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What does World Class mean? | Which Premiership Players are World Classs?

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There’s a lot of talk about the need to sign "world class" players but how do you define the term? Is world class just another way to describe a player – like "good" or "great"? Or is it a literal term to mean players that are good enough to play for the world against another planet – if you believe in that sort of thing!

For instance, a lot of people say that Mascherano or Carrick are "world class" and while they’re both very good players, there’s no way either would get into a world XI.

I’d say there can only be, at most, 22 players at any one time who can be truly "world class" – ie, they’d get into a world XI squad to play against the Martians.

So, who in the premiership or at Liverpool is truly a world class player? I think it would be Gerrard for sure while both Reina and Torres are on the cusp. You can’t argue with 39 clean sheets in two Premiership seasons and he’s arguably the best penalty stopper in the world.

For the record, here’s my World Class 22:

Goalies (3):
Buffon, Casillas and I’d flip a coin for Reina or Cech.

Defenders (7):
Alves, Zambrotta, Zanetti, Lahm, Cannavaro, Nesta and Thuram (yes he’s old but he’s still class).

Midfielders (8):
Gerrard, Gattuso, Essien, Messi, Kaka, Pirlo, Sneijder and Ronaldinho

Strikers (4):
Eto’o, Henry, Rooney and it’s a three way coin flip for Torres, van Nistelrooy or Drogba. Incidentally, for Liverpool fans, here’s a nice little interview he did back in Spain (complete with dodgy translation).

I’m sure there’s some controversy here but here’s the way I’ve been thinking. Who’s the better player in the following pairs:

Gerrard and Messi

Cronaldo and Pirlo

Sneijder and Deco

Thuram and Puyol

Terry and Nesta

Totti and Rooney

All of these guys are great players, but in different ways. I like the flexibility my team would provide with steel and silk in the back four in tandem with dynamism and latent creativity in the midfield. Upfront I have pure, predatory pace with true strikers who have ice water flowing through their veins.

Seeing as how the discussions on my previous posts have gone, I’m predicting you guys won’t be able to put the good of the planet ahead of your need to validate the arbitrary choice you made to support your team by trying to shoe-horn in as many current players into your 22.

Enjoy!