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Five superstar players who can overthrow current footballing titans

| 16.10.2014

Following Chelsea star Eden Hazard’s claim that he is not amongst the top five footballers in the world right now, Coral take a look at some outsiders who could break into that list.

“I’m not a top-five player yet,” the Belgian recently stated. “Maybe I’m close to it, but I still have to work on some aspects. You can only be part of that group if you are decisive in the top games. I [have started] doing that, like I did against Manchester City and Arsenal.

Hazard then admitted: “Who are better than me? The two extra-terrestrials, Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic, [Franck] Ribery and [Arjen] Robben. They make the difference almost every game.”

Last year’s Ballon d’Or suggested that Ronaldo, Messi, Ribery, Ibrahimovic and Neymar were the best players in the sport (in that order) in 2013. However, here is a list of five more special individuals, who writers at Coral believe can challenge those superstars in the next few seasons.

Gareth Bale
Bale’s rise from a left back struggling to get into Tottenham’s first team just a few years ago to now shining so brightly for Spanish giants Real Madrid has been dramatic.

While still in Ronaldo’s shadow, the Welsh wizard, 25, is going from strength to strength, and has scored an incredible 27 times (and made almost as many assists) in his 56 appearances for Los Blancos.

Thomas Muller
While the German attacker doesn’t possess the skill, flair or pace as the others on this list, he does have a game-changing determination and positional sense that so many with more natural ability crave.

Muller, 25, makes this list due to his incredible scoring achievements for both club and country, despite not being an out-and-out striker. In 266 senior Bayern appearances, he has netted 103 times and set up nearly as many for teammates, while for Germany he has 16 goals in 25 – 10 of them at World Cup finals. You can back Bayern at 7/2 to win the Champions League this season.

Raheem Sterling
It is hard to believe that the Jamaican-born Liverpool (11/10 Premier League top four chances) winger is still only 19, but Sterling is already arguably the most exciting player England have to offer.

The QPR youth graduate has been dazzling the Premier League under the guidance of attack-minded manager Brendan Rodgers, and can thrive following Luis Suarez’s departure to Barcelona in the summer. Sterling’s performances have seen him being linked with a move to Real Madrid, where English widemen Laurie Cunningham, Steve McManaman and David Beckham have prospered in the past.

Mario Gotze
It really doesn’t get much better for a footballer than scoring the winning goal for your country in the World Cup final, but German Gotze is still just 22 years old and needs to try and stay grounded.

It just so happens that he is at one of the best clubs in the world, Bayern Munich, where he has continued his exploits in Brazil into the new season, netting four times already this term in his last three starts. His total tally for the Bundesliga giants is now 14 in 33 league games.

James Rodriguez
Another star of the World Cup, where he claimed the Golden Boot despite only reaching the quarter-finals with Colombia, Rodriguez earned himself a move from Monaco to Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old has filled the void left by Angel Di Maria superbly at the Bernabeu, linking up with Ronaldo and Bale, scoring three goals already this season in all competitions, helping them to smashing wins. Rodriguez can certainly thrive at the Spanish club, who are currently the best in Europe and joint-favourites at 7/2 to defend their Champions League crown.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.