Monday, July 4, 2011

INFTH Top 100: Numbers 44 and 43

44. Arturo Vidal- Perhaps unfairly, Bayer Leverkusen received very little credit for their achievements in the 10/11 Bundesliga. They ended up pushing Borussia Dortmund hard for the title, and despite not ending the season as champions we'll see them next year in the Champions League.

A player capable of creating from deep, Arturo Vidal was vitally important to Bayer Leverkusen's success last season, finding the net ten times and setting up teammates to score on a further eleven occasions.

A fabulous attacker, Vidal has fast become one of the Bundesliga's top performers, a complete midfielder capable of doing the business at either end of the pitch. Given his impressive displays, it is no surprise that Vidal is a regular for the Chilean national team; he will help kick off his country's Copa America campaign later today.

Since season's end, Vidal has been heavily linked with a move elsewhere, both Bayern Munich and Arsenal are rumored to have a strong interest in the player. Certainly, if the right move is made, I could see Vidal becoming one of the finest midfielders in Europe, his versatility and skill on the ball will serve him well wherever his destination.

43. Lucas Barrios- Born in Argentina but an international for Paraguay, Lucas Barrios was one of Europe's top performing strikers last season. After a fairly unimpressive World Cup campaign, Barrios managed to build on the fine start that he had made to his career in German football the season before, and started banging in the goals for Dortmund.

Averaging a goal every two games in Bundesliga play, Barrios helped a team filled with young stars win the Bundesliga title. With a career total of forty-four goals in sixty-seven games for Dortmund, Barrios is one of the hottest strikers in German football at the moment, a player of real deadliness who fans can look forward to seeing play in the Champions League next year.

Since making his debut for the Paraguayan national team in 2010, Barrios has become a staple for the World Cup quarter finalists, a starter alongside players like Roque Santa Cruz and Oscar Cardozo. Five goals in twelve appearances is a ridiculously good record to have at the international level, but you can be sure that Barrios will be desperate to improve on it in years to come.

Unsurprisingly, Lucas Barrios has emerged as a potential transfer target for a whole hosts of European clubs; English trio Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea are all supposedly interested.

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