Per qualche motivo, il periodo della vacanze natalizie è anche quello in cui tutte le società umane si fanno prendere dalla bramosia di stilare classifiche di ogni genere, generalmente Top 100. Lo ha fatto il quotidiano inglese The Guardian, per esempio, stilando la graduatoria dei migliori cento giocatori del mondo. Con le due classiche premesse che si fanno in questi casi – una classifica del genere non potrà mai essere totalmente oggettiva, e in ogni caso alla fine vince Messi – ecco a voi la Top 100 del calcio mondiale secondo gli analisti di Oltremanica:

1. Lionel Messi. Forward. Barcelona. Argentina. 25. Rosario
2. Cristiano Ronaldo. Forward. Real Madrid. Portugal. 27. Funchal
3. Xavi. Midfielder. Barcelona. Spain. 32. Terrassa
4. Andres Iniesta. Midfielder. Barcelona. Spain. 28. Fuentealbilla
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Forward. PSG. Sweden. 31. Malmoe
6. Radamel Falcao. Forward. Atletico Madrid. Colombia. 26. Santa Marta
7. Robin van Persie. Forward. Man Utd. Netherlands. 29. Rotterdam
8. Andrea Pirlo. Midfielder. Juventus. Italy. 33. Flero
9. Yaya Toure. Midfielder. Man City. Ivory Coast. 29. Bouake
10. Edinson Cavani. Forward. Napoli. Uruguay. 25. Salto
11. Sergio Aguero. Forward. Man City. Argentina. 24. Quilmes
12. Iker Casillas. Goalkeeper. Real Madrid. Spain. 31. Mastoles
13. Neymar. Forward. Santos. Brazil. 20. Mogi das Cruzes
14. Sergio Busquets. Defender/midfielder. Barcelona. Spain. 24. Sabadell
15. Xabi Alonso. Midfielder. Real Madrid. Spain. 31. Tolosa
16. Thiago Silva. Defender. PSG. Brazil. 28. Rio de Janeiro
17. Mesut Ozil. Midfielder. Real Madrid. Germany. 24. Gelsenkirchen
18. David Silva. Midfielder/forward. Man City. Spain. 26. Arguineguin
19. Bastian Schweinsteiger. Midfielder. Bayern Munich. Germany. 28. Kolbermoor
20. Gianluigi Buffon. Goalkeeper. Juventus. Italy. 34. Carrara
21. Luis Suarez. Forward. Liverpool. Uruguay. 25. Salto
22. Sergio Ramos. Defender. Real Madrid. Spain. 26. “Camas.  Seville”
23. Vincent Kompany. Defender. Man City. Belgium. 26. Uccle
24. Gerard Pique. Defender. Barcelona. Spain. 25. Barcelona
25. Philipp Lahm. Defender. Bayern Munich. Germany. 29. Munich
26. Willian. Midfielder. Shakhtar Donetsk. Brazil. 24. Ribeirao Pires
27. Marco Reus. Forward. Borussia Dortmund. Germany. 23. Dortmund
28. Franck Ribery. Midfielder. Bayern Munich. France. 29. Boulogne-sur-Mer
29. Manuel Neuer. Goalkeeper. Bayern Munich. Germany. 26. Gelsenkirchen
30. Ashley Cole. Defender. Chelsea. England. 32. Stepney
31. Wayne Rooney. Forward. Man Utd. England. 27. Croxteth
32. Juan Mata. Midfielder. Chelsea. Spain. 24. Villafranca Montes de Oca
33. Thomas Muller. Forward. Bayern Munich. Germany. 23. Weilheim in Oberbayern
34. Mario Goetze. Midfielder/forward. Borussia Dortmund. Germany. 20. Memmingen
35. Karim Benzema. Forward. Real Madrid. France. 24. Lyon
36. Cesc Fabregas. Midfielder. Barcelona. Spain. 25. Arenys de Mar
37. Oscar. Midfielder. Chelsea. Brazil. 21. Americana
38. Fernandinho. Midfielder. Shakhtar Donetsk. Brazil. 27. Londrina
39. Javier Mascherano. Defender/midfielder. Barcelona. Argentina. 28. San Lorenzo
40. Gareth Bale. Defender. Tottenham. Wales. 23. Cardiff
41. Javier Zanetti. Defender/midfielder. Internazionale. Argentina. 39. Buenos Aires
42. Daniele De Rossi. Midfielder. Roma. Italy. 29. Rome
43. Dani Alves. Defender. Barcelona. Brazil. 29. Juazeiro
44. Petr Cech. Goalkeeper. Chelsea. Czech Republic. 30. Pilsen
45. Mats Hummels. Defender. Borussia Dortmund. Germany. 24. Bergisch Gladbach
46. Carles Puyol. Defender. Barcelona. Spain. 34. Lleida
47. Angel Di Maria. Midfielder. Real Madrid. Argentina. 24. Rosario
48. Carlos Tevez. Forward. Man City. Argentina. 28. Buenos Aires
49. Didier Drogba. Forward. Shanghai Shenhua. Ivory Coast. 34. Abidjan
50. Giorgio Chiellini. Defender. Juventus. Italy. 28. Livorno
51. Marcelo. Defender. Real Madrid. Brazil. 24. Rio de Janeiro
52. Stephan El Shaarawy. Forward. Milan. Italy. 20. Savona
53. Toni Kroos. Midfielder. Bayern Munich. Germany. 22. Greifswald
54. Samuel Eto’o. Forward. Anzhi Makhachkala. Cameroon. 31. Douala
55. Jordi Alba. Defender/midfielder. Barcelona. Spain. 23. L’Hospitalet de Llobregat
56. Mario Gomez. Forward. Bayern Munich. Germany. 27. Riedlingen
57. Arturo Vidal. Midfielder. Juventus. Chile. 25. Santiago
58. Eden Hazard. Midfielder. Chelsea. Belgium. 21. La Louviere
59. James Rodriguez. Midfielder. Porto. Colombia. 21. Cucuta
60. Marouane Fellaini. Midfielder. Everton. Belgium. 25. Etterbeek
61. Ramires. Midfielder. Chelsea. Brazil. 25. Barra do Piraì
62. David Villa. Forward. Barcelona. Spain. 31. Tuilla
63. Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Forward. Schalke. Netherlands. 29. Bronckhorst
64. Nemanja Vidic. Defender. Man Utd. Serbia. 31. Uzice
65. Joe Hart. Goalkeeper. Man City. England. 25. Shrewsbury
66. Arjen Robben. Midfielder/forward. Bayern Munich. Netherlands. 28. Bedum
67. Mario Balotelli. Forward. Man City. Italy. 22. Palermo
68. Mathieu Valbuena. Midfielder. Marseille. France. 28. Bruges
69. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Forward. St Etienne. Gabon. 23. Laval
70. Robert Lewandowski. Forward. Borussia Dortmund. Poland. 24. Warsaw
71. Hernanes. Midfielder. Lazio. Brazil. 27. Recife
72. Pedro. Forward. Barcelona. Spain. 25. Santa Cruz de Tenerife
73. Santi Cazorla. Midfielder. Arsenal. Spain. 28. “Llanera.  Asturias”
74. Christian Eriksen. Midfielder. Ajax. Denmark. 20. Middelfart
75. Ezequiel Lavezzi. Forward. PSG. Argentina. 27. Santa Fe
76. Joao Moutinho. Midfielder. Porto. Portugal. 26. Portimao
77. Mario Mandzukic. Forward. Bayern Munich. Croatia. 26. Slavonski Brod
78. Patrice Evra. Defender. Man Utd. France. 31. Dakar. Senegal
79. David Luiz. Defender. Chelsea. Brazil. 25. Diadema
80. Luka Modric. Midfielder. Real Madrid. Croatia. 27. Zadar
81. Victor Wanyama. Defender/midfielder. Celtic. Kenya. 21. Nairobi
82. Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa. Defender. Montpelier. France. 23. Bangui.  Central African Rep.
83. Hulk. Forward. Zenit St Petersburg. Brazil. 26. Campina Grande
84. Darijo Srna. Midfielder. Shakhtar Donetsk. Croatia. 30. Metkovic
85. Emmanuel Mayuka. Forward. Southampton. Zambia. 22. Kabwe
86. John Terry. Defender. Chelsea. England. 32. Barking
87. Kwadwo Asamoah. Midfielder. Juventus. Ghana. 24. Accra
88. Leonardo Bonucci. Defender. Juventus. Italy. 25. Viterbo
89. Javier Pastore. Midfielder. PSG. Argentina. 23. Cordoba
90. Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Midfielder/forward. Shakhtar Donetsk. Armenia. 23. Yerevan
91. Moussa Dembele. Midfielder. Tottenham. Belgium. 25. Wilrijk
92. Hatem Ben Arfa. Midfielder/forward. Newcastle. France. 25. Clamart
93. Samir Nasri. Midfielder. Man City. France. 25. Marseille
94. Shinji Kagawa. Midfielder. Man Utd. Japan. 23. Kobe
95. Wesley Sneijder. Midfielder. Internazionale. Netherlands. 28. Utrecht
96. Pepe. Defender. Real Madrid. Portugal. 29. Maceiò
97. Marek Hamsik. Midfielder. Napoli. Slovakia. 25. Banska Bystrica
98. Javi Martinez. Defender/midfielder. Bayern Munich. Spain. 24. Estella, Lizarra
99. Diego Forlan. Forward. Internacional. Uruguay. 33. Montevideo

Il nostro calcio, evidenziato dai nomi in grassetto di nazionali azzurri e giocatori di Serie A, ne esce maluccio: a parte l’ottavo posto del mohicano Andrea Pirlo e il decimo di Edinson Cavani, unico top player proposto dal nostro torneo negli ultimi anni, il resto è un deserto dei Tartari. Si salva qualche vecchia gloria (Buffon 20esimo, Zanetti 41esimo, De Rossi 42esimo), e dopo la 50esima posizione prova a farsi largo la nostra scarna meglio gioventù, con El Shaarawy al gradino 52, Vidal al 57 e Mario Balotelli al 67.