By Taha Kehar
Euro 2016 may have drawn to a close but the whiff of competition continues to hang in the air. Fans continue to recall the highlights of the game with a heady mix of nostalgia. Ink pays tribute to some of football players who have defied all odds and catapulted to the fame through their sporting prowess and commitment to the game.
#1 Manuel Neuer
He is, without a shred of doubt, the best goalkeeper in the world. This is not a hyperbole. Manuel Neuer has ensured that this exaggerated claims reaches appropriate justification. Neuer has been in form for the national team of Germany. The goalkeeper has also been part of a three-man shortlist nominated to win the FIFA Ballon D’or. However, he came in third and was beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi.
Neuer was also part of the German team that lifted the FIFA World Cup in Brazil 2014.
#2 Marco Reus
Marco Reus is one of the best young players in the Bundesliga. However, he has managed to surpass this achievement. He featured on the Top 10 Best Soccer Players In The World Right Now 2016.
Unfortunately, Reus was not able to participate in as many games as his fans expected him to. The football player was injured and had to pass on the world cup for this reason. It would be unfair to exclude him from the league of extraordinary football players on a mere technicality. After all, missing a season has not adversely impacted his skills.
#3 Gareth Frank Bale
Gareth Frank Bale is a Welsh football player. He plays as a winger for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Wales national team. According to sports commentators, Bale is known for his ball-striking from distance and his ability to get past defenders with pace.
The football player has been lauded by his contemporaries. Many of them have billed him as a footballer with considerable speed and “a great left foot and exceptional physical qualities”.
Bale initiated his career at Southampton, playing at left-back and earning acclaim as a free kick specialist. He moved to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007,. With time, managerial and tactical shifts helped him transmogrify into a more attacking player.
Bale was a vital part of the team during the 2009–10 season. He rose to international fame during the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League. As a result, several titles and awards were conferred on him. In 2011 and 2013 he was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year, and was named in the UEFA Team of the Year. In 2013 he was also named PFA Young Player of the Year and the FWA Footballer of the Year.
#4 Eden Hazard
He has been touted as one of the best players in the Premier League. He has also been favoured as a viable candidate to bag the player of the year award, He has also been featured on the list of the Top 10 Best Soccer Players In The World Right Now 2016. There’s simply no way to avoid Eden Hazard in the world of football. He has been in form for Chelsea this season and has already scored 15 plus goals already. Hazard has also been compared to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
#5 Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero was Manchester City’s top scorer this season. He is believed to be the best player and has also played a pivotal role in Manchester City‘s recent success. This time around, Aguero alone scored 17 Premier League goals. He is the third highest goal scorer in the Premier League. He is preceded by Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Tottenham‘s Harry Kane.
#6 Neymar JR
Barcelona winger Neymar JR remains indefatigable. He has been a vital player ever since he joined Barcelona. Neymar has earned a considerable number of goals for his team since he came onboard in 2013. Although he is only 22, he has proved that age and exposure has little to do talent. The prowess and energy he exhibits on the pitch is what makes a difference in the larger scheme of thing. Neymar is also the captain of Brazil’s national team.