It's a Knockaert

The ramblings of a football obsessive and Game of Thrones nerd.


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My Top 100 Footballers 2016

It’s that time of year when I cast aside all essays and assignments, and bring to you my totally unscientific, totally biased, top 100 footballers list. Prepare for hot takes.

100. Aymeric Laporte – Athletic Bilbao and France (NEW)

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99. Serge Aurier – Paris Saint-Germain and Ivory Coast (NEW)

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98. Riyad Mahrez – Leicester City and Algeria (NEW)

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97. Daniele De Rossi – Roma and Italy (Down 30)

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96. Mateo Kovacic – Real Madrid and Croatia (NEW)

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95. Mario Gotze – Borussia Dortmund and Germany (Down 40)

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94. Samir Handanovic – Inter Milan and Slovenia (Down 18)

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93. Yaya Toure – Manchester City and Ivory Coast (Down 58)

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92. Adrien Rabiot – Paris Saint-Germain and France (NEW)

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91. Cesc Fabregas – Chelsea and Spain (Down 50)

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90. Blaise Matuidi – Paris Saint-Germain and France (Down 24)

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89. Vincent Kompany (Down 26)

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88. Gianluigi Donnarumma – AC Milan and Italy (NEW)

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87. Ever Banega – Inter Milan and Argentina (NEW)

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86. Yannick Carrasco – Atletico Madrid and Belgium (NEW)

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85. Edinson Cavani – Paris Saint-Germain and Uruguay (Down 32)

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84. Saul Niguez – Atletico Madrid and Spain (NEW)

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83. Fernandinho – Manchester City and Brazil (NEW)

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82. Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid and Spain (NEW)

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81. Douglas Costa – Bayern Munich and Brazil (Down 35)

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80. Nemanja Matic – Chelsea and Serbia (Down 21)

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79. Filipe Luis – Atletico Madrid and Brazil (NEW)

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78. Samuel Umtiti – Barcelona and France (NEW)

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77. Juan Mata – Manchester United and Spain (Down 27)

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76. Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea and Belgium (Down 56)

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75. Julian Weigl – Borussia Dortmund and Germany (NEW)

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74. Gabi – Atletico Madrid and Spain (NEW)

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73. Radja Nainggolan – Roma and Belgium (Up 4)

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72. Marek Hamsik – Napoli and Slovakia (Up 3)

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71. Claudio Marchisio – Juventus and Italy (Up 3)

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70. Mauro Icardi – Inter Milan and Argentina (Up 2)

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69. Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus and Italy (Up 1)

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68. Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon and France (Up 13)

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67. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Manchester United and Armenia (Down 7)

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66. Joshua Kimmich – Bayern Munich and Germany (NEW)

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65. Mohamed Salah – Roma and Egypt (NEW)

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64. Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 47)

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63. David De Gea – Manchester United and Spain (Down 12)

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62. Miralem Pjanic – JuventusĀ and Bosnia (Down 19)

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61. Mats Hummels – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 4)

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60. Andrea Barzagli – Juventus and Italy (NEW)

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59. Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich and Netherlands (Down 44)

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58. Paul Pogba – Manchester United and France (Down 28)

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57. Javier Mascherano – Barcelona and Argentina (Down 24)

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56. James Rodriguez – Real Madrid and Colombia (Down 32)

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55. Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund and Germany (Down 28)

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54. Roberto Firmino – Liverpool and Brazil (Up 33)

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53. Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea and Spain (Up 8)

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52. Raphael Varane – Real Madrid and France (Up 27)

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51. Franck Ribery – Bayern Munich and France (Up 11)

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50. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool and Brazil (Up 50)

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49. Isco – Real Madrid and Spain (Down 7)

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48. Gerard Pique – Barcelona and Spain (Down 4)

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47. Xabi Alonso – Bayern Munich and Spain (Up 5)

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46. Angel Di Maria – Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina (Down 27)

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45. Keylor Navas – Real Madrid and Costa Rica (Down 17)

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44. Harry Kane – Tottenham and England (Up 46)

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43. Dimitri Payet – West Ham United and France (NEW)

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42. Pepe – Real Madrid and Portugal (NEW)

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41. Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City and Germany (Down 7)

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40. Thiago – Bayern Munich and Spain (Up 24)

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39. David Silva – Manchester City and Spain (Down 23)

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38. Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona and Croatia (Down 7)

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37. Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus and Italy (Up 58)

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36. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid and France (Up 2)

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35. Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 25)

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34. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal and Chile (Up 14)

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33. Paulo Dybala – Juventus and Argentina (Up 55)

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32. N’golo Kante – Chelsea and France (NEW)

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31. Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid and Slovenia (NEW)

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30. Thiago Silva – Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil (Down 16)

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29. Marco Verratti – Paris Saint-Germain and Italy (Down 3)

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28. David Alaba – Bayern Munich and Austria (Down 3)

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27. Koke – Atletico Madrid and Spain (Up 12)

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26. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid and Spain (Up 21)

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25. Diego Costa – Chelsea and Spain (Up 29)

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24. Jerome Boateng – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 2)

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23. Marcelo – Real Madrid and Brazil (Up 17)

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22. Arturo Vidal – Bayern Munich and Chile (Down 4)

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21. Gonzalo Higuain – Juventus and Argentina (Up 15)

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20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund and Gabon (Up 12)

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19. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Manchester United and Sweden (Down 10)

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18. Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus and Italy (NEW)

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17. Diego Godin – Atletico Madrid and Uruguay (Up 12)

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16. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City and Argentina (Down 11)

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15. Mesut Ozil – Arsenal and Germany (Down 3)

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14. Andres Iniesta – Barcelona and Spain (Down 8)

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13. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid and Wales (Up 36)

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12. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid and France (Up 33)

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11. Sergio Busquets – Barcelona and Spain (Down 3)

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10. Eden Hazard – Chelsea and Belgium (Up 13)

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9. Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 2)

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8. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City and Belgium (Up 29)

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7. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich and Poland (Up 6)

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6. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid and Portugal (Down 2)

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5. Neymar – Barcelona and Brazil (Down 3)

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4. Toni Kroos – Real Madrid and Germany (Up 17)

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3. Luka Modric – Real Madrid and Croatia (Up 8)

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2. Luis Suarez – Barcelona and Uruguay (Up 1)

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1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona and Argentina

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Fin.


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My Top 100 Footballers 2015

You know the drill.

100. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool and Brazil (NEW)

99. Domenico Berardi – Sassuolo and Italy (NEW)

98. Paulo Dybala – Juventus and Argentina (NEW)

97. Oscar – Chelsea and Brazil (Down 27)

96. Mathieu Valbuena – Lyon and France (No move)

95. Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus and Italy (Down 8)

94. Raheem Sterling – Manchester City and England (NEW)

93. Alex Teixeira – Shakhtar Donetsk and Brazil (NEW)

92. Hulk – Zenit St Petersburg and Brazil (NEW)

91. Yevhen Konoplyanka – Sevilla and Ukraine (NEW)

90. Harry Kane – Tottenham and England (NEW)

89. Kurt Zouma – Chelsea and France (NEW)

88. Miranda – Inter Milan and Brazil (NEW)

87. Roberto Firmino – Liverpool and Brazil (Down 27)

86. Javier Pastore – Paris St Germain and Argentina (NEW)

85. Carlos Bacca – AC Milan and Colombia (NEW)

84. Nolito – Celta Vigo and Spain (NEW)

83. Pablo Zabaleta – Manchester City and Argentina (Down 27)

82. Ricardo Rodriguez – Wolfsburg and Switzerland (Down 27)

81. Alexandre Lacazette – Lyon and France (NEW)

80. Grzegorz Krychowiak – Sevilla and Poland (NEW)

79. Raphael Varane – Real Madrid and France (Down 12)

78. Arda Turan – Barcelona and Turkey (Down 12)

77. Radja Nainggolan – Roma and Belgium (Up 23)

76. Samir Handanovic – Inter Milan and Slovenia (Down 2)

75. Marek Hamsik – Napoli and Slovakia (Down 7)

74. Claudio Marchisio – Juventus and Italy (NEW)

73. Daniel Alves – Barcelona and Brazil (NEW)

72. Mauro Icardi – Inter Milan and Argentina (NEW)

71. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham and France (Down 14)

70. Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus and Italy (Down 7)

69. Petr Cech – Arsenal and Czech Republic (NEW)

68. Carlos Tevez – Boca Juniors and Argentina (Down 16)

67. Daniele De Rossi – Roma and Italy (Down 9)

66. Blaise Matuidi – Paris St Germain and France (Up 9)

65. Shinji Kagawa – Borussia Dortmund and Japan (NEW)

64. Thiago Alcantara – Bayern Munich and Spain (NEW)

63. Vincent Kompany – Manchester City and Belgium (Up 1)

62. Franck Ribery – Bayern Munich and France (Down 15)

61. Cesar Azpilicueta – Chelsea and Spain (Down 11)

60. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Borussia Dortmund and Armenia (NEW)

59. Nemanja Matic – Chelsea and Serbia (Down 8)

58. Javi Martinez – Bayern Munich and Spain (Down 9)

57. Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund and Germany (Down 17)

56. Mehdi Benatia – Bayern Munich and Morocco (Down 11)

55. Mario Gotze – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 26)

54. Diego Costa – Chelsea and Spain (Down 29)

53. Edinson Cavani – Paris St Germain and Uruguay (Down 15)

52. Xabi Alonso – Bayern Munich and Spain (Down 4)

51. David De Gea – Manchester United and Spain (Up 3)

50. Juan Mata – Manchester United and Spain (Down 4)

49. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid and Wales (Down 13)

48. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal and Chile (Down 9)

47. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid and Spain (Down 13)

46. Douglas Costa – Bayern Munich and Brazil (NEW)

45. Antoine Griezmann – Atletico Madrid and France (Up 33)

44. Gerard Pique – Barcelona and Spain (NEW)

43. Miralem Pjanic – Roma and Bosnia (Down 2)

42. Isco – Real Madrid and Spain (Down 19)

41. Cesc Fabregas – Chelsea and Spain (Down 24)

40. Marcelo – Real Madrid and Brazil (Up 41)

39. Koke – Atletico Madrid and Spain (Down 13)

38. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid and France (Down 3)

37. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City and Belgium (Up 39)

36. Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli and Argentina (Up 29)

35. Yaya Toure – Manchester City and Ivory Coast (Down 14)

34. Ilkay Gundogan – Borussia Dortmund and Germany (Up 45)

33. Javier Mascherano – Barcelona and Argentina (Down 1)

32. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund and Gabon (Up 59)

31. Ivan Rakitic – Barcelona and Croatia (No move)

30. Paul Pogba – Juventus and France (Up 31)

29. Diego Godin – Atletico Madrid and Uruguay (Down 7)

28. Keylor Navas – Real Madrid and Costa Rica (NEW)

27. Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund and Germany (Up 6)

26. Marco Verratti – Paris St Germain and Italy (Up 57)

25. David Alaba – Bayern Munich and Austria (Up 18)

24. James Rodriguez – Real Madrid and Colombia (Up 13)

23. Eden Hazard – Chelsea and Belgium (Up 7)

22. Jerome Boateng – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 4)

21. Toni Kroos – Real Madrid and Germany (Down 9)

20. Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea and Belgium (Down 1)

19. Angel Di Maria – Paris St Germain and Argentina (Down 4)

18. Arturo Vidal – Bayern Munich and Chile (Up 2)

17. Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 13)

16. David Silva – Manchester City and Spain (Up 11)

15. Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich and Holland (Down 1)

14. Thiago Silva – Paris St Germain and Brazil (Down 4)

13. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich and Poland (Up 11)

12. Mesut Ozil – Arsenal and Germany (Up 32)

11. Luka Modric – Real Madrid and Croatia (Down 2)

10. Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich and Germany (Up 6)

9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Paris St Germain and Sweden (Down 2)

8. Sergio Busquets – Barcelona and Spain (Up 5)

7. Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich and Germany (Down 2)

6. Andres Iniesta – Barcelona and Spain (Up 2)

5. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City and Argentina (Up 1)

4. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid and Portugal (Down 2)

3. Luis Suarez – Barcelona and Uruguay (No move)

2. Neymar – Barcelona and Brazil (Up 9)

1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona and Argentina (No move)


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Some stats about my Top 100 Footballers

Nationalities:

Spain – 20

Germany – 15

Brazil – 11

France – 11

Italy – 9

Argentina – 7

Belgium – 5

England – 2

Other – 20

Leagues

La Liga – 28

English Premier League – 27

Bundesliga – 19

Serie A – 18

Ligue 1 – 7

Other – 1

Clubs

Barcelona – 12

Bayern Munich – 11

Real Madrid – 11

Manchester City – 7

Juventus – 7

Borussia Dortmund – 6

Arsenal – 5

Chelsea – 4

PSG – 4

Atletico Madrid – 4

Manchester United – 3

Other – 26

Positions

Goalkeepers – 9

Defenders – 21

Midfielders – 49

Strikers – 21


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My Top 100 Footballers 2013

Trying to rank footballers is a largely pointless exercise – how can you ever say for sure that an ageing goalkeeper is better than an up-and-coming winger? Still, it’s good for creating debate and it’s kept me occupied for several hours of a boring Friday night, so here are my Top 100 Footballers for 2013 – and if I’m still doing this blog next year, I might even do it again, to see how it changes.

100. David Luiz – Chelsea and Brazil

99. Federico Marchetti – Lazio and Italy

98. Carlos Tevez – Juventus and Argentina

97. Antoine Griezmann – Real Sociedad and France

96. Mathieu Valbuena – Marseille and France

95. Lorenzo Insigne – Napoli and Italy

94. Shinji Kagawa – Manchester United and Japan

93. Simon Mignolet – Liverpool and Belgium

92. Samir Nasri – Manchester City and France

91. Yohan Cabaye – Newcastle and France

90. Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus and Italy

89. Mario Balotelli – AC Milan and Italy

88. Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham and Belgium

87. Laurent Koscielny – Arsenal and France

86. Alvaro Negredo – Manchester City and Spain

85. Daniel Agger – Liverpool and Denmark

84. Jack Wilshere – Arsenal and England

83. Per Mertesacker – Arsenal and Germany

82. Tim Krul – Newcastle and Holland

81. Joao Moutinho – Monaco and Portugal

80. Pedro – Barcelona and Spain

79. Mario Gomez – Fiorentina and Germany

78. Hulk – Zenit St Petersburg and Brazil

77. Koke – Atletico Madrid and Spain

76. Sandro – Tottenham and Brazil

75. Blaise Matuidi – PSG and France

74. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United and England

73. Julian Draxler – Schalke and Germany

72. Pablo Zabaleta – Manchester City and Argentina

71. Giuseppe Rossi – Fiorentina and Italy

70. Raphael Varane – Real Madrid and France

69. Javier Mascherano – Barcelona and Argentina

68. Ilkay Gundogan – Borussia Dortmund and Germany

67. Roman Weidenfeller – Borussia Dortmund and Germany

66. Stefan Kiessling – Bayer Leverkusen and Germany

65. Hernanes – Lazio and Brazil

64. Daniel Alves – Barcelona and Brazil

63. Claudio Marchisio – Juventus and Italy

62. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Borussia Dortmund and Armenia

61. Borja Valero – Fiorentina and Spain

60. Gerard Pique – Barcelona and Spain

59. Santi Cazorla – Arsenal and Spain

58. Mehdi Benatia – Roma and Morocco

57. Thibaut Courtois – Chelsea (on loan at Atletico Madrid) and Belgium

56. Marcelo – Real Madrid and Brazil

55. David Villa – Atletico Madrid and Spain

54. Alexis Sanchez – Barcelona and Chile

53. Dante – Bayern Munich and Brazil

52. Eden Hazard – Chelsea and Belgium

51. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham and France

50. Thomas Muller – Bayern Munich and Germany

49. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid and Spain

48. Diego Costa – Atletico Madrid and Spain

47. Xabi Alonso – Real Madrid and Spain

46. Oscar – Chelsea and Brazil

45. David Alaba – Bayern Munich and Austria

44. Andrea Pirlo – Juventus and Italy

43. Mats Hummels – Borussia Dortmund and Germany

42. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid and France

41. Paul Pogba – Juventus and France

40. Giorgio Chiellini – Juventus and Italy

39. Jordi Alba – Barcelona and Spain

38. Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund and Germany

37. Daniele De Rossi – Roma and Italy

36. Angel Di Maria – Real Madrid and Argentina

35. Arjen Robben – Bayern Munich and Holland

34. Mario Gotze – Bayern Munich and Germany

33. Vincent Kompany – Manchester City and Belgium

32. Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli and Argentina

31. Iker Casillas – Real Madrid and Spain

30. Marek Hamsik – Napoli and Slovakia

29. Javi Martinez – Bayern Munich and Spain

28. Luka Modric – Real Madrid and Croatia

27. David Silva – Manchester City and Spain

26. Toni Kroos – Bayern Munich and Germany

25. Juan Mata – Chelsea and Spain

24. Robin Van Persie – Manchester United and Holland

23. Sergio Busquets – Barcelona and Spain

22. Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich and Germany

21. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City and Argentina

20. Bastian Schweinsteiger – Bayern Munich and Germany

19. Radamel Falcao – Monaco and Colombia

18. Isco – Real Madrid and Spain

17. Edinson Cavani – PSG and Uruguay

16. Gareth Bale – Real Madrid and Wales

15. Cesc Fabregas – Barcelona and Spain

14. Mesut Ozil – Arsenal and Germany

13. Arturo Vidal – Juventus and Chile

12. Robert Lewandowski – Borussia Dortmund and Poland

11. Xavi – Barcelona and Spain

10. Neymar – Barcelona and Brazil

9. Yaya Toure – Manchester City and Ivory Coast

8. Philipp Lahm – Bayern Munich and Germany

7. Thiago Silva – PSG and Brazil

6. Franck Ribery – Bayern Munich and France

5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – PSG and Sweden

4. Luis Suarez – Liverpool and Uruguay

3. Andres Iniesta – Barcelona and Spain

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid and Portugal

1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona and Argentina

Let the debate begin…