Current FIFA World Player of the Year, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, is not on the list, and Portugal is in grave danger of missing the World Cup. Across the Atlantic, Lionel Messi of Argentina, considered by many to be the best soccer player in the world, also has missed the list, as his side has slipped from contention.
Also, it’s no coincidence that all of the players on this list are on successful squads. Cesar’s Brazil, Lampard’s and Rooney’s England, Villa’s and Joan Capdevila’s Spain and Andre Ooijer’s and Joris Mathijsen’s Dutch teams have all already qualified for South Africa. Bocanegra’s U.S. side is currently in first place in the CONCACAF region. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s German team is atop Group Four in Europe, followed closely by Konstantin Zyryanov’s Russian side.