Could these 10 stars force their way into FFT's next Top 100?

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As you may well be aware, this month’s issue of FourFourTwo magazine includes our take on the Best 100 Players in the World.

The selection process wasn’t easy (as mag editor David Hall explained last week), with as many as half the names discussed during deliberations unable to squeeze into the final 100.

As such, there are some very good players who missed out. Below are 10 of the players who just missed the cut this year, but that we expect to be in the running next time round…


Age 22
Position Midfielder
Club Santos
Nationality Brazilian
A potentially integral part of Brazil’s new breed, but lacks consistency and goals from midfield. It’s telling that it’s Neymar and Damiao being linked to Europe. Talented, but needs to step out of his team-mate’s shadow.

Alan Dzagoev
Age 21
Position Midfielder
Club CSKA Moscow
Nationality Russian
Made FFT’s longlist having been one of our under-20s to watch just six months ago. Already Russia’s main man and the reason CSKA’s Seydou Doumbia scores so many goals (look out for him too), the new Arshavin is on the verge of success.

Jan Vertonghen
Age 24
Position Defender
Club Ajax
Nationality Belgian
Won the title with Ajax, where he’s now captain, and appears regularly for Belgium despite competition from Thomas Vermaelen, Vincent Kompany and Daniel Van Buyten. As with Dzagoev, the real test will come in a bigger league.

Andre Ayew
Age 21
Position Forward
Club Marseille
Nationality Ghanaian
Narrowly missed out (along with team-mate Loic Remy), with 30 caps and a World Cup already under his belt. Impressed in patches against English teams in the Champions League, but has a tendency to disappear in big games.

Ashley Young
Age 26
Position Midfielder
Club Manchester United
Nationality English
An excellent start with United has silenced the doubters. It’s too soon now, but if he keeps up his early season form at domestic and international level, there’s no doubt he’ll be in with a strong chance of making our list next year.

Alvaro Negredo
Age 26
Position Forward
Club Sevilla
Nationality Spanish
The burly forward arrived in Andalusia in the summer of 2009, having won plaudits for his goal scoring exploits with Liga minnows Almeria. His first season at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán was unspectacular, but last term he rattled in 20 league goals and appears to have moved ahead of Fernando Torres in the international reckoning.
Another season like that will see his stock continue to rise.

Nuri Sahin
Age 23
Position Midfielder
Club Real Madrid
Nationality Turkish
Having inspired Borussia Dortmund to their first league title in nine years last season, Sahin was spirited away by the bright lights of the Bernabeu. His impact in the Spanish capital has thus far been minimal, with a knee injury restricting him to just one league appearance at the time of writing. His flair and creativity will likely make him a key figure in Jose Mourinho’s side sooner rather than later.

Kwadwo Asamoah
Age 23
Position Midfielder
Club Udinese
Nationality Ghanaian
A key member of the Ghana sides that in 2010 made the final of the African Cup of Nations and the quarterfinals of the World Cup. The fleet-footed midfielder has quickly become a key creative outlet for both club and country. His form at Stadio Friuli side helped the Bianconeri into the qualifying stages of the Champions League where he was among the players who looked most likely to trouble Arsenal.   

Maarten Stekelenburg
Age 29
Position Goalkeeper
Club Roma
Nationality Dutch
In joining Luis Enrique’s Barcelona-inspired project in the Italian capital, Stekelenburg became the first Dutchman to don the (now skin-tight) crimson shirt – or at least the goalkeeper’s equivalent. For his country, he has proved a more than capable replacement for Edwin Van der Sar, and at €6 million, he represents a steal for Roma, who are starting to get into their groove.

Ezequiel Lavezzi
Age 26
Position Forward
Club Napoli
Nationality Argentine
Lavezzi’s reputation may not have been enhanced to the same degree as Edinson Cavani by Napoli’s third placed finish of last season, but the Argentina international has already proven in this season’s Champions League campaign that he is a forward of the highest standard.

LIST FFT's Top Ten Goalkeepers
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LIST FFT's Top Ten Midfielders
LIST FFT's Top Ten Forwards