Top 20 Soccer Stars in Europe

Cord NowellContributor IJanuary 14, 2009

The biggest stage in the world for soccer stars to play on is in Europe.

With several extremely-competitive leagues, the chance at Champions League glory, and a rabid fan base, Europe is the place to be for soccer stars.

With 2009 already cracking on the pitch, here is a list of the top 20 soccer studs playing in Europe:

20. Alexandre Pato (AC Milan)

The 20-year-old Brazilian is an exciting play-maker. His eight goals in Seria A are more than either of his famous Brazilian teammates.


19. Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal)

The tall Togolese striker has found the back of the net seven times in EPL action for the Gunners this season.


18. John Terry (Chelsea)

The defensive standout and England captain has the Blues in second place and playing well for coach Scolari in his first season.


17. Ronaldinho (AC Milan)

After falling out of favor in Barcelona, the smiling-star has found his touch again in Italy. Dinho' has seven goals and three assists in 15 league matches.


16. Vedad Ibišević (Hoffenheim)

The 24-year-old from Yugoslavia is leading the Bundesliga in scoring, with 18 goals in 17 matches. You can expect an array of big clubs to come knocking on his door.


15. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

The emotional striker has only struck five goals for Sir Alex this season, but still has a very large presence on the pitch.


14. Thierry Henry (Barcelona)

Like a fine French wine, TT Henry seems to get better with age. His nine goals and four assists in 16 matches have Barca tops in La Liga.


13. Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea)

The French journeyman is having his best season in the EPL, and his 14 goals are enough for tops in the league. 


12. Robin Van Persie (Arsenal)

With his deadly Dutch left foot, RVP has eight goals and four assists in 17 games, and is keeping Arsenal in contention.


11. Karim Benzema (Lyon)

This 21-year-old exciting French striker has a very bright future ahead of him. With 15 combined league and Champions League goals, expect big clubs to try for his transfer signature.


10. Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)

The ageless wonder is playing like he is 24, not 34. Del Piero still amazes opponents with his free kicks, and has tallied seven goals and five assists after half a season.


9. Kaká (AC Milan)

With deadly speed and ankle-breaking moves it is no wonder why Kaká's name is always surrounded with transfer speculation. The talented play-maker is the crown jewel for AC Milan.


8. Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

El Niño has made a splash in England. Despite some nagging injuries, his transfer from Athletico Madrid has paid huge dividends for Liverpool.


7. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Arguably the best goalie in the world, Buffon is very bright and usually is in the right place at the right time for Juventus and Italy.


6. David Villa (Valencia)

After an outstanding Euro Cup, Villa is at it again. He has 14 goals and three assists thus far for Valencia.


5. Cristano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

An injury bug has slowed Ronaldo down a little bit this season, but it is still near impossible to stop the play-making Portage.


4. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool)

England's playmaking general has been in brilliant form this season and has Liverpool in first place.


3. Samuel Eto'o (Barcelona)

The African legend has struck for 16 goals in the first half of the season and leads the league.


2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

The tiny speedster is the pride of Argentina. His 11 goals and seven assists in 15 league matches are making him king of Barcelona.


1. Zlatan Ibrahimović (Inter Milan)

The Swedish striker's 11 goals leads the Seria A, and his leadership has Inter on top of the table once again.


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