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10 Most Likable Current Footballers

Alana NassiahCorrespondent IMay 6, 2013

10 Most Likable Current Footballers

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    Football is a world fueled by hatred on most days.

    There are players who make it easy to hate them. We all know who they are.

    But there are also players who no matter how much you try to hate them, it simply is not easy.

    These players are almost universally likable. 

    No, they're not always the best. And no, they are not always easy to root for. But there is more to football than just the skill.

    These players add something extra to football, and that's why they are liked. These footballers are respected by not only the opposing teams but their fans as well.

    Here are 10 of the most likable current footballers.

Eric Abidal

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    Eric Abidal is one of the most inspirational athletes in all of sports right now. 

    In 2011, Abidal had a surgery to get rid of a tumor on his liver. Two months later, he was on the pitch for the UEFA Champions League Final. 

    In April 2012, the Barcelona defender underwent a liver transplant and one year later, he played a full 90 minutes for his team.

    No one can dislike someone who faces strong odds but still manages to come back.

    He has inspired many players and fans from around the world who saw him stare down the face of adversity and emerge triumphantly.

Fernando Torres

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    People actually like Fernando Torres? What? 

    It has become abundantly clear that many fans root for Torres to succeed. They are tired of seeing him miss easy opportunities and screw up open chances. 

    Once considered one of the best footballers in the world, Torres has taken a fall in recent seasons.

    There are only so many times one can make fun of a player. After a while, it becomes sad. It's not nice to kick a player while he's down, and most fans recognize this. 

    Chelsea fans may be the ones who dislike Torres the most because he has botched quite a few chances over the past few seasons. But it's quite plausible to say that he is not the player that opposing fans love to hate. 

    People like Torres because it's nice to root for the underdog, and in a way, that's exactly what he has become.

Kaka

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    Kaka's plight is very similar to Fernando Torres'.

    Like Torres, Kaka was one of the best footballers in the world. He has won both the Ballon d'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year.

    Quite simply, Kaka was once the best footballer in the world. 

    However, since moving to Real Madrid, the Brazilian has seen a lot less playing time which has caused a dip in form. He lost his magic.

    But Kaka could be on his way back, and everyone loves a comeback story.

    He was recently recalled to the Brazil National Team and should he get more playing time either at Madrid or some other team, he can be one of the best in the world again.

    Not to mention that Kaka seems like a genuinely nice guy. Good luck finding a picture where he isn't giving a toothy grin.

Iker Casillas

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    To many football fans, Iker Casillas is the undisputed best goalkeeper in the world. So when Jose Mourinho decided to keep Casillas on the bench after he had returned from injury, many were perplexed.

    How can the best goalie in the world be sitting on the bench?

    Fans openly expressed their disgust over the benching. Some even laughed when Real Madrid conceded goal after goal, particularly in the Champions League against Borussia Dortmund. 

    Casillas has earned the respect of fans around the world because of his strong play for both Madrid and Spain. 

    His leadership and every other intangible he brings to the team are unmatched. Fans respect that. If only Jose Mourinho did as well.

Joe Hart

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    In a team full of players, many of whom opposing fans love to openly hate, Joe Hart manages to get people to like him.

    Hart is a great goalkeeper, but it is more for his personality most like him. 

    Have you seen the videos of him singing Oasis' Wonderwall on different occasions? You may want to check it out if you want a good laugh.

    Players who are able to have fun and not take themselves too seriously usually command a nice legion of fans. Hart is one of them.

Philipp Lahm

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    Philipp Lahm is the captain of both the German National Team and Bayern Munich.

    The defender is well known for his leadership and is one of the most respected footballers in Germany.

    Lahm is not flashy, though he has a beautiful long range shot. He isn't loud and demanding, but he is extremely effective.

    He quietly challenges his team to be better no matter the score, whether it's Die Mannschaft or Munich.

    Every team deserves to have a Philipp Lahm on its squad, but sadly not everyone does.

Andrea Pirlo

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    Many football fans feel as if they have been watching Andrea Pirlo play for decades. He looks a lot older than he is.

    But Pirlo is a veteran who every football fan respects.

    He has tremendous footballing ability. His set pieces and pinpoint accuracy rank him among the best in the world. 

    How can anyone forget the cheeky chip he did from the penalty spot during the European Championship in 2012 against Joe Hart?

    If you didn't like Pirlo before that, you probably liked him after. Unless you're an England or AC Milan fan. It's still a bit strange seeing him in a Juventus uniform, but he is still a fantastic player.

David Beckham

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    David Beckham is a legend who has accumulated both football and non-football fans from around the world.

    Everyone knows him. Most everyone loves him.

    The 38-year-old is still playing after all these years.

    You may not be a fan of French football or Paris Saint-Germain, but surely you have tuned in to catch a game or two since Beckham's arrival.

    He commands attention no matter what city he is in.

    He is Becks, and he is a living legend. You simply can't hate him.

    He donates his entire PSG salary to a children's charity in France. If this does not make him likable then nothing else will.

Carles Puyol

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    Carles Puyol is the heart of Barcelona, the leader of a team filled with some of the best footballers in the world.

    One may not like Barca or the success it has had in recent years, but numerous players on the squad are respected by rival fans from around the world.

    Puyol is one of the best defenders that Barcelona has ever produced. He is known for his leadership and always able to push his teammates and demand excellence from them.

    The Spaniard has also been a Blaugrana player for almost 20 years, which also commands respect and envy from both players and teams.

Steven Gerrard

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    Similar to Puyol, Steven Gerrard has been at his club since he was a young boy. 

    Gerrard joined Liverpool in 1987 and has been a part of the first team since 1998.

    Football is not always known for a player's loyalty to one team. Many footballers simply go where the money is. That's what is so refreshing about players like Gerrard who choose to play their entire careers for one club. 

    Fans appreciate loyalty. They want their team's players to love the team as much as they do. And Gerrard does. 

    More money can always be found elsewhere, but football doesn't have to be all about money.

    It can simply be about the love for the club which is exemplified by players like Gerrard.

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