5 Overrated World Football Players Who've Been Exposed This Season
Rating and ranking players is a pastime enjoyed by virtually every sports fan in the world. We just love to put numerical values to players.
It may have something to do with the hint of jealousy we all have for the lavish lifestyles most of these players live; the most successful ones, anyway.
They get paid large salaries, drive the best cars, have the best technology gadgets, are romantically involved with the most beautiful women and, all the while, it's thrown in our face through various media outlets (including TV, advertisements, social media and magazines).
Not only are we jealous, but we're also upset because this lifestyle directly affects us as well. We want our favorite teams to sign these players, but they cannot without the proper funding.
Where does a lot of that funding come from? You guessed it, the fans.
So, as a small consolation prize for our passion and money, it's only right that we should take them to task when we feel they aren't living up to the hype.
All joking aside, there are players who, for various reasons, do get overrated by fans of the game.
Here is my list of players, in no particular order, who have shown recently that their value may have been overestimated.
Julio Cesar, Queens Park Rangers
Julio Cesar joined Inter in the summer of 2005, beginning a seven-year relationship that would see the goalkeeper join the ranks of elite world football players.
He was integral in bringing five Scudetti and a Champions League title to Inter and was considered one of the best keepers around.
When Inter brought in Samir Handanovic, it marked the end of Julio Cesar's Nerazzurri career. The Brazilian also knew that, and, before the summer transfer window closed, sealed a move to Queens Park Rangers.
In what could have been a chance for Cesar to show his former club, and the rest of his doubters, that he is still one of the best in the world, this season so far has only proved what Inter fans already knew.
Julio Cesar is no longer elite. He may not even be a great goalkeeper anymore.
Granted, Cesar is not to blame for QPR sitting in last place in the Premier League this season. The QPR defense as a whole has been abysmal.
Still, he has continued to show a penchant for poor decision making when it comes to his play in net.
I'm sure nobody expected Julio Cesar to come in and be a savior, but they must have been thinking he'd be playing better than this.
Papiss Cisse, Newcastle United
Newcastle's fifth-place finish, ahead of EPL heavyweights Chelsea and Liverpool, in the Premier League last year came as a shock to many.
Their great play was highlighted by the formidable attacking duo of Demba Ba and newcomer Papiss Cisse.
Cisse only joined Newcastle in January of this year, but he instantly made his presence known in England. In only half a year he scored 13 goals for Newcastle, which was good enough to rank in the Top 10 overall goalscorers in the EPL (via ESPN).
It was a small sample size, but Newcastle and their fans were convinced that Cisse would continue to prove that he was a top player in the league.
Unfortunately for everyone involved, Cisse has been disappointing so far this season. He is yet to score a league goal and his only goal came in last Thursday's Europa League game against Bordeaux.
The season is still young and, beyond that, Cisse still has plenty of time on his contract to prove what his worth will be.
Right now, though, it seems that we were too quick to get excited over Cisse's small sample size.
Fabio Coentrao, Real Madrid
Fabio Coentrao completed his high-profile move from Benfica to Real Madrid in July 2011 for a reported fee of €30 million.
Joining Real Madrid was a "dream" for Coentrao, and he rewarded their €30 million vote of confidence with a series of great performances for the team. He was a key cog for Los Blancos during last year's La Liga campaign.
Unfortunately for him, things have started to come undone so far this season.
The problems started when it was revealed that Coentrao wanted to leave Real Madrid.
A few weeks later, Coentrao was sent off during Real Madrid's game against Getafe for abusive language towards the referee. While Coentrao and his teammates denied he said anything offensive, he was red-carded anyway.
He has fallen out of favor with the team and the fans and is failing to live up to the high price tag that brought him to Madrid.
Kevin Prince-Boateng, Milan
Prince-Boateng arrived at Milan from Genoa in 2010. Genoa had signed Prince-Boateng from Porstmouth and they immediately loaned him to Milan.
During his next season at Milan, Prince-Boateng was one of the breakout stars of the 2011 Serie A campaign.
Prince-Boateng thrilled the Rossoneri fans with his high-energy, intense, attacking style. He became known as one of the best players in Italy.
This season, however, has been troubling so far for Prince-Boateng. After Milan sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva, Prince-Boateng voiced his frustrations about the team selling it's best players.
His on-field performance has suffered as well. He was as non-existent as a person who is directly involved in his team's attack could be during last weekend's derby with Inter. Prince-Boateng fumbled many chances that, though he may not have scored, he should have tested Samir Handanovic with.
His derby performance didn't go unnoticed, as coach Massimiliano Allegri admitted that Prince-Boateng needed to play better.
Prince-Boateng has the ability to prove that this early performance is fluky, but he needs to step up when Milan needs him most if he wants to prove he's worth his high price tag.
Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich
For what it's worth, Arjen Robben has been a world-class football player for as long as I can remember. Still, I couldn't help but think that he was overrated. And I think it's starting to show.
This year has not been particularly kind to Robben. After a typical Bundesliga campaign, things started to unravel for Robben in the Champions League.
He converted a penalty in the semifinal match against Real Madrid. Bayern would win the match in a penalty shootout to set up a dream Champions League final against Chelsea at the Allianz Arena.
Robben had a chance to put Bayern ahead in extra time, but he had his penalty stopped by Petr Cech. Bayern would go on to lose the game to Chelsea in a penalty shootout, which Robben did not participate in.
His play during the Euros left a lot to be desired as well. He was a non-factor when the team needed him, and his only noteworthy moment came when he stormed off after being substituted in the second game of the group stages.
He picked up yet another injury in September, and it has prevented him from showing if he's shaken off his recent poor performances.
He's only 28, which is still prime for a soccer player, but the question remains: is it lack of confidence or is he overrated?
I say the latter.