TK, Well over a decade on from his retirement anyone even close to resembling a serviceable right-back is still known as the English, Scottish or Welsh Cafu, a testament to a glittering career where he redefined what was expected from his position.

It is almost an extra-sensory next level. Holds numerous individual records – going unbeaten for 974 consecutive minutes during the 2015–16 season among the most impressive – and a bulging trophy cabinet including nine Serie A titles (and one Serie B), a UEFA Cup and the 2006 World Cup. Equally as adept up front as he was out wide he went on to replace the great Raul with the Spanish national team going to become the top scorer in their history as well as being pivotal to the Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 wins. The Liverpool icon’s best days were certainly in the 2000s, but he was still a force of nature in this decade and was the Premier League top assist provider in … Won the Premier League with Manchester United in a move that devastated Arsenal fans.

They say that Lionel Messi wouldn’t have scored all the goals he did if not for Xavi. Widely considered to be the best goalkeeper of his generation Neuer has won the Bundesliga seven times, a World Cup once and even has a German word, Reklamierarm (the arm of objection), named after him. Modric rose through the ranks at Tottenham with his shimmering talent and quickly proved the naysayers wrong at Real Madrid. Ronaldo – Barcelona, Internazionale, Real Madrid, Samuel Eto’o – Barcelona, Internazionale, Chelsea, In other news, 'Wow, playing with Messi': Arsenal fans tweet £20m star who quit Emirates this summer, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko5jBnTn9hU, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cbMzwU70RU, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKS8wl4S_Gs.

He led the Red Devils in goals from 2002 – 2005, along the way winning the Premier League and an FA Cup.

JR, A metronome in the middle, one of the finer passers in the world of football and the beating heart of a number of very successful sides, not least the World Cup winning Germany side of 2014.

He spent 16 years with Los Blancos, scoring 323 goals which ranks him fifth on the all-time scoring La Liga list behind Ronaldo and Messi.

The man who reinvented goalkeeping. Where do you even begin with this wizard?

Ozil was a key influence in Germany's trek to the 2014 World Cup and his three years under Mourinho at Real Madrid arguably saw him become the world's best midfielder. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. The archetypal target man famously rarely scored from anywhere other than inside the box, but he made the 18-yard area his own in a storied career that saw him score more goals for Germany than anyone before or since. JR, An imposing figure between the sticks, Khan was an intimidating opponent for strikers, making them freeze for just enough time to offer himself enough time to narrow the angles and wipe out danger. A two-time La Liga champion, he suffered unfortunate injuries in the latter half of his tenure for the club. The Ivorian scored consistently in the biggest competitions, 36 goals in European matches and a goal in four FA Cup finals.

Favors the past heavily.

He instead remained at Liverpool, spending 17 seasons at Anfield during which he captained his side to two European titles as well as five domestic cups.

The former striker, who retired in 2012, is most well known for his time with Manchester United, where he 150 goals in 219 games established him as one of the best strikers in world football. Before the advent of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, the 2000s were an opportunity to witness incredible performances by great attackers. The flying Dutchman could turn passive possession into danger in a flash with his exceptional control when running at speed.

Just as Lampard's career looked to be nosediving, he helped inspire Chelsea to their first European cup, bagged 17 goals in 2012-13 and became the club's all-time record goalscorer. These are the main relevant strikers in football today in no particular order: you forgot Zlatan and Dybala in the first list. His medal haul speaks for itself, and he is approaching 300 career goals. Bigger things would await him at Chelsea, where he grabbed another title, and then with France, as he starred in their second World Cup triumph. His selflessness, workrate and positional intelligence allowed him to lift a mostly dysfunctional Inter side over the years. Carlo Ancelotti suggests Richarlison & Pickford incidents vs Liverpool caused Digne's red, Liverpool fans are mocking Lucas Digne for red card following post after Merseyside derby. He is the only footballer ever to have scored a hat-trick at two separate World Cups. BB, A true oddity in modern football, the near-cult-like Italian spent 25 years at Roma, playing almost 800 games and scoring over 300 goals, as well as featuring in Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning side.

TK, One of the greatest goalscorers in Bundesliga history after a decade spent between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, the Polish striker has won seven league titles. We asked ten of our football writers to identify the 50 greatest players of the past two decades, with each player assigned a number of points determined by their rank, before an overall list was then worked out. There have been more fallow years, of course, but at his best Hazard has been magnificent, including in helping Lille to Ligue 1 glory in 2010-11. The Premier League and La Liga are widely considered to be the world's toughest leagues and Courtois has won both titles as well as finishing seasons in each with the most clean sheets. Maicon was one of Inter's star performers during their Champions League triumph and scored a stunning goal in that year's World Cup.

Higuain scored an astonishing amount of goals at Real Madrid considering his limited game-time, but elevated himself to the next level with 91 strikes in fewer than 150 games for Napoli. Just because he's made a slow start to life at Real Madrid, it doesn't mean we should forget his stellar displays for Atletico and Chelsea, not to mention his World Cup Golden Glove. LO, Over a decade at the heart of Barcelona's defence and undoubtedly one of the game's greatest ball-playing centre-backs, the Spaniard has won everything on offer: eight LaLiga titles, three Champions Leagues, countless cups as well as being a leader in both World Cup and European Championship successes. Six Copa del Reys. In the 90's, atleast the games I have watched, the games were a lot more open and teams did not defend as well as a unit. His toothy, child-like grin belied a footballer who just wanted to play, few before him or since can do what he could do. Today we finally reveal our winner, with the full list of 100 players below. Dreadful loan spells at United and Chelsea slammed the brakes on proceedings, but he still saw out the decade with some brilliant displays at AS Monaco, including 30 goals in 2016/17. The ‘personal records’ section of his Wikipedia page meanwhile extends to 933 words. He was understated, bar those halfway line goals, and that was part of his charm, redefining what a holding role player could be, and he won it all: Champions League, La Liga, Bundesliga, European Championships and the World Cup. Kicking off the decade as the joint top-scorer at the World Cup is a pretty impressive start and Villa rounded off 2010 as the final addition in one of football's greatest ever front threes. Aside from boasting every Italian trophy available twice over, the 35-year-old was named in Juve's greatest XI in history and made the Serie A Team of the Year five times in seven years.

In the 90's, atleast the games I have watched, the games were a lot more open and teams did not defend as well as a unit. Rodriguez became an instant superstar when he scored six times - including THAT volley against Uruguay - in the summer of 2014. Van Nisterlrooy is rightly considered one of the best strikers in the 2000’s, and we take a look at five other players who could hold this title.

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