One Iconic Player to Represent Each of the World's Major Leagues
When you think of the English Premier League, which player embodies and represents it in your eyes?
We take a look at Europe's top five domestic leagues (according to Opta Stats) and pick out the iconic player of each one.
Enjoy the slideshow, and feel free to share who you believe to be the face of each of the five leagues in the comments below.
English Premier League: Ryan Giggs
Think Premier League, think Ryan Giggs.
The EPL has been a top league since its inception in 1992, and Ryan Giggs has been synonymous with it the entire time.
He preceded the league's rebranding having started his career in 1990, and he still has a year left on his Manchester United deal that will take him to age 40.
He's grown as a player, enjoyed the highs and lows of any top footballer and remains a footballing icon to many in England—United fan or not.
Serie A: Francesco Totti
Think Serie A, think Francesco Totti.
One of the things that sets Italy apart from many other leagues is their habit of producing loyal, passionate stars.
Most of the major clubs have a player or two who have remained one-club men throughout their careers, such as Javier Zanetti of Inter (bar his Argentine start), Daniele De Rossi of Roma or Claudio Marchisio of Juventus.
The one that sticks out, though, is Totti. He's a Roman legend, and he's been around so long and was so prominent for the national side that to the casual fan Totti is the face of Serie A.
The fact that he wears black boots is a massive bonus.
Ligue 1: Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Think Ligue 1, think Zlatan Ibrahimovic
France's top tier has shot to prominence thanks to the nouveau-riche status of Paris Saint-Germain.
They've signed big players for big bucks, and these guys have put French football back on the map after a bit of a dry spell.
Usual hotshots Lyon and Marseille are in the business of selling their best players, and that's given the likes of Saint-Etienne, Montpellier and Bordeux the chance to steal in and overachieve.
Now, people flock to watch Carlo Ancelotti's troops with Zlatan the main attraction; he guarantees goals, entertainment, strops or a sending off.
Bundesliga: Bastian Schweinsteiger
Think Bundesliga, think Bastian Schweinsteiger.
"Schweini" is a Bayern Munich academy product and likely one-club man.
Die Bayern have been the heartbeat of the Bundesliga for decades such is their success and worldwide profile, and in turn Schweini has been the heartbeat of Bayern.
He is an absolute magnet for German clichés given his outrageously German name and incredible efficiency in his midfield position.
La Liga: Lionel Messi
Think La Liga, think Lionel Messi.
La Liga's rise to prominence over the last six or seven years can be correlated to a few key moments in the Spain's domestic football—one of which is the emergence of Messi.
He's come through the ranks at Barcelona, grown as a man and now embodies everything that is the Catalan club.
He's the main attraction, the star and the name on everybody's lips worldwide.
Messi is a once in a lifetime talent, and Pep Guardiola used him to spearhead Barca to borderline unprecedented dominance. From there, Spanish football hasn't looked back.