FourFourTwo's Top 100 Players in the World 2013: 80-71
80. HUGO LLORIS
Nel periodo che va dal 1 novembre 2012 al 31 ottobre 2013, solo Joe Hart ha tenuto la porta inviolata in Premier League, 19 volte. Lloris arriva a 14 (Opta).
It’s official. You’re not allowed to discuss Hugo Lloris without mentioning the words 'sweeper-keeper' in the same sentence. About as close to a rush keeper as you’re going to get in the professional game, the French captain makes this year’s list having firmly established himself as Spurs No.1, dealing with shots, crosses and balls in behind the defence with equal ease.
79. DIEGO COSTA
SAPEVATE CHE...Nei primi tre mesi della Liga 2013/2014, Diego Costa ha realizzato 12 gol in 11 presenze con la maglia biancorossa dell'Atletico Madrid (Opta).
The spearhead of the Rojiblancos’ resurgence under Diego Simeone; the Brazil-born striker could have been plying his trade at Liverpool in 2013/14 but is banging in the goals for Atletico instead.
The 25-year-old bagged 13 goals in 13 La Liga appearances to start the campaign as the Vicente Calderon club kept up with defending champions Barcelona at the top of the standings and overshadowed city rivals Real.
78. SAMIR HANDANOVIC
SAPEVATE CHE...Nella passata stagione in Serie A, solo Mattia Perin (116) e Andrea Consigli (115) hanno effettuato più parate di Samir Handanovic (114) (Opta).
Only rock-bottom Pescara conceded more goals than Inter last season, which is hardly a glowing reference – and yet, unbelievably, things could have been far worse for the Nerazzurri without Handanovic in nets.
If anything, the Slovenian No.1 enhanced his reputation despite his club’s horrific season, displaying sharp reflexes and a commanding presence behind a leaky Inter defence. Manchester City are rumoured to be interested.
77. LEIGHTON BAINES
SAPEVATE CHE...Nessun difensore ha realizzato tanti assist quanto Baines nelle qualificazioni ai Mondiali: 3. (Opta).
Statistics do not a great player make, but Baines created the second-most chances in Europe’s top five leagues last season. From left-back. In a team that finished sixth.
76. DAVID VILLA
SAPEVATE CHE...Il miglior marcatore della storia della nazionale spagnola ha realizzato 11 gol in 32 presenze nell'ultima Liga (Opta).
Having spent large chunk of 2012 on the sidelines with a broken tibia, things were only really ever likely to get better in 2013.
75. ALVARO NEGREDO
SAPEVATE CHE...Negredo ha realizzato 22 gol dal novembre 2012 all'ottobre 2013, diventando il secondo miglior marcatore spagnolo dopo Roberto Soldado (25) (Opta).
After scoring 69 league goals over four years for Sevilla, Negredo earned his shot at Premier League stardom by joining Manchester City and has made an impressive start to life in England.
The powerful frontman netted in two of his opening three league appearances for his new club and wasted no time in striking up a potent partnership with another talismanic import from the Spanish top flight, Sergio Aguero.
EXCLUSIVE Alvaro Negredo interview in the new FourFourTwo
74. MICHAEL CARRICK
SAPEVATE CHE...Il centrocampista dello United è il giocatore che ha provato più passaggi nell'ultima Premier League (2773) (Opta).
In days gone by, pundits used to claim that flair players like Glenn Hoddle would have received a century of caps for any other country. A similar complaint could be made for 31-cap Michael Carrick, whose unflustered interceptions and distribution have kept Manchester United ticking over for going on eight seasons.
Expect Roy Hodgson to export his calming metronome to Brazil - and rightly so.
73. MARIO MANDZUKIC
SAPEVATE CHE...Con 4 gol è stato il capocannoniere della nazionale croata alle qualificazioni ai Mondiali (Opta).
Roughly a goal every other game isn’t bad going for your first season with Bayern Munich, let alone lifting a hat-trick of trophies to boot.
72. JAN VERTONGHEN
SAPEVATE CHE...Solo Glen Johnson (16) e Daniel Agger (15) hanno chiuso più gare senza subire gol. Vertonghen arriva a quota 14 (Opta).
A knack for the perfect last-gasp tackle and impressive composure in possession helped the versatile Tottenham star win a place in the Premier League’s team of 2012/13 at centre-back, despite playing at least a third of the season a left-back.
Although by his own admission the latter not his favoured position, it is where he’s likely to feature for Belgium at next summer’s World Cup.
71. DANIELE DE ROSSI
SAPEVATE CHE...De Rossi è il giocatore che ha toccato più palloni (1127) e ha completato il maggior numero di passaggi (839) di tutta l'ultima Serie A (Opta).
While 2012/13 may not have been a vintage season for the midfielder, De Rossi has been much improved this season under the watchful eye of new coach Rudi Garcia.