Tuesday, July 5, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 42 and 41

42. Fredy Guarin- Porto's rise to glory last season has been well documented, the club won a domestic and European treble, proving themselves as one of the best teams in Europe under the stewardship of manager Andre Villas Boas. Crucial to that victory was a collection of magnificent players; Falcao, Moutinho, Hulk, and of course, Fredy Guarin.

A versatile attacker, Guarin can play on either wing or through the middle, and though five goals in league play is not a particular convincing haul, there is no doubt that the Colombian played a key role. And oh yeah, he scored one of the goals of the season too, a belter from forty yards.

Without a doubt one of the best players in Poruguese football, Guarin has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, where he would be able to link up with former Porto man Raul Meireles. It would be a shame if the Colombian left though, under Villas Boas Porto really were a remarkable team, and fans of the Portuguese giants will hope that enough of the core group remains so as to guarantee a strong run in next year's Champions League.

41. Marcelo- Dubbed as "unreliable" and "error prone" in the past, Brazilian left back Marcelo proved all his critics wrong last season, putting in a fabulous shift for giants Real Madrid.

With Jose Mourinho keen to strengthen the Merengues' defense, it seemed likely that the attack oriented Marcelo would be on his way out. Going into 10/11 there was no doubt that Marcelo was fantastic in the opponents half, but the general thought still remained that the Brazilian was a liability at the back.

However, Mourinho elected to stick with Marcelo, and what an intelligent decision that ended up being. While putting in some strong defensive displays, Marcelo retained his attacking prowess too, scoring an absolutely brilliant goal against Lyon in the Champions League, as well as a slightly less good one at the Nou Camp.

With Fabio Coentrao signing for Real Madrid, next season Marcelo is likely to be moved to right back, meaning that he will join the inverted full back revolution, and prove even more of danger to defenses. On the other hand, it is possible that he could be shipped out, though that seems unlikely given his terrific displays last year.

Internationally, Marcello is in competition with players like Andre Santos and Michel Bastos for the starting left back spot, and though he is part of Brazil's Copa America squad, playing time has yet to materialize.

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