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The world's greatest - Total Football's 'best of the rest'

Christmas is here and a new world class player would be at the top of any manager's festive wish list.

In a thoughtful mood at this time of year, the Total Football team pondered who those wish lists might contain.

Lionel Messi would be the top choice for any manager, including Pep Guardiola, and given that Barcelona are currently the world's best side, that means the little maestro will be going nowhere any time soon.

It's a similar story with Cristiano Ronaldo, who some Real Madrid fans will argue is a better player than Messi.

But who else would figure in a 'best of the best' list of players? 

Then we remembered. Back in October, our very own Jasmit Jabbal took on the challenge of selecting who he believed were the 'best of the rest' behind Messi and Ronaldo.

Three Premier League players made it onto his shortlist. One in particular has gone from strength to strength - and so has the team he plays for.

Below is what Jasmit had to say back in October (appearances etc were correct at the time of writing).

Why not have YOUR say and tell us your 'best 11' in 2011 - just send an email to: mark.roach@totalfootballmag.com. 

City slickers making an impact... 

If you asked the average football fan, professional footballer or international manager who the best player in the world is right now their answer would most likely be Messi. You might even get the odd nod for Ronaldo, Iniesta or Xavi.

Very few would stray beyond this talented quartet. It is seemingly a given that these four players are the greats of this generation, and are already mentioned among the greats of all time.

But what of the other contenders for inclusion in that elite band of players? The glaring limelight on Messi and co is perhaps unfairly talking some shine of the other top talent.

In tribute to the lesser glorified but still world class players who are entertaining their club's fans, here is Total Football's top five of the best of the rest:

David Silva – Manchester City

Since the diminutive Spaniard arrived from Valencia he has been the brightest star amongst the galaxy of talent in City’s ranks. He skillfully weaves past opponents and unlocks defences with deft passes, already notching five assists in eight Premier League games this season. It says a lot that among the mass array of talent available to Mancini, Silva is among the first names on the team sheet. Silva recently demonstrated his sublime form for the national side, scoring twice as Spain defeated Scotland 3-1 recently. At only 25 years old, the revolution at the Etihad Stadium will surely revolve around the former Los Che schemer.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City

Considering the amount of money that the club has spent, it is unsurprising that they have two entries on this list. Kun Aguero has been simply scintillating since his arrival from the mattress makers in the summer. Nine goals and two assists in ten appearances tell its own story. Husband to Maradona’s daughter, the explosive Argentinean’s blistering start has dismissed any hangover from Tevez gate, imagine how formidable he will be once he settles!

Edison Cavani – Napoli

The Uruguayan (pictured) has picked up from where he left off last season with two strikes in the Champions League and a sensational hatrick against reigning Seria A champions AC Milan. Having fired Napoli into the Champions League and aided his national side lift the Copa America, the former Palermo man will be hoping to lead Napoli to a successful title challenge this season.

Falcao – Atletico Madrid

It came as a bit of a surprise when the Colombian left Portuguese champions and Europa Cup winners Porto to join the mattress makers, but last season’s Europa Cup top scorer has made an impressive start to his career at Vicente Calderon. With the unenviable burden of a hefty price tag and the burden of replacing Kun Aguero, Falcao has already notched up five league goals.

Robin Van Persie – Arsenal

Considering that Arsenal are currently in a crisis and have supposedly lost all their best players, it may come as a surprise that the latest man Wenger has tried to retain - by giving the seemingly cursed arm band to - has made the list. However, with 22 goals in his last 25 outings, the new captain is in the form of his life. The Dutch international finally seems to be rid of the injuries that looked destined to undermine his obvious talent and now, with his body letting his talents come to the fore, the Arsenal front man has smashed in seven goals in 12 games. All the more impressive considering his side are in crisis.

By Jasmit Jabbal


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