onsdag den 4. november 2009

The 200 best players in the world: 187-185

The list so far:

200: Alberto Zapater - Genoa - Spain
199: Nikola Zigic - Valencia - Serbia
198: Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid - Spain
197: Lucio - Inter - Brazil
196: John Obi Mikel - Chelsea - Nigeria
195: Sergio Busquets - Barcelona - Spain
194: Philippe Mexes - Roma -France
193: Anatolij Tymoshchuk - Bayern München - Ukraine
192: Theo Walcott - Arsenal - England
191: Aaron Ramsey - Arsenal - Wales
190: Pepe - Real Madrid - Portugal
189: Sergei Semak - Rubin Kazan - Russia
188: Alberto Aquilani - Liverpool - Italy

And it continues with:


Clarence Seedorf - Milan - Holland


Now at 33 years of age, few if any active players have achieved more in their careers than Seedorf.

He has won the Champions League title an incredible four times with three different teams (Ajax, Real Madrid and twice with Milan) and league titles in Holland, Spain and Italy.

For his national team it's been a far more bumpy ride but that's a whole other story...

Throughout his long career Seedorf has been a technical superb midfielder, one that could be used in any role there almost, able to make fine passes, short, long or cross and with his great ball control beat guys with his dribbling skills or participate in sweet combinations with skilled teammates.

These days due to age what he has lost is some pace. That in itself is very negative for any player.

He has probably lost some stamina too, though he certainly still works quite hard in most games.
But if we're talking game after game then it could be argued that he hasn't really been able to perform at a high level consistently in recent years. There are longer between the really good games you could say, and the bad ones make more appearances than they used to.

I'm not sure how much truth there is to it exactly, but I've certainly heard more than one Milan fan over the years suggest that Seedorf saved his best for the Champions League games while often being quite mediocre in Serie A.

What Seedorf has added though, and with him being part of (and at times contributing to) an aging struggling Milan team, the deciding factor in him still making this list, IS some real "veteran savvy".
He just plays smart and reads the game very well I think, relies on that more, now that his body isn't quite able to do what it once was.

You could say that there is at least one of Seedorf's midfield teammates who maybe it would do some good if he could somehow learn from that.


Diego Capel - Sevilla - Spain


Diego Capel is a very explosive winger. He has great acceleration, only knows one way, that is of course forward, and with the always impressive high energy that he brings to seemingly every game, can be an absolute terror for opposition defenders with his constant harassment.

I think that he especially excels when play is direct where as if the game is slower, for whatever reason, with more touches, that he loses some of his tremendous value compared to when the game is fast paced and of course especially compared to games where there are plenty of transition opportunities. The more of those for Capel, the better! He is really good in those situations.

In some ways of course the above is true for most players who thrives on pace but the really good ones of those I'll argue offer more to their teams and can vary their game more.
Be constructive in their actions further back in midfield. Just vary their play! Their whereabouts. Their passing. Their movement. Their play off teammates. Set a different tempo...

Capel it's my impression is just 100 percent dynamite winger who ideally should always get the ball when he can run effectively at someone or better, fast into space, like a Sevilla bull seing red, but of course that's not always possible and I'm not sure if other wing type of players (and I'm talking really really good ones much higher up including a certain teammate) don't offer more there.
Capel I don't feel have that many other dimensions to his game than run, dribble, cross the ball!
And that's actually fine when you do it all well like Capel does. I even think he can defend some too! But to get even higher up I think he needs to add even more to his game.

That he is seeing increased competition from talented teammate Diego Perotti I suspect could have to do with this as well. I'm actually not sure of Perotti, he doesn't have many games yet, but could he be a more well rounded player? Doing certain things better than Capel?

Yeah it's a tough world this but there is good news too! Capel is still only 21 and can only get better.

That is until of course, he gets old and slow... But that shouldn't happen for a while!


Yossi Benayoun - Liverpool - Israel

Attacking midfielder

Good at comforting John Terry?

With Benayoun it's relative simple. With his good technical ability he is good at creating goalscoring chances.
He can pass a decisive ball and he can make a decisive run.

Elsewhere than in the final third his value goes significantly down and he really isn't able to contribute much. Not even with the ball, unless surrounded by very good players, like good wingers or good fullbacks coming forward, and definitely not without the ball.

I do think he has improved his workrate quite a bit but he is still a bad defensive player that makes Liverpool worse there when he plays.
That can be helped when he is sort of put out on the wing himself where he doesn't have to "fill as much" but then he will often spend a lot of time too far away from where he is really good, like when deep in his own half having to make up a lot of ground, and then can't contribute much either.

Ideally he would always play just behind a striker and with good technical players near him but at Liverpool that's the preferred spot of someone who is better.
Still when him and Gerrard do both play they can produce very good things, but the team mostly will be worse defensively. It is of course up to the manager what he prefers. Literally, one way or the other.

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