Using a survey system across its global networks, ESPN has ranked David Luiz and Samuel Eto’o as the 50th and 48th best players in the World Cup. ESPN says that it ranked the Top 50 players “based on an extensive survey of ESPN writers, editors and TV analysts across all regions (ESPN FC, ESPN Argentina, ESPN Brazil, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Mexico)” and that it will reveal five every day until the World Cup begins.
David Luiz and Samuel Eto’o are no longer playing for Chelsea FC but for the purposes of this ranking system, we can presume that they used their last club season to rank the players which of course both spent with the Blues.
Here is what ESPN had to say about David Luiz who recently made a £50 million move to PSG:
Why he’s ranked: Many observers long opined that Luiz’s position was as a holding midfielder, but a succession of Chelsea managers persisted in picking him at the heart of their defence, even though he is prone to the odd high-profile error. Jose Mourinho eventually decided to deploy the 27-year-old in the more advanced position at the back end of this season, but he is likely to play in defence for Brazil at the World Cup — and for his potential new club, Paris Saint-Germain, once he completes a move this summer.
Key stat: Not only the most expensive defender in Chelsea’s history, thanks to his $42 million transfer from Benfica, but his reported $83 million move to PSG would make him the most expensive defender of all time.
What the experts say: “Together with Thiago Silva, they are the central defense couple any coach dreams to line up. And when the going gets tough, he is one of the tough guys that get going.” — Vito De Palma, ESPN Argentina
Here is what they had to say about Samuel Eto’o who is currently a free agent:
Why he’s ranked: Now 33, this former Real Madrid and Barcelona striker is convinced he remains a force at the very highest level of the game, and if his history is anything to go by, the Cameroonian legend deserves to be respected. He may not have been at his consistent best at Chelsea this season, but he delivered vital goals in key games, and his eagerness to give his all confirmed he has not lost his appetite.
Key stat: Eto’o is the only player in the world to ever win consecutive continental trebles (let alone for different clubs).
What the experts say: “He could be considered the best African footballer ever. His skill, mobility, speed and ability to score consistently make him one of the most complete forwards in the world.” — Carlos Zafra, ESPN Deportes
“Fast and excellent finisher, also has a perfect position in the field. One of the greatest players of the past decade.” — Gustavo Hofman, ESPN Brazil
“One of Africa’s greatest strikers in history. Victorious wherever he played, he is responsible for elevating Cameroon on the world stage.” — Leonardo Bertozzi, ESPN Brazil
“He isn’t the same Eto’o of Barcelona and Internazionale but he is still the star of Cameroon.” — Gian Oddi, ESPN Brazil
It’s too bad that neither Eto’o or Luiz are with the Blues but with another 45 spots up for grabs in the top 50 there is sure to be a few more Chelsea players in there. And who knows, maybe a few more will be with Chelsea by the time the next club season rolls around.
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