With Euro 2012 right around the corner flank, it’s time to look at the most intriguing players of the tournament.
Some players will make the list for their world-class abilities, while some will be featured for their unique egos.
Of course, many players fit both of these qualifications, making the 2012 European Championships must see television.
Enough banter, let’s get started.
10. Wesley Sneijder (Holland)
Holland’s midfield maestro will be looking to end his injury-ridden campaign on a high note at Euro 2012.
Sneijder featured in 35 games for club and country in 2011-12, bagging seven goals and nine assists in his worst statistical season since leaving Real Madrid for Inter in 2009.
9. Fernando Torres (Spain)
Torres is perhaps best known for scoring the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final against Germany.
Since then, not much has gone right for the Spaniard, but all that can change this summer.
8. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Bayern Munich standout Bastian Schweinsteiger is notorious for playing his best football on the international stage.
In Euro 2008, Schweinsteiger tallied two goals and two assists in five appearances (three starts) for Germany.
7. Karim Benzema (France)
Benzema is coming off his best season in professional football after tallying 35 goals and 18 assists in 66 appearances for club and country.
Expect the former Lyon striker to continue his good habit of finding the back of the net at Euro 2012.
6. Wayne Rooney (England)
In other circumstances, Rooney may have been higher on this list, but his two-match ban forced me to exclude him from top-five considerations.
With that said, Wazza is one of the best strikers in Europe, and has previously been the center of controversy in this tournament.
Those two facts essentially guaranteed him a place on this prestigious list.
5. Robin van Persie (Holland)
RVP, who bagged 30 league goals and nine assists in 38 appearances, was arguably the best player in the English Premier League in 2011-12.
That’s all that needs to be said.
4. Nicklas Bendtner (Denmark)
Feel free to criticize this selection, but I know I’ll be watching for Bendtner’s name in the headlines come the start of Euro 2012.
He can talk with the best of them, and even backs up his outrageous statements on occasion.
3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
“The Barca players were like schoolboys, following the coach blindly, whereas I was used to asking ‘why?’. I like guys who run red lights, not pedantic and strict rules,” wrote Ibra (I am Zlatan).
Throw in 39 goals and 13 assists for club and country in 2011-12 and you have one the best ego’s and footballers in the world.
2. Mario Balotelli (Italy)
No explanation needed.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Aside from being the front-runner for this year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most exciting footballers on the planet.
A combination of technical prowess, blistering pace, superb aerial ability and cracking long distance range, Ronaldo is the premier talent at Euro 2012.