In the second part of ten blogs over the upcoming week and a half, I will be continuing the Top 100 Players countdown from 90th-81st place on our chart. I thought that to start this blog, I would recall a few of the international tournaments this year. 2011 started with the Asian Cup-which took place in the land of the future World Cup hosts Qatar-and the tournament failed to disappoint with Japan beating Australia in the final through an extra time goal by Tadanari Lee. In June was the Gold Cup with Mexico the eventual victors as they beat USA 4-2 and this included a wonder goal by frustrated Tottenham midfielder Giovani Dos Santos. The Copa America was arguably the year’s biggest international tournament, in which Uruguay won with a resounding 3-0 final victory over Paraguay but the tournament was great for its unpredictability with Argentina and Brazil going out in the quarter finals and Venezuela and Peru making it to the semi finals, with the latter team gaining 3rd place. Now let’s get cracking on with the countdown from 90-81.
90- Fernando Amorebieta—Athletic Bilbao—Venezuela—Defender
The Venezuela international is gaining well deserved recognition from inside the game after impressing for both club and country in the past year. He has been a key cog to both Marcelo Bielsa and his predecessor Joaqauin Capparos’ sides at Bilbao, in which he helped the club to impress both in La Liga and the Europa League. He also made his long awaited debut for Venezuela and he scored his first goal against Argentina in a 1-0 victory for his country in a World Cup qualifier.
89-Michel Vorm—Swansea City—Holland—Goalkeeper
Brendan Rodgers must be overjoyed at the form of goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who he brought from Utrecht for what now seems a bargain price of £1.5 million pounds. Despite shipping four on his debut away to Manchester City, he gained plaudits for his performance and has gone from strength to strength since then. He has kept 8 clean sheets in 16 matches so far, which is the league’s best and he has also lived up to his nickname of “The Penalty Killer” by saving two penalties so far.
After spending the 2010-2011 season adjusting to life in the top division of French football, Giroud has taken France by storm this season with his 12 goals helping the unfashionable Montpellier to top the league after 18 games so far. He has equalled the amount of goals he scored last season in twenty less matches and he also gained his first couple of caps for France after impressing Laurent Blanc. The only way is upwards for the 6ft 3in striker literally.
87- Carles Puyol—Barcelona—Spain—Defender
You might be surprised that the Barcelona captain is so low on the list but his placing is due to the fact he has struggled with injuries over the past year and has only featured in 22 league games. However he is still a key part of the sides for both club and country where his all round defensive abilities and leadership skills make him an integral part of both teams both on and off the pitch and he could succeed club manager Pep Guardiola when he leaves the side.
The son of legendary Abedi Pele has followed in his father’s footsteps by winning the annual BBC African footballer of the year award after impressing at his father’s old club of Marseille. He has found his goal scoring touch with the player who likes to be called as Dede getting 12 goals in 21 games this season from midfield. He has now stepped out of his dad’s shadow and is now looking to establish himself as a Ghana legend by helping them win the upcoming African Cup of Nations.
The versatile Pereira, who is most comfortable playing at wingback, played an essential part in his club side Porto’s Liga Sagres and Europa League victories and Uruguay’s Copa America win. He has a good cross and shot, which helped him to score twice at the Copa America. He signed a new contract for Porto in October after the club rejected offers from Chelsea for the 26 year old to reunite with his former boss Andre Villas Boas.
Lavezzi is probably the closest Argentina will come to Maradona in terms of career direction as he is adored by Napoli fans and he is starting to make an impact on the Argentina side. He helped his club side to reach the Champions League with 6 goals and 12 assists in 31 league matches last season and this form has led him to be linked to the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City and it is not hard to see why but staying at Napoli will be the best decision the Argentinean can make.
Having signed for Marseille as a winger, Remy was moved to the central striker position after Andre Pierrer Gignac’s struggle for from and he hasn’t let his manager Didier Deschamps down. He has a strike rate of almost a goal every two games and he uses the acceleration from his winger days to great effect. He has also become a regular in the national side under Laurent Blanc with 3 goals and an assist in the 6 games he has played for his country in 2011.
Udinese’s great league form over the past two seasons has been helped by the success of Slovenia’s first choice goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and he saved an astonishing SIX penalties last season to help his club qualify for the Champions League. Despite stating his happiness at Udinese he said “, I am thinking about a big club … I like to take steps forward in my career and if I move on to a different team then it will be to improve myself” and this might happen for the goalkeeper.
81-Fernando Llorente—Athletic Bilbao—Spain—-Striker
It is hard not to like the lanky Spain striker who is imposing his mark even more on the Spanish team, with many people now preferring him to Fernando Torres due to him giving the side something different due to his height. He has stayed loyal to Bilbao but 23 goals in his last 51 league games for the Basque side has attracted plenty of interest from abroad but a move to a big club either home or away beckons in the upcoming year for the goal scoring and more agile version of Andy Carroll.
Thanks for reading the Top 100 so far from the players ranked 90th-81st on the list. Please comment on what you think so far and if you think some players are being underrated or perhaps the opposite, tell me what you think. The next instalment of players ranked from 80th-71st will be uploaded on Wednesday.
Also, can you sign this petition to help Barnet FC stay at Underhill for the foreseeable future as they have been told by the Football League they can’t stay there next season due to Barnet Council’s pathetic stipulations and hypocrisy. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/keeping-barnet-fc-at-underhill/
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