Wednesday, June 8, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 84 and 83

84. Gervinho- Coming out of World Cup 2010, Gervinho was arguably the only Ivorian player to have furthered his reputation. Lively in every match that he appeared in, the Lille forward was quickly linked to a host of top class destinations, only for the striker to eventually stay in France.

Fans of Gervinho might have wanted to see him move abroad last summer, but I'm sure all would agree now that staying with the club who signed him in 2009 was a very good decision. As part of an attacking minded Lille side, Gervinho helped the club to their first two major trophies in fifty-six years, the French Ligue 1 championship and the Coupe De France. Those honors were the first of Gervinho's career, and are certainly unlikely to be the last, there is no doubt that the twenty-four year old has a bright future ahead of him.

Scoring fifteen goals in Ligue 1, Gervinho was one of the better strikers in France, and already it looks as though he is set to depart. Earlier today, the Ivorian confirms that he wishes to leave the French champions, with Arsenal rumored to be his destination. For any French speaking player, a move to Arsenal is never a bad one, but personally, I think that Gervinho is capable of more than helping an unconvincing team flop their way down the table the moment competition gets tough.

83. Ignazio Abate- Over the past couple seasons, the sight of a Blonde haired full back bombing down the wings has become a common one for the San Siro faithful. Solid in defense and impressive in attack, Abate is a member of the new breed of full back, one capable of producing at both ends of the pitch.

After very average showings in the past, Abate finally broke through in 2011, his performance in the Milan derbies were particularly impressive. With Maxi Allegri guiding him, Abate became a key part of the AC Milan team which reclaimed its title this year. Alongside Thiago Silva and Allesandro Nesta among others, Abate shown at the back.

As of yet, Abate is still to have received a call up to Prandelli's national team, though the full back has played at a variety of youth levels, as well as at the Beijing Olympics. Who knows, maybe if Abate performs well again next year, he'll get a shot at the squad for Euro 2012.

Read more by David Yaffe-Bellany ("The Chairman") at Red Flag Flying High and EPL Talk

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