L’Équipe’s Best 11 Soccer Players of 2007

It’s the end of the year. A popular time for various press publications to make “Best Of 2007″-type rankings.

The Times (UK) did the Best 100 movies of 2007, the New York Times the 10 Best Books of 2007, mCalcio.com the Reuters (RNPS) Best Sports Pictures of 2007 (oh what a shameless plug from my part), and Time Magazine the Top 50 Websites of 2007 (no, unfortunately mCalcio isn’t in the list :) ).

Meanwhile newspapers like The Sun, or magazines like FourFourTwo, have been making Top 10 rankings all year long really (see Top 10 English Soccer Entertainers, Top 100 Footballers, or Richest Players/Club Owners of Premiership Soccer, among others).

So, it’s time for French sports newspaper L’Equipe to join the others, and name its All-Star XI Football Players for 2007. Premiership fans will be pleased, because the team is dominated by English-based lads.

Quoting the Goal.com review article:

In total 7 players from the ‘Top 4′ in England make the list, with only 2 from Spain and 2 from Italy respectively.

Juventus number one Gianluigi Buffon is chosen between the sticks, while the defence is made up of Sevilla’s Daniel Alves, Manchester Utd duo Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra, and somewhat surprisingly William Gallas of Arsenal, a player who missed much of last season through injury.

In midfield the English dominance continues with Cesc Fàbregas, Cristiano Ronaldo and Liverpool symbol Steven Gerrard. There is also a place for European and World Footballer of the Year Kaká.

Up-front Chelsea’s Didier Drogba is paired with Real Madrid’s Ruud Van Nistelrooy.


L’Équipe’s Best 11 Soccer Players of 2007

As always, a word of wisdom with such lists should inevitably be that they are highly subjective. In fact, I defy anyone here to agree on all 11 of these choices, but there are certainly a few players cited by L’Équipe which raise some eyebrows. I’ll get you started with some very pertinent issues raised by our friend RomaChris, over @ TheOffside.com:

  • Drogba? Really? He’s had 12 goals in the Premiership in the last 12 months, with a smattering in the various Prem competitions and 5 in the Champions League (whoopdedo). You could certainly do better than a goal a month in the league striker for one of the two best players at the position over a year.
  • So where’s Francesco Totti? Last time I checked he won the European Golden Boot. 9 goals in 10 league games this year and 24 in 28 over the 12 months. Yes, I’m biased [Chris is an ardent Roma supporter], but it goes far beyond rooting interests when you omit the guy who led Europe in scoring and his league in assists. No one in the world can match the productivity of Totti. Pretty asinine.
  • Rumor has it Lionel Messi and Andrea Pirlo have been doing alright as well. Pirlo, despite my love for him, has a more difficult argument just because it’s nearly impossible to dismiss Cesc and/or Stevie G, who has been making en fuego look like a frosty night in the Arctic over the past two months. As far as Messi goes, they couldn’t have used a 3-4-3 just to get him into the equation? It’s not as though this team would ever see the pitch. Who deserves to be on an all-world team more, Patrice Evra or The Messiah?
  • Buffon is a tough inclusion because half of this year was spent in Serie B doing penance, but he is clearly the best keeper in the world so…who knows. And that back line? Plenty of options to make an argument for. (Philip Lahm, Sergio Ramos, Ricardo Carvalho. Just a start.)

The comments section eagerly awaits your opinions. Fire away!


Posted in English Premiership, Serie A, Spanish Liga, World News |

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  • 38 Responses to “L’Équipe’s Best 11 Soccer Players of 2007”

    1. BeckhamUnited says:

      Haha.. Vidic,Evra,Ronaldo and a UNITED LEGEND Van Nistelrooy


    2. Redondo says:

      That list a joke. Buffon? Seriously? The man was playing in Serie B most of 2007.

      ———— Casillas ———
      Alves — Vidic — Gallas — Evra
      —— Kaka — Fabgregas —–
      Messi —————– Ronaldo
      ——– Totti — Ruud ——-

    3. Andrei says:

      Man Utd players, and the Premier League in general dominate this list. That is really awesome to see, however I have to agree with 9 of the 11 choices made by L’Equipe. They are the best 9 players in the world in their respective positions at the moment.

      GK: Buffon? Really? have you guys been watching La Liga? Casillas is not only more reliable, has been playing at a higher level than Buffon (sorry, Marco but Il Calcio is not at the same level as La Liga) and is much, much more entertaining, on top of this he has had a shit defence in front of him and still managed to lead, alongside with Beckham and van Nistelrooy, Madrid to the title.

      DR: Agree completley with Alves although, if Puyol would be considered a right back (as he is playing these days) he would have to be the best.

      DC: Vidic. No questions, Gallas. No questions. The Carvalho you mention is not even as good as John Terry. Sure he is a good defender, but the man will never, ever make a best XI list unless: a) Terry is also on it or b) it has anything to do with Portugal or Chelsea. Cannavaro has been a catastrophe and the Ramos you mention is good offensively, but defensivey he is only as good as his aforementioned teammate.

      DL: Evra? All the way! The only better left back in the world in my opinion is Abidal and the only reason that Abidal should not be on this list is because he has only played a short amount of time for a top club. Evra has been at one since the start of the year.

      MC: Gerrard? Yes. Ronaldo? Definitely. Fabregas? Are you out of your mind!? Sure he is al right, but how about Pirlo or Essien? Oh, you want an attacking midfielder? How about Diego from Bremen, who is miles ahead of Fabregas, or Messi who plays in virtually the same position as Ronaldo?

      AMC: I completely disagree with the choice of ‘Kaka”, but too many people would argue with me so I will just pretend it is a good choice.

      FC: No complaints. Do not look only at goals, also look at the player’s contribution to the team as well. Chelsea without Drogba is nearly null and the man also bangs in goals for fun sometimes. In my opinion he is not only worthy of being on this list, he is also the best striker in the world, methinks. van Nistelrooy, on the other hand is all about the goals and he scores at an incerdible rate. At one point he had one goal for every 3 shots on goal! It does not get better than that.

    4. Ahmed Bilal says:

      What, more United bias? what is the world coming to…

    5. Xamista says:

      GR: Helton… he’s a cat…

      DR: Bosingwa! he’s way better than dani alves… but, like always, nobody knows anything beside england and some of spain and italy…

      DC: Pepe and Bruno Alves… just like bosingwa, nobody knew Pepe, and critisised the price Madrid paid… now they eat their words… and Bruno Alves will be next… he jumps like michael jordan! :P (btw, portugal got 3 of the worlds best DC:Pepe B.Alves and R.Carvalho… and if J.Andrade wasn’t unlucky with multiple injuries he would be there too!…)

    6. peejay says:

      Has Fabregas become a winger or has Ronaldo become a centre-mid all of a sudden?

      Fabregas has played well during 07/08 but hasn’t been outstanding and how Vidic and Gallas were picked over Rio is just a mystery.

      Totti would have been better than Drogba, especially considering how similar Drogba and v. Nistelrooy are.

      I hate it when people start coming up with their lists that are always jam-packed with unproven players that play for their favorite club but have never been touted as players of the future, past or present, never internationally recognized and never rated as good players.


      Pepe? Bruno Alves? Carvalho? Coincidence that all three play/played for Porto?

      Are you really comparing them to players like Ferdinand and Terry?

      Bosingwa? Bruno Alves? Pepe? Helton?

      All players that may have shined [may have] in the Portugese Serie A but have done little or nothing elsewhere. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bosigwa has played 6 matches for Portugal, yet he’s been a pro for 7 years. Same for Bruno Alves.

      Helton, 29 years old, 3 caps for Brazil. If he loses out to Julio Cesar, Marcos and Dida he can’t be that good now can he?

      Pépé, nobody is eating their words about him, Real Madrid paid too much for him and he is not what they thought he was, full stop.

    7. Redondo says:

      Peejaay: LOL!

      What nonsense! Pepe has been rock solid and the best defender in La Liga the last 6-6 matches. I suggest you watch the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. He was outstanding and was truly man of the match!

      Worth every penny!

    8. joejoejoe says:

      If you had to win one game would you rather lineup C. Ronaldo, Gerrard, and Fabregas in the same midfield or Gattuso, Essien, and Ribery?

    9. Walt, TX says:

      This list is too freakin’ biased towards Premier league…a few names from other leagues should be seriously considered: Diego (Werder Bremen) and Van der Vaart (Hamburg) for example. The latter has had an amazing 2007 both saving HSV from relegation and helping them cling a UEFA Cup place in 2006-2007 after recovering from injury, and he is also the main reason why HSV are chasing Bayern closely this season. On top of that both Diego and VDV have scored some of the most amazing goals of 2007…hey, how about Messi?

    10. peejay says:

      Messi, like Fabregas, has shined so brightly only since September.

      Neither did/won anything last year.

    11. Sam says:

      ROBBIE KEANE! 31 Goals in 39 starts in 2007 i believe! wtf mate?

    12. KIBZIE says:

      I dont think that team sheet reflects the best players of 2007 (January to December – NOT the 06/07 season).

      My first casualty would be Drogba. He was undoubtedly the best striker in the Premiership until Xmas. He kept Chelsea in the title race, the late winner at Everton was amazing, when they were having their injury problems but in 2007 he has failed to regain that level. I would replace him with Carlos Tevez because of his amazing performances for West Ham and defying the critics by forming a promising partnership with Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford. You may I’m biased towards United but I’m putting the Argentine in the team because of the way he, along with Mark Noble, dragged West Ham out of the relegation zone.

      Second to go are Gerrard and Fabregas. No one can argue that Cesc has set North London ablaze this season but I can’t remember him doing much in the beginning of the year, despite having Henry still at the Emirates. I think Gerrard is overrated but this may be due to my continual disappointment of his performances in an England shirt. I’d put Michael Essien in the middle, who I felt ran the show at Chelsea and had he not been relegated to defence when injury struck Terry & company, he would shone even more. Messi will also come in. He could’t have come second in FIFA player of the year for nothing (although I think that award is a joke, according to FIFA any player who plays in England isn’t good enough for that gong).

      Kaka and C.Ronaldo stay. Ronaldo was on fire throughout 2007, winning both Premier League awards and is currently top scorer in the EPL. I’ll never forget how Kaka tore United apart during the Champions League semi-final matches. I hope we don’t have to play Milan again this season.

      Gallas also has to go. Although he has been playing very well recently for Arsenal, I was amazed that Wenger appointed him captain after is 06/07 campaign. He was either injured or playing poorly. I can’t put him in the team just because of his performances from September. Admittedly I haven’t seen much of La Liga or Serie A this year, but I can’t imagin there being a better defensive partnership than Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. United has the 2nd best defensive record of last season and so far the best this season.

      Casillas also replaces Buffon in goal. Like Andrei says, he was brilliant in Madrids La Liga title despite a terrible defence in front of him.


    13. Xamista says:


      you are really blind!!! you don’t know anything about football… just because they don’t play in Manchester or Milan, they are not good… that’s the problem of everyone of you that don’t understand football… the name does not make a player! if it does, the galatics from real madrid 3,4 years ago would have won everything, witch they didn’t!!! Probably you didn’t knew DECO too before he went to Barça… and btw he wasn’t playing for Brazil!… so he’s not good?!?! NO!!! he’s great!!! just cause he played for Porto he never given the true value… Like Luis Enrique said: “Barça with 5 Puyols and 6 Decos won all games!”

      PS: Manchester is intrested in buying the weak Bosingwa… it must be to get the balls after the shots in training!

    14. colver john says:

      Hmm I do not think the L’Equipe team would do so good. It lacks balance and is just a collection of good players.

      Alves I do not think has good enough defensive qualities, leaving a team brimming with attacking potential exposed. I’d prefer Lahm.

      Vidic and Gallas are both solid but I think defence lacks a bit of pace. I’d be happier with Gallas and Ferdinand

      Ronaldo is played out of position. I think Messi would be a better fit for this team.

      I think Drogba would be better matched with a pacey striker with a bit more creativity. I’m not sure how pacey Totti is, but in terms of creativity he’d fit the bill. Another option would be someone like Ibrahamovitch…he didn’t have the best of seasons but for my money he’s a world class striker. Alternatively if you want to include Ronaldo play him up front like he does for Portugal

    15. Nerazzurri says:

      What the fuck is Gerrard doing there?! He’s shit and a cheat.

      Why are there fuck all Serie A players? It’s a much better league than La Liga. Every La Liga game I saw this year was so mind-numbingly boring!

    16. Arsenal da best says:

      this is how it should be


    17. Andrei M. says:

      i dont understand why gerrard is in the list. sure he is a great player but i thunk essien or pirlo could be in that list instead of them.

    18. european football blog says:

      i’ll pick rio over gallas. i’ll also play 4-4-2 with gerrard on the right flank and mascherano alongside kaka. ronaldo can play on the left flank. i want to put messi but i can’t find a spot for him.

    19. peejay says:

      It’s not hard to shine in the portugese league, it is hard to shine in the premiership and serie a.

      This is why your favorite players aren’t on the list; nobody watches those leagues and he is unproven on a bigger stage.

      I can easily say that whoever runs the show in the Championship but that’s the Championship, not the Premiership.

    20. Walt, TX says:

      “It’s not hard to shine in the portugese league, it is hard to shine in the premiership and serie a.”….this is bullshit!!! players only get more media attention when they play in a big money leagues like premier or serie a. Most players that now shine in Premier league once shone in other leagues such as Portuguese. Look just at the best XI team selected: only one English player: Gerrard, and IMO he should not be in it. Premier League is overrated, they have 4 big teams with all the stars in the world and then a bunch of teams with mostly average to mediocre players and the occasional revelation. This makes the league highly unbalanced…and thats why is actually EASIER to shine in premier league if you play for one of the big 4 (which, by the way, all the PL selections for the best XI come from those 4)…

    21. Xamista says:

      yes, is a little harder to shine in Premiership and Serie A, but when a player is really good is good everywhere! Just look at Deco and Pepe and R.Carvalho… that’s why I only said 3 players(from porto…) witch I think they could be in the top… and I didn’t mentioned Quaresma(a world class player!), just because he’s very inconsistent…
      And despite the loss in anfield road, Porto won the group in front of Liverpool! That must mean something…
      And hopefully you’ll see what I’m talking about in Euro08, where btw there will be no England…!

    22. Karl says:

      @Walt, TX
      You said:
      “Premier League is overrated, they have 4 big teams with all the stars in the world and then a bunch of teams with mostly average to mediocre players and the occasional revelation. This makes the league highly unbalanced”

      On the same point,
      - How balanced are Serie A? (only really Inter, AC, maybe Juventus)
      - How balanced are La Liga? (only really Barca, Real)
      - Portugese? (Porto)
      - etc?

    23. peejay says:

      I’m guessing you didn’t watch Quaresma when he played in a real league. In case you didn’t notice, he only lasted a year.

      Deco’s good, not as good as some say but he’s good, though something of a late bloomer.

      Pepe and Carvalho are both good but neither of them are good enough to justify their high transfer fees.

    24. Walt, TX says:

      These numbers, I think, support my claim about the highly unbalance nature of PL:

      Premier League: 3 teams: Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea.

      Serie A: 5 teams: Inter, Milan, Juventus, Roma, Lazio

      La Liga: 4 teams: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Deportivo

      Portuguese La Liga: 4 teams: Porto, Benfica, Sporting, Boavista

      Bundesliga: 5 teams: Bayern, Stuttgart, Bremen, Dortmund, Kaiserlautern

      So, not only PL is the league with fewer champs in the last 10 years but, if I looked right, the 3 champs plus Liverpool have always made it top 5 in those 10 seasons!!! nothing like that has happened in any of the other leagues! In all other leagues the first 5 places have shifted considerably and even in Bundesliga we have a case of a champion in the last 10 years playing now second division (Kaiserlautern).
      So if you only follow superficially other leagues it seems that the only teams are Barcelona, Real, Bayern, Porto, but the truth is, there is a little more to it, at least when compared to PL…

    25. Karl says:

      Walt, TX
      In your original statement you speak about stars and average/mediocre players that make the league unbalanced.

      Now you mention numbers of championship winnings as your reason?

      In order for me to attempt to prove that the other leagues are JUST AS unbalanced, I need to know what you base your argument on.

      So, which is it?

    26. Karl says:

      [Walt, TX]
      While I wait on your response, allow me to adress another point in your original statement:
      “and thats why is actually EASIER to shine in premier league if you play for one of the big 4″

      I disagree somewhat…
      It is easier for a shark to stand out if he swims in a pool with sardines. For him to stand out amongst other sharks, he have to be something really special.

    27. Riaz says:

      Best 11


      Casillas, Van den Borre, O.Hargreaves, Xavi, Huntelaar

      All round perfect 11, has formation, entire squad is solid from defence to attack.

    28. Asif says:

      i think there should be torres instead of van nistory and there should be messi insted of the gay boy ronaldo

    29. Tai says:

      My team





      sub: cech-gallas-lampard-v.nistelrooy

      my formation is 4-4-2

    30. gerrad azam says:

      yes, is a little harder to shine in Premiership and Serie A, but when a player is really good is good everywhere! Just look at Deco and Pepe and R.Carvalho… that’s why I only said 3 players(from porto…) witch I think they could be in the top… and I didn’t mentioned Quaresma(a world class player!), just because he’s very inconsistent…
      And despite the loss in anfield road, Porto won the group in front of Liverpool! That must mean something…
      And hopefully you’ll see what I’m talking about in Euro08, where btw there will be no England…!

    31. messi c.e. says:


      That’s a way better team then all of yours

    32. naagii says:


      S.Ramos- Rozehnal – Terry – Essein


      C.Ronaldo Kaka


      A.Pato Boyan

    33. xxxxxpersonja says:

      dida(GK) cech (rezerva)




      rezerv (GK) cech wiese and
      mbrojtes : belleti bonsingwa
      mesfshushor: trochofski diego ballack fabregas
      sulmues: pato shevchenko nasri van persie

    34. Martin says:

      I think the best formation for star soccer player is this:
      Une mednoj se formacioni ma i mir ne bot asht ky:


      Ramos Pepe Gallas Evra


      Sneijder Kaka C.Ronaldo

      Zarate Ibrahimovic

    35. Rroni says:

      Ky asht Formacioni mai mir ne botë :lol:



      ——————–Fernando Gago—————-

      Sneijder———–Van der Vaart———–Arjen Robben


      Kta jan te mdhajttt!!!!!!!!!!!

    36. Hierro says:

      Gallas out !! Ferdinand or Terry is better

    37. khalifa says:

      Iker Cassillas

      Dani Alves Nemanja Vidic R.Carvalho P.Evra


      Xavi Shwenstiger

      L. Messi C.Ronaldo

    38. INTER says:

      von der sar

      pyol zaneti lucio samuel

      gerrard cambiasso sneijder

      adriano ronaldo ibrahimoviq