Who is the best central midfielder in the world?
Is he Ivorian? English? Croatian? Turkish?
There is always great interest and discussion about declaring the top players at their respective positions. Whether ranking goalkeepers or strikers, the world wants to know who is the best.
Although there are many lists ranking the top players, the criteria often changes and creates major controversy.
Reputation, past performance, injuries and current form have all been determining factors in player rankings.
This list is the sixth of an entire series. From goalkeepers to managers, it will rank the top 10 men at their positions.
Players will be ranked by their abilities and contributions on the pitch, not by their team's performance. For example, Barcelona's Victor Valdés rarely lets in goals for the European and Spanish champions. Despite his impressive record, he finds himself behind Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina in Spain's pecking order. His individual abilities and displays do not warrant a top-five spot on the goalkeeper list.
Players will not be judged by their special games or memorable moments, but by their consistent level of top form. For example, Manchester United's Wayne Rooney will be ranked according to his form over the latter stages of 2011's campaign. He will not be judged by his terrible form post-injury, which carried into the beginning of this season.
Injuries will have no impact on the list. For example, Arsenal's Robin van Persie will be ranked according to his performances for the Gunners this season. He has been plagued by injuries in recent years, but he will be judged by his level of play when fit.
Note: Players who have just retired, such as Edwin Van der Sar and Paul Scholes, will not be included in this series.
This is the sixth installment of a series of football power rankings.
Here are the top 10 central midfielders in the world.