Is former Manchester United attacker Cristiano Ronaldo the world's greatest footballer? (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
I stumbled across a top 50 players in the world list from Back Page Football, and after going through it, I thought it had some thought-provoking choices. With there being so much recent debate in the media and with football fans around the globe as to who is better better between Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, I found it surprising that this list had the former Manchester United attacker ranked fifth. They've yet to unveil who they have ranked in their top three, but after seeing the other 47 players on the list, its not difficult to determine that it's Messi, Xavi, and Wesley Sneijder in some sort of order. Maybe the strongest credence to the list is that it isn't the work of one writer, its a compilation of 102 voters.
As for a United angle, three players made their list: Nemanja Vidic (#24), Wayne Rooney (#30), and Dimitar Berbatov (#49). I personally would rank Vidic higher and possibly in the top 10. Gerard Pique, Lucio, and Carlos Puyol are all center-backs that were listed higher than the Serbian, but I think a viable case could be made that Vida is second to none of them. It's amazing how much can change in a year; last March Rooney might be listed in the top 5, now you can argue whether he merits his top 30 spot or not. I would argue that Berba is borderline to crack a list such as this. The most shocking United player to be excluded from this list for me is Nani. The Portuguese attacker is one of the top players in the Premier League, and certainly a top 50 player in the world. I also believe a healthy and fit Rio Ferdinand could crack this list. A year or two ago, Patrice Evra could be argued to be rated as high.
Anyway, this is all subjective. Take a look at the rankings and feel free to share your opinions. Messi or Ronaldo? Are the United players fairly represented? Any glaring omissions? Any glaring undeserved inclusions?
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Who is the world's greatest footballer?
Lionel Messi (70 votes)
Cristiano Ronaldo (32 votes)
Xavi (6 votes)
Andres Iniesta (2 votes)
Wesley Sneijder (2 votes)
Other (please share in the comments) (10 votes)
122 total votes