Think of a footballer! Quick!
Was it Messi? Ronaldo? Rooney? Zlatan?
Now think of a player from a top club.
DONE? I am pretty sure it wasn’t one of the following players mentioned below.
I’ll tell you why they should. When you watch a game, any game, you tend to follow the ball more than the players.
Unless you’re an overpaid judging reporter paid to watch and write about the game-Yeah, It’s the envy.
In any case, here are some players who your eye should catch even when they’re not in the limelight.
ESPECIALLY, when they are not in the limelight.
Put yourself in David Moyes’ shoes (I KNOW I KNOW! But humor me). Who would your first name on the team sheet be?
If you said Wayne Rooney, that’s understandable but not what Moyes or even SAF would do.
Over the past five years, It’s always been Michael Carrick.
That is exactly what I’m talking about.
Michael Carrick is the pivot. If Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie are the lions, he is the lioness.
He hunts the ball. And he feeds them. He is the link that bridges the chasm between defense and midfield and the earthquake that sets of the tsunamis of Manchester United attacks.
I am not going to give you a bunch of rubbish stats which don’t make any sense but I will ask you to watch him. Tear your eyes of Rooney (he isn’t that attractive anyway) and RVP and Mata (they are though) and watch him. With or without the ball.
This tiny little Brazilian (yes, he is a Brazilian) is the engine of the team. Playing the simple passes and making lung bursting runs in attack as well as to track back and nip counters in the bud.
Chelsea have had more managers in recent years than the stars in the observable universe but all of them have constantly picked this guy.
WHAT? Told you he was Brazilian.
If you don’t understand tactics and want me to explain what Ramires does, then think of him as Tazz.
Small, Fast, Full of running, never tired and VERY VERY Dangerous.
Now Atletico Madrid’s rise in La liga (yes there are other teams in the Spanish league.). But one player who stands out without REALLY standing out is Juanfran.
One of the best right backs right now, he recently won his first Spanish cap- A team at the moment, in which Juan Mata can’t get into. Solid with a mix of aggression and precise crosses, he is one of the vital cogs in Atletico’s challenge to the big two.
A key player in this side was Ander Herrera. Solid on the ball, neat in passing, excellent reading of the game, and clean tackling has made Manchester United sit up and offer 35 million for this young starlet.
35 million that was deemed inadequate by the Atheltic board.
As well as his football skills though, he is quite the actor. Joining the likes of Ashley young, Neymar, Drogba in ‘Footballers who aspire to be like Michael Phelps’.
This is my chance, MATUIDIIIIIIIII!
But, the chances of that happening are very rare. I’m talking about Matuidi scoring a goal, not me becoming a commentator. This is precisely why he isn’t kept on such a high pedestral.
For a midfielder with a tank full of energy, Matuidi is graceful but can also snap at you like a starved piranha. One of the vital cogs in the paris wheel, make no mistake, they are more likely to survive without Ibra than without him.
This Portuguese international is relatively obscure. But what does shine bright, is his talent.
A top class centre-back- good in the air, can play tight and defend deep, overall a real quality player.
Maybe he’ll be recognized more in the future. If only his hair didn’t look like worms crawling over a coconut.
Commanding in the box, excellent at shot stopping, commendable distribution and a good spring in his dives means he is solid yet spectacular.
Keep a look out for these players and you’ll understand why ballads should be written about these unsung heroes.
Football, Bloody hell.