* Soccer prospects rankings by leagues *
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01-12-2005, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Mar 2002
Here is an update as of 12/01/05
The last ranking (dating back from 12/12/04) is between brackets.
I chose to limit the number of ranked players to 40 and to give a higher reward for players with higher ceiling.
1 (1)- Phillipe Mexes, AS Roma, D, 30/03/1982
Filled with energy, Mexes is a marvelous defenseman. He's excellent defensively, good with the header, and his passing is great. He can also score quite a few goals a year. Simply a wonderful prospect.
2 (4)- Michael Essien, Ghana, Lyon, MF, 09/06/82
Was known in Bastia for his amazing shot, and good defensive midfield skills. Suffered a bad injury that prevented him to show his stuff in Lyon. He now has developped into a complete midfielder in Lyon. He’s a rock defensively, with effortless tackling skills, and is great in offensive support. He scores regularly now.
3 (3)- Hatem Ben Arfa, Lyon, ST, 07/03/87
Is making a huge impact for a guy his age. He can already hurt defenses thanks to his dribbling ability. A future star no matter what.
4 (2)- Nilmar, Brazil, Lyon, ST, 17/07/84
Now we know why he's supposed to be the next best thing in Brazil. Definitely a future star. A great feel for positionning. He has that uncanny ability to be where the ball will go.
5 (10)- Rio Mavuba, Bordeaux, MF, 08/03/84
Another Tigana according to Domenech, Rio was born on a boat people in the middle of the ocean. A great story, Rio's upside is so big that his future seems much brighter than his past. Real Madrid is interested in him.
6 (15)- Samir Nasri, Marseille, ST, 26/06/87
Is supposed to be a great technical striker/offensive midfielder. He has great technique and combativity. He should turn the season around for Marseille pretty soon thanks to a new coach that trusts him. And that’s what he’s doing.
7 (5)- Petr Cech, Czech Republic, Chelsea, G, 20/05/82
Big, rather agile, he's excellent at using his big frame and at stopping penalties.
8 (6)- Jérémy Menez, Sochaux, ST, 30/11/87
Another great striker coming up but this time for Sochaux. He has speed to burn, and is accurate in front of the net.
9 (8)- Franck Ribery, Metz, MF, 01/04/83
THE player of the beginning of the year. He was playing in the third division last year and emerged this year as a star player. He's a small player with great technique and superb awareness. Not only can he pass everywhere, but he can dribble a defense by himself and turn a game around in one single action. He's not physically strong (1,70m, 60kg) and that might be where his biggest difficulty is. He leads the league in assists.
10 (9)- Florent Sinama Pongolle, Liverpool, ST, 20/10/84
Great feel for the goal, a true striker. Lacks some physical tools, but his talent should get him a star status. Has seen a bit more time with Liverpool lately, with Cissé and Baros out. If Morientes signs with Livepool, we’ll have to see if that doesn’t hurt his development again.
11 (7)- Kim Kallstrom, Sweden, Rennes, MF, 24/08/82
Great vision and a knack for amazing passes. He had a very average EC for his talent. Is also excellent on free kicks.
12 (13)-Mathieu Bodmer, Lille, MF, 22/11/82
He’s the star in Lille. He makes blind passes look easy. One of the best passers in the league. Probably the main reason for Lille’s success.
13 (18)- Anthony Le Tallec, ? (on loan from Liverpool), ST, 03/10/84
Talent at its best. Has amazing techinque but even better vision. He’s aware of everything, has a pretty good shot, and it tall enough not to be pushed around. I expect great things from him. He’s been injured this season after a good start. He has trouble cracking the line up now, since St Etienne has scored the most goal in the league during his injury. He is supposed to leave Liverpool to be loaned to an english team. He simply needs some playing time.
14 (16)- Jérémy Mathieu, Sochaux, MF, 29/10/83
Sochaux midfielder is one of the most complete player in the league. He’s excellent defensively, and his offensive game is very good as well. He has a great shot and is a guy that will sacrifice for the team. He even plays left back once in a while. Lyon wants to buy him.
15 (11)- Modeste M’Bami, Cameroon, PSG, MF, 09/10/82
Untiring defensive midfielder from PSG. Very effective and good passing skills. Was rumored to sign with Chelsea just before he had a serious injury that will sideline him for the rest of the season.
16 (12)- Eduardo Costa, Brazil, Marseille, MF, 23/09/82
Defensive midfielder is probably already the best midfielder in France apart from Rothen (now that Giuly is gone). He is never tired, and has great offensive upside. His shot is simply a rocket. A bit disapointing in Marseille, but the whole team is.
17 (21)- Bryan Bergougnoux, Lyon, ST, 12/01/83
Lyon must lick their chops with this guy and Ben Arfa coming up. When France won the Toulon tournament, Bergougnoux scored 4 of his team’s 5 goals. Scored a goal in the CL this year.
18 (unranked)- Ahmed Yahiaoui, Marseille, MF, 12/01/87
Excellent defensive midfielder that has Arsenal and many big european teams interested.
He can also play right back very effectively, but his tenacity fits the defensive midfield better. He has great technique as well. I don’t know why I forgot about him previously.
19 (51)- Sylvain Idangar, ST, Lyon, 08/03/84
Can also play offensive midfield. He’s very fast and agile, and he can put the ball in the net. Has scored two CL goals in one game.
20 (48)- Jimmy Briand, Rennes, ST, 02/08/85
Rennes hopes to have the final piece of the puzzle here (Chaigneau, Faty, Kallstrom-Gourcuff and Briand are the core of the future for Rennes). Good finishing touch and great speed for Briand.
21 (23)- Emmanuel Adebayor, Togo, Monaco, ST, 26/02/84
The “Albatros” has all the tools. Strong, good headers, powerful shot, etc... Can he find the toolbox? He had a huge streak earlier this year that make me think he can find it. He’s scored 8 goals this season, as many as last year, except in half the number of games.
22 (24)- Pablo Francia, Argentina, Bordeaux, MF, 03/12/84
Argentinian midfielder proved stellar this year for Bordeaux. Great shot and great passes.
23 (14)- Gaël Clichy, Arsenal, D, 26/07/85
Left back will take Ashley Cole’s spot sooner or later. He needs some playing time to climb up this standing.
24 (Wild Card)- Claudiu Keseru, Roumania, Nantes, ST, ?-?-86
His potential is through the roof. He's a lefty and has a knack for scoring goals. He’s scored a goal in his first pro game (Cup game).
25 (28)- Yann Gourcuff, Rennes, MF, 11/07/86
Son of Christian, the coach. Is touted as the next boss for Rennes’ midfield. Has great awareness, which would be expected from Gourcuff’s son.
26 (20)- Marouane Chamakh, Marocco, Bordeaux, ST, 10/01/84
Was very effective. Isn’t an awfully talented striker but he positions himself nicely and is deadly in the box.
27 (19)- Lucas Perreira, Brazil, Ajaccio, ST, 02/05/82
He’s in competition for the scoring lead. He is excellent with the header, and smart in his positionning.
28 (22)- Ludovic Butelle, Valencia, G, 13/04/83
Metz goalie was so poised so young that Valencia booked him last year. After a freaky injury that nearly cost his live, he’s now come back to Valencia as the backup.
29 (17)- Jérémie Aliadière, Arsenal, ST, 30/03/83
With Wiltord gone and Bergkamp nearing retirement, Aliadière should see more time and he WILL produce. That is, if he can battle injuries. And injuries will keep him for climbing up this standing as well.
30 (26)- John Utaka, Nigeria, Lens, ST, 08/01/82
Plenty of skills, but so far no consistency. But look out, he can really score.
31 (25)- Charles Itandje, Lens, G, 02/11/82
Has amazing moves, including his now famous dance before penalties. Can be the best goalie in the world for a game and a pretty bad one in the following game. Needs to find consistency.
32 (29)- Sébastien Grax, Monaco, ST, 23/06/84
And the rich get richer. A great prospect playing as striker or offensive midfielder. Good technique. He’s among the best scorers in Ligue 2 this year (he was loaned to Troyes) with 7 goals in 16 games.
33 (41)- Jacques Faty, Rennes, D, 25/02/84
Called “the next Desailly”, Faty is a solid stay at home defenseman. Future captain of Rennes as well. Was the captain of the golden U17 and U18 generation.
34 (40)- Stephen Drouin, Nantes, D, 27/01/84
Excellent defenseman once again for Nantes.
35 (43)- Jérémy Toulalan, Nantes, MF, 10/09/83
Another Nantes diamond. Has ALL the tools.
36 (44)- Achille Emana, Cameroon, Toulouse, MF, 05/06/82
Bulldozer this year for Toulouse.
37 (32)- Matt Moussilou, Lille, ST, 01/02/82
Came out of nowhere this year to score goal after goal. We’ll see if that was fluke next year. Well after a few months, he’s definately not a fluke.
38 (27)- Jérémy Gavanon, Marseille, G, 20/09/83
Barthez’s backup will carry the load as soon as Fabien retires.
39 (45)- Florent Chaigneau, Rennes, G, 21/03/84
Rennes only bought Cech and Isaksson until this guy is ready to carry the load. During Cech’s injury this year, he proved already that he’s not far from the big show. He put up a “Banks” type of save. He also had a miserable game though, and that was probably enough for the Rennes management to seek another goalie for the immediate future.
40 (32)- Jérémy Berthod, Lyon, D, 24/04/84
A 20 year old guy being a regular on Lyon, french champions, is impressive, especially at left back.
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