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March 2, 2010 at 3:45 PM

ESPN ranks Landon Donovan the World Cup’s 50th-best player

Arbitrary lists like ESPN’s top 50 soccer players at the World Cup are good for only one thing: debate.
The list itself means nothing with reaction and discussion, which is why I’m sure it has America’s own Landon Donovan at No. 50. Before we continue, let’s take a look at the rankings:

    1, Lionel Messi (Argentina)
    2, Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
    3, Wayne Rooney (England)
    4, Kaka (Brazil)
    5, Xavi (Spain)
    6, Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast)
    7, Andres Iniesta (Spain)
    8, Fernando Torres (Spain)
    9, Steven Gerrard (England)
    10, Michael Essien (Ghana)
    11, David Villa (Spain)
    12, Franck Ribery (France)
    13, Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon)
    14, Luis Fabiano (Brazil)
    15, Iker Casillas (Spain)
    16, Cesc Fabregas (Spain)
    17, Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
    18, Dani Alves (Brazil)
    19, Nemanja Vidic (Serbia)
    20, Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
    21, Maicon (Brazil)
    22, Frank Lampard (England)
    23, Andrea Pirlo (Italy)
    24, Carlos Tevez (Argentina)
    25, Robin var Persie (Netherlands)
    26, Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)
    27, Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
    28, Thierry Henry (France)
    29, Sergio Aguero (Argentina)
    30, Michael Ballack (Germany)
    31, Julio Cesar (Brazil)
    32, Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
    33, Gerard Pique (Spain)
    34, Miroslav Klose (Germany)
    35, Lucio (Brazil)
    36, Javier Mascherano (Argentina)
    37, John Terry (England)
    38, David Silva (Spain)
    39, Carles Puyol (Spain)
    40, Nicolas Anelka (France)
    41, Ashley Cole (England)
    42, Patrice Evra (France)
    43, Marek Hamsik (Slovakia)
    44, Karim Benzema (France)
    45, Yoann Gourcuff (France)
    46, Daniele De Rossi (Italy)
    47, Philipp Lahm (Germany)
    48, Yaya Toure (Ivory Coast)
    49, Giorgio Chiellini (Italy)
    50, Landon Donovan (United States)

I’m sure USMNT fans are just happy no Mexican players were listed. Though ranking Donovan ahead of guys like Sergio Ramos, Robinho, Xabi Alonso and Ronaldinho is a bit curious.
The top 10 actually looks pretty good to me, but the soccer world is full of opinionated and educated fans, so what do you think?
Also, while Sounders FC practice is resuming Wednesday, the U.S. men take on the Netherlands in Amsterdam. It will serve as the last international match before coach Bob Bradley selects his 23-man roster for the World Cup.
As such, there is a lot of national team coverage out there that I wanted to pass along. First off, there’s a report that Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has volunteered to help the U.S. before the World Cup. Interesting.
And apparently the team has hired a new assistant coach named Lubos Kubik. Here are interviews with Jose Francisco Torres and Stuart Holden. SI’s Grant Wahl also has this entertaining Q&A with Jonathan Spector.
The oft-injured Jermaine Jones, who a lot of U.S. fans have been hoping to see was in camp introducing himself to the players. Lastly, here’s a story that says USMNT fans should start hating England for rivalry purposes.
And since I love embedding video, how about this goal off a corner kick (forgive the soundtrack).

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