A View From Below

Sporting debate and opinion

World Football’s Top Wingers

Written 20/12/2008 after Martin O’Neill comments to the press that Winger Ashley Young is world class!

Martin O’Neill’s argument that Ashley Young was among the best wingers in the world game begs the question of the young Englishmen’s rivals


·        Cristiano Ronaldo – Portuguese superstar who recently won the coveted 2008 Ballon d’Or after helping Manchester United to the Premier League title and Champions League trophy earlier in the year. Ronaldo’s ability to score goals make him the one of the most prolific midfielders in the world as his goal ratio of more than 1 in 3 at club level and 21 International strikes at the age of just 23 highlight his quality.


·        Lionel Messi – Long term comparisons with Diego Maradonna justify Messi’s incredible talent and this season he has taken over the mantle from the departing Ronaldinho after taking his number 10 shirt. His pace, trickey and finishing abilities will make sure that he is a key player for club and country throughout his career.


·        David Silva – Spanish International who was a vital cog in the team who lifted the 2008 European Championships. His mesmeric performances during the Euro’s and throughout the Champions League with Valencia have seen him become indispensible for club and country. Fantastic strike against Chelsea put him on the radar for the top Premiership clubs.


·        Maxi Rodriguez – Captain of Athletico Madrid and part of the gifted Argentine squad. Injuries have plagued Maxi’s career although his sublime volley against Mexico in the 2006 World Cup proved just what an outstanding player he is.


·        Bastian Schweinsteiger – Helped Bayern Munich regain their Bundesliga title in 2008 and part of the Germany team who came runners up in Euro 2008, who relied on his performance and crucial goals in the games against Portugal and Turkey in the run up to the final.


·        Frank Ribery – After a slow start to his football career Ribery rebuilt his reputation at Olympique Marseille and then for the French national team which earned him a move to German giants Bayern Munich. Part of a bright young future for France and seen as the replacement for the phenomenal Zinedine Zidane.


·        Joe Cole – Chelsea winger who flourished under Mourinho and now a key name on the West London team sheet. Over 50 caps for England proving his pedigree internationally and his superb performances in the 2006 World Cup have meant he is key to Fabio Capello’s plans.


·        Samir Nasri – Another touted as the successor to Zidane, Nasri’s consistency for Marseille gave him a big money move to Arsenal. Nasri has since moved to left wing and his notable performance against Manchester United in which he scored two goals contributing to a 2-1 victory indicate that the young Frenchmen has a bright future.


·        Darijo Srna – Right sided player whose impressive form for Shakter Donetsk and Croatia meant he was high on Juande Ramos’ shopping list at Spurs. His strong set-piece skills, crossing and teamwork made him part of an exciting Croatia side that made it to the Quarter-Finals of Euro 2008.


England has begun to bring through a host of wingers that will be looking to fill the boots of past greats such as David Beckham in the future:


·        Ashley Young – Electric Aston Villa star who has excelled under Martin O’Neill since his $10 million move from Watford. His form in the 2007-08 season led to his inclusion in the Premier League team of the season and four International caps has reflected his acknowledgement as one of English footballs most highly regarded talents.


·        Aaron Lennon – Young Tottenham star who has picked up nine caps for the England team at the age of just 21, his pace and trickey on the right wing ensure he should occupy the right flank at White Hart Lane for years to come.


·        David Bentley – A surprise $15 million signing for Tottenham in the summer, Bentley’s comparisons with David Beckham and starting to make sense as his set-pieces, crossing and technical ability mirror the former Real Madrid man.


·        Stewart Downing – A favourite of Fabio Capello which should help the Middlesborough winger add to his 21 International caps. Targeted by Liverpool and Tottenham, Downing’s wealth of Premier League experience at the age of just 24 means Boro’ may struggle to keep hold of the speedy wide-man.


·        Theo Walcott – Eriksson’s selection of Walcott for the 2006 World Cup seemed extremely premature but the Swede has been proved right of the Londoner’s talent. Walcott’s breakthrough season in 2007-08 has seen him establish himself as a regular at Arsenal and has featured six times for England, scoring a hat-trick in a recent World Cup qualifier against Croatia.



February 22, 2009 - Posted by | Football

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