknapp says Modric is one of the Best Players in the World

"It was a great finish from a great little player. He's a top, top player - one of the best in the world in my opinion," gushed Redknapp on Sky Sports News."He's got so much ability. He's got a big heart as well and is a terrific footballer."

> Info Source

Friday, March 20, 2009

Future Best Players in the World (Video)

> Courtesy of: Football News 247

Capello Thinks Messi Could be as Big as Pele and Maradona

“Every era has a big superstar. First there was Pele and then there was Maradona. Perhaps Messi will be the superstar of the next decade.”

> Info Source

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Lawton: Torres Outshines Ronaldo

"For Ferguson the agony last week was the underperformance of players he has nurtured so relentlessly. While Torres flew, Ronaldo mostly fluttered. Yes, there are some considerable points to be made in defence of Ronaldo. In every game he attracts small battalions of markers. His physical resilience is remarkable, and, a glance at their records tells you, far more so than the injury-prone Spaniard. He remains, with the possible exception of Wayne Rooney, the United player most likely to produce a sublime intervention, as we saw last week when the two of them combined to snuff out the rising hopes of Mourinho. So where is the most pressing point of comparison? It is in the sense of Torres' commitment, of a determination to inflict all that he has for the benefit of the team. Torres and Gerrard are at present emitting it from their very pores. Lionel Messi, along with blinding virtuosity, is doing the same on behalf of Barcelona. But Ronaldo is not and this, surely, gives Ferguson quite as much concern as the fact that Vidic went missing for a day. Ronaldo's absence, after all, has been rather more protracted – a fact illuminated by nothing so much as the passion of Fernando Torres."

> Info Source

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Gerrard Says Torres is the Best Player in the World

"The Spaniard's all-round performance must surely rate as one of the finest from a visiting player at the ‘Theatre of Dreams', a display so full of vitality, so packed to the rafters with guile and deadeye finishing, that Liverpool skipper Gerrard felt the urge to declare that Torres is currently "the best player in the world". He may be right."

> Info Source

Lampard says Kaka is the Best Player in the World

“You get to play with and against the very best when you play for Chelsea, but Kaka is the only player in the world I would pay money to watch. Some of the things I have seen him do on the pitch amaze me...He has the lot — fantastic skill, pace, vision, great passing and he scores goals. As a midfield player you are lucky if you have three of those attributes...For me, he is the best player in the world and he’ll probably go down as one of the best ever. I’ve admired him for years. I look at a player like that and see if I can learn anything from him...And when a player enjoys watching another professional you know they are something special.”

> Info Source

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Is Zidane Right? Is Steven Gerrard the Best Player in the World?

"Is he the best in the world? He might not get the attention of (Lionel) Messi and Ronaldo but yes, I think he just might be...If you don't have a player like Steven Gerrard, who is the engine room, it can affect the whole team...He has great passing ability, can tackle and scores goals, but most importantly he gives the players around him confidence and belief...You can't learn that - players like him are just born with that presence.''

> Info Source

Friday, March 13, 2009

Making a Case for Wayne Rooney Being the Best Player in the World

Lawton Questions Ibrahimovic's Best Player in the World Status

"Internazionale will never be a beautiful team, they really don't have the means, but it is still the height of folly to show them even the odd hint that you might not be on top on your game. No, they don't often seize magically on the vulnerability of their opponents, not unless Zlatan Ibrahimovic finds the occasional vein of gold that recently persuaded Mourinho, if hardly anyone else, that he might be the best player in the world. However, there is the problem that if you don't put them away as briskly as you can there is every chance they will grow a little bigger, a little more awkward by the minute."

> Info Source

Thursday, March 12, 2009

That Rooney Pass: Could he be the Best Player in the World?

We're still unable to get that Rooney pass for the Ronaldo goal out of our heads.

Good thing because UEFA has forced Youtube to pull it off its site.

We do have this video though of Roo (and Giggs) speaking post-match:

Beautiful Messi Goal Versus Lyon

Perhaps the game was already over but Barcelona's third goal against Lyon yesterday was a beauty. Lionel slalomed through the yellow shirts of Lyon, did a give-go and then slid the ball into the corner. Wonderful stuff:

Rooney's Pass for Ronaldo's Goal

Ronaldo scored it (the second goal in United's 2-0 Champions League defeat of Inter) but Rooney made the goal with a sublime pass:

Even Ronaldo commented on the quaity of the pass: “I scored the second goal, with a brilliant cross from Wayne."

Rooney looked lively all night. And with all of the talk of who is the Best Player in the World, you could say that it is he who rivals Ronaldo and not Ibrahimovic.

> Info Source

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Today: Ibrahimovic Takes on Ronaldo

It has really only been due to manager Jose Mourinho that we have had Zlatan Ibrahimovic enter the Best Player in the World debate. For sure he is a superb player but the discussion this year really has to be based on Ronaldo and Messi. Still, we'll see what happens today as Mourinho's men from Milan attempt to knock off Sir Alex Ferguson's reigning European champs.

Inter could win. But will that necesarilly make the sublime Ibra the absolute best player in the world?

For the purposes of this project, what I'd really like to see is Ronaldo's United win and end up taking on Messi's Barcelona - preferably in the final - to give us more insight into which player really is the best.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Does Messi Need to Win Champions League to be Best Player in the World?

The debate in 2009 focused on Cristiano Ronaldo needing to win the Champions League and the Premiership in order to win the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards. For instance, Inter manager Jose Mourinho insisted on this.

But does this have to be so? Was that perhaps the world having trouble with Ronaldo winning the awards.

This year, if you read the media, everyone is saying that Messi is really the best. Even on our site, where the Best Player is voted on by the fans, Messi leads the way over Cristiano Ronaldo. But if you look at Barca and United, you could argue that United have a far greater chance to win the Champions League than Barca.

But what then? Should Ronaldo be named the Best Player in the World then? We don't think so. The team the Best Player plays on could at times be part of the equation but really, if you watch Youtube footage of Messi these days, like this:

you have to say that regardless of how Barca does, Messi is still looking like the Best Player in the World.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Kobe Bryant says Messi and Marta are the Best

"Although I am a great friend of Beckham, for me Messi and Barcelona are the best in the world, Marta is on the same pedestal of the Argentine player."

"I want to be near the best player in the world, she does incredible things with the ball at her feet and is a role model for my daughter Natalia."

> Info Source

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Juninho Says Messi is the Best

“Barcelona are the best team in Europe and for that reason, they are the favourites. In addition, they have the best player in the world today, Lionel Messi."

> Info Source

Guardiola Wants Protection For Messi

"One day they will really do some damage. Lately, he has been knocked to the floor almost every time he receives the ball...The referees have an obligation to protect players that are having that done to them. Not only Messi, but anyone."

> Info Source

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vucinic Prefers Eto'o

Roma's Mirko Vucinic thinks Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o is the Best Player in the World:

“Eto’o or [Lionel] Messi? I would say Eto'o, because he is an attacker like me.

“Between Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi? Messi, without a doubt,”

> Info Source

Messi Thinks Ronaldo is a Brilliant Player

"Of course it doesn't bother me at all that I didn't win (the player of the year award) this year," he said. "I've always said he was a brilliant player.

"His instincts are out of this world. Until you see him on the pitch, you don't realise what a physical presence he has.

"It is good to be recognised but it will depend on the titles Barca wins. Cristiano won the Champions League and the English league last season and that's why he deserved to be recognised."

> Info Source

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mourinho Again Claims Ibrahimovic is the Best Player in the World

"I think there are four outstanding players in the world. Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, [Lionel] Messi, and Kaka and I have one of them...At this moment, I think I have the best of the four, the best player in the world."

> Info Source

Ronaldo is still the Best Player in the World in 2009 fan polling

While Barcelona's Lionel Messi has been in scintillating form this season and has received the most mentions for "Best Player in the World" in the global media, it seems that the fans of the world are still behind Ronaldo.

While his lead is narrow, Ronaldo still has 35% of the votes in our poll. Messi has 32% of the votes and is closing in.

Liverpool's Fernando Torres sits in third spot with 5% of the fan vote.

The biggest gainers during the month of February were Englishmen Wayne Rooney (4%) and Steven Gerrard (3%).

Here's to you Ronnie:

Ibrahimovic believes he can do what Ronaldo has done

"Ronaldo is very strong and he is playing very well...He won the Ballon d'Or and the World Player of the Year and he won three trophies with the team...I have to continue doing well and then I will win the Ballon d'Or, but the most important thing is to win with the team."

> Info Source

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lampard the Best Player in the Shower

Soccer star Frankie Lampard credits for his success Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

``I have never had a manager who, while I'm standing in the shower cleaning my balls, tells me I'm the best player in the world...He did that. I'll never forget it. From that moment the extra confidence was in me. Not that I thought I was the best player in the world, but the manager who had just won the Champions League thought it. So I went out a different player.''

> Info Source

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ronaldo Wants African Kids to Believe That They Can Become the Best Player in the World

“I started to play sometimes in Madeira in the street. The kids there still love to play football and all would love to be professional footballers one day...What the kids (in South Africa) have to do is believe in themselves and try all the time. Everyone has an opportunity and if someone catches the opportunities it is very good. But believe is the best word.”

> Info Source

Kun Aguero Outshines Messi & Co.

Kun scored two goals to Messi's one as Athletico Madrid upset Barca 4-3 today in La Liga action.

The Best (Paid) Players in the World

1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan) - £166,000 per week
2. Kaka (AC Milan) - £166,000
3. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - £156,000
4. John Terry (Chelsea) - £140,000
5. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - £140,000
6. Thierry Henry (Barcelona) - £138,000
7. Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona) - 138,000
8. Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd) - £125,000
9. Ronaldinho (AC Milan) - £120,000
10. Andrei Shevchenko (AC Milan) - £120,000

> Info Source