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Best Players in the World: Who’s #5

While Ronaldo, Kaka and Torres are undeniably three of the best goal scorer’s in the world, if I were starting a squad from scratch and could have any player in the world, I would likely select my choice for the #5 best player in the world:

Cesc Fabregas.

Why would I want Fabregas, who has only scored 14 goals in 138 caps for Arsenal, over his more prolific contemporaries?

Well, it’s because goal scoring is not Fabregas’ game. His is a game of vision and creativity that creates goals, even though he is not the one to place the ball in the back of the net. Moreover, unlike traditional central midfielders who dominate possession through aggression and physicality, Cesc controls the game like a conductor directs an orchestra. He uses strokes of precision and grace to open up the field for his teammates rather than using brute force to pry open passing lanes.

In addition, Fabregas has one thing no one has ever attributed to Ronaldo or Torres: selflessness. It seems he would rather be the player who sets up the game winning goal than the one who strikes it. Unlike many of the world’s top players, he places his dedication to his team over his own desire for personal accollades.

Also, unlike Ronaldo who has often choked in the most important of moments, Cesc has shown himself to be most dependable when trophies are on the line. During Euro 2008, he lifted Spain past the quarterfinals with his game winning penalty strike. Soon thereafter, he embarassed Russia by easily contributing two assists. In the final against Germany, his inspired play helped Spain capture the Cup.

Finally, Fabregas, unlike Ronaldo and Kaka, has never been hindered by injuries thus far in his career. Though durability is not as sexy as a nasty crossover dribble, it’s more important given the length of today’s club and international schedules.

Fabregas is the youngest player to ever take the pitch for Arsenal and the Spanish National Team, which says alot about his advanced skills and strong mental will, and if he stays healthy he could be the oldest to ever play for those teams as well. Though some have labeled him a “featherweight” because of his small frame, Fabregas plays like a heavyweight on the pitch and for that he’s the #5 player in the world.