“He is my heir, he has the opportunity to break all those records”.
When Ronaldinho Gaucho gives a glowing endorsement about you like this one above, know you are the real deal. The special one. The chosen one. The only one. I’m running out of superlatives to describe this young lad. At 23, Neymar is a World Champion with Barcelona, a UEFA Champions League as well as a UEFA Super Cup winner. Add to that his La Liga and Copa titles and you’d see reason with this chap. A full-fledged member of an attacking triumvirate that has scored a staggering 134 goals in 2015. They were in part (which means 90%) the reason FC Barcelona have come this far this year. His ability to put off-field issues behind him and concentrate on his football is not just a sign of greatness but that he is.
In a year that has seen him go from the highs of carrying the almighty Barca on his back along with Messi and Suarez, being the poster boy for Brazil, a team that looks like a bunch of Sunday league players without him, to the trough of tax cases and controversy about his move to the Catalan club, Neymar has done too much not to be the best. He is the diamond in the rough that is being polished, You only need pay attention to his sizzling skills, one in particular so dazzling that it was adopted in a Nigerian musician’s dance video. If he doesn’t win this year… The crowned prince of football is definitely going to rule for years to come especially with his current environment. No wonder there are rife rumours that Mr Florentino wants to use ‘his current transfer controversy’ to lure him to the Bernabeu… But for now… Fans be happy… Defenders… Be afraid, Be really afraid… MSN are coming to a pitch near you…
2. Luis Suarez
£77m and 15months later, Luisito is a World Champion. He appeared to have reached his trough in June 2014, He had repeated his vampirism.. A third bite and a chunk of Giorgio Chiellini’s arms the recipe. His first appearance after his four month was the much revered El Clasico, He started, with the eyes of the watching world on him, many waiting to see him fumble, He escaped unscathed as he displayed a sign of an understanding with his teammates with the assist for Neymar’s goal. Fast forward by 2months and he had started to emerge from the shadows. His 43 appearances in all competitions yielded 25goals and 21assists, a ratio of 1:1 in terms of goals & assists per game. The highlight of his Champions League return was the double header against PSG in the Quarter finals when he took David Luiz to the cleaners and apparently justified Mourinho’s statement of Luiz being a ticking time bomb. His winning strike against Real Madrid in the Clasico was the final nail in the Galaticos coffin that ultimately crowned Barca champions while his goal in the final all but sealed victory at a point when Juventus were growing into the game.
His impact seemingly has doubled this season no thanks to his contributions in Messi and Neymar’s absence. While he indeed has witnessed it all for Barca this year, from the 5 trophies won to theof the 4-0 and 4-1 defeats to Athletic and Celta, Suarez’s quality has shone through. His head as a part of the three-headed monster, that is the MSN, has struck effectively and precisely, 150 goals among 3players is no joke and if this trident are to stay together for much longer, it is only bad news for defences because of their ability to make up for one another’s failings, a quality that Suarez has flawlessly exhibited (his understanding with his strike partners) with many having feared for his selfish attitude. His strikes in the Clasico this season and his 5 goals at the Club World Cup only tell a part of the story of a man who in 2016 all things been equal could be the heir apparent to Lionel Messi’s inevitable Balon D’Or.
1. Lionel Messi
He’s 28years, he’s won the Ballon d’or four times, 500 appearances, 425goals, 32 hatricks, defences know him as “messi-less”… everytime you try to describe the Argentine, you come up short. What he has accomplished needn’t be repeated, it’s no secret, we all know it, he’s been the best, arguably of all time. In 2015, he’s been phenomenal, no one comes close, his game, the way he plays.. is an art and like wine, it has gotten better with age.
Do you remember that solo run against A. Bilbao? That Copa del Rey final? How about the Champions League? Boateng will not for Leo in a jiffy. The best player in a horrifying attack (the MSN Gang) and despite his obvious talents, he dazzles with every performance. How do you describe winning every competition he’s play in? If that’s not best in the world, I don’t know what is.
There you have it. The best 15 players of the year 2015. What do you think? Do you think there’s that one player we forgot to include in our list? Share your views with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear from you!
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Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.