Football is arguably the most popular sport on the planet, although in 2012, the sport had to take a back seat with greater focus on the Olympics across the globe. Nevertheless, the greatest footballers on the planet continued to entertain week in and week out, come rain or shine (although maybe not snow). Some of the greatest sporting moments of 2012 revolved around the beautiful game, such as the remarkable unbeaten season for Juventus in Italy, or the adrenaline-fuelled finish to the Premier League season.
Upcoming is a list of 50 footballers that have had standout years at their clubs and have captured the attention of fans more than any others. Of course this is a subjective list, and some who many consider deserving will be left out. As a fan, I tried to note down players who I would love to see playing for my favourite team, and people that have helped their own squads reach the very peak of their leagues.
I have also listed their FIFA 13 stats, in order to give an impression of how grandly these players are rated in the world’s premier football simulation video game. You can then make your mind up as to whether they have been over/under-exaggerated by the game, and maybe also help you decide on who could be filling up your ultimate team for the next few months.
50. Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Part of the imperious Juventus midfield dubbed by their fans as the M-V-P, Marchisio helped lead the club to the Serie A title in their unbeaten season. After the great season for the midfielder, he declined taking the number of the departing Alessandro Del Piero, but the fact that he was asked shows what high regard he is held in at the club. He also played in every Euro 2012 game in Italy’s surprising run to the final.
FIFA 13 Rating – 84
49. Leighton Baines (Everton)
The future of English left-backs following the imminent retirement of Ashley Cole looks to be completely secure with the talented Leighton Baines waiting in the wings. With a keen attacking eye, excellent pace down the left wing and a deadshot at set-pieces, Baines’ impressive performances have attracted widespread attention. But for now he is looking to keep up Everton’s form potentially into the Champions League in 2013.
FIFA 13 Rating – 80
48. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
The captain of both the Bayern Munich side and Germany national football team, Lahm was named in the Euro Team of the Year for 2012 as Germany progressed to the semi-finals of the competition. As consistent as anybody playing at the moment, Lahm is leading the Munich team to a likely victory in the Bundesliga, which would be his fifth winners’ medal.
FIFA 13 Rating – 87
47. Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese/Juventus)
Asamoah’s excellent performances for Udinese in the first half of 2012 lead to his arrival at the home of the Italian champions, where he has become a regular in their solid midfield. He is currently attempting to add some international success to his stellar 2012, as he competes for Ghana in the African Cup of Nations.
FIFA 13 Rating – 79
46. Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Fernandinho’s continual presence in the Shakhtar midfield is one of the main reasons the club has continued to be a presence not only in Ukraine, but in Europe as a whole. In 2012 the club won another League and Cup double, but his eyes appear to have been drawn elsewhere, with his agent quoting that he would be playing football in Manchester by the end of the month.
FIFA 13 – N/A
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This article was first posted on February 12, 2013