Thanks to Steven Goff's blog, we were made aware this morning that English magazine FourFourTwo is publishing their list of the top 100 players, and revealed their top 10:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
3. Fernando Torres (Liverpool)
4. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)
5. Kaka (AC Milan)
6. David Villa (Valencia)
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter Milan)
8. Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid)
9. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
10. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)
("I'd take them on my team," is what Carlos Bocanegra told the Global Blog this morning.)
The list got our intellectual curiosity stirring, and we were able to determine that eight of these ten players have at least one thing in common. We'll save you the suspense.
Since Aug. of 2007, the U.S. national team has played against eight of the players on the list in international competition. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) has not suited up against the U.S., while David Villa served as an unused sub in the match against Spain on June 4 in Santander. In the last two years, the U.S. has played against four teams that were ranked in the top 10 in the world at the time of the matches.
"It's great for us to be playing against such high quality competition," said Bocanegra. "When you get a chance to test yourself, you get a reality check about where you stand, and it provides a great challenge. The fact that we are getting quality games against the best teams around the world also speaks well of the United States and the respect that our team is earning."