Tuesday, July 19, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 17 and 18

18. Nani- Nani stated sometime at the beginning of last season, that his goal for the new year was to be included in the shortlist for European footballer of the year. Well, after starring for both United and Portugal, reaching a Champions League final and stamping his name all over the Premiership, his chances of achieving that goal have improved immeasurably.

After improving towards the end of 09/10, much was expected of Nani in 2011, and the Portuguese international was desperate to perform after having his World Cup dreams dashed by injury.

Scoring a healthy total of nine goals in the league, Nani was one of United's best performers throughout their successful campaign, winning the Manchester United's Players' Player of the Year award at the end of it.

Honestly, the only surprise about Nani's trophy haul at the end of the season was that it did not include a PFA Player of the Year gong- ridiculously, he wasn't even nominated for the award.

Internationally, Nani has begun to shine brightly over the past few years, and 2011 was no different, with the winger outperforming the more illustrious Cristiano Ronaldo. As of yet, Nani has not played in a World Cup, but hopefully, we can look forward to seeing him on show in 2014.

17. Dani Alves- Dani Alves is the best right back in the World. A classic rampaging full back, Alves is capable of producing at both ends of the pitch, and has been a vital part of Barcelona's rise over the last three seasons.

Not many players ever win the European Cup, but Alves is one of the few who can say he has- twice. As part of probably the best back four in Europe, Alves and Barcelona once again swept aside all competition last season, cruising through to Champions League glory.

With Alves bombing forward to support a magnificent front three, Barcelona managed to consistently perform despite Mourinho's introduction into the equation at Madrid. This Barcelona stops for no one, not even the Special One.

A fantastic free taker, Alves embodies everything good about Brazilian footballers. He has skill, speed and flair, while also possessing the toughness and defensive nous necessary to make it as a top defender in Europe. As mentioned before, Alves has won the cup with the big ears twice; only a fool would bet against him adding to that total.

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