Friday, June 10, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 82 and 81

82. Papiss Demba Cisse- Another player plying his trade at one of the less fashionable German clubs, Papiss Demba Cisse certainly made a mark on the 2010/11 Bundesliga. His twenty-two Bundesliga goals broke Tony Yeboah's record for the most scored in the Bundesliga by an African player; an impressive accomplishment for a man with only one other season of Bundesliga experience.

If Cisse's club scoring record wasn't impressive enough, his international one more than makes up for it. Cisse has scored a massive ten goals in just nine appearances for the Senegalese National Team; simply astounding at any level of football, let alone internationally.

Linked to a whole slew of Premier League clubs, Cisse's style is suited for the English game. Like many African players, he is strong and powerful; I could definitely see him following in the footsteps of men such as Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure.

As far as potential destinations go, well, Cisse has been linked to a whole host of teams, ranging from Fulham to Arsenal and Milan to Bayern. Certainly, Cisse is unlikely to remain at SC Freiburg, he proved himself last season with that incredible goal scoring haul, one which included strikes against the big guns as well as the minnows.

81. Juan Mata- A marvelous, creative attacker, Juan Mata was a crucial part of Valencia's recovery from two damaging exports.

After losing Davids Villa and Silva, Valencia needed a player to step up, and Mata (among others) proved the perfect tonic, firing Valencia up the table with his goals and assists.

Mata's combination of touch, pace and goal scoring ability makes him one of the world's finest young talents, a man capable of continuing Spain's attacking dominance in the years to come.

At just twenty-three, Mata already has a World Cup winners medal in his closet, and he will be looking to add the European U21 Championship to that success this summer. On Sunday, Mata and Spain will kick off their Championship campaign against the English, and I for one will have both eyes firmly fixed on the man from Valencia.

Over the past few seasons, Mata has been linked to a fair few teams both at home and abroad; Madrid and Barcelona's inevitable interest has been accompanied by inquiries from Liverpool and Manchester United. While it does appear that neither the English teams will be adding Mata this summer, I wouldn't rule out a move to Barca or Madrid, both those sides are transfer juggernauts, teams hungry for additional talent.

I for one am looking forward to following Mata's future development, the Spaniard has a bright future both internationally and at the club level, though his peak years are unlikely to be spent at Valencia.

Read more by "The Chairman," David Yaffe-Bellany @ Red Flag Flying High and EPL Talk

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