No. 37 Steven Gerrard, Liverpool/England
Why he's ranked: Gerrard has been at the top of his profession since making his first team breakthrough at Liverpool in 1998. Trophies and iconic performances have been carved into his Anfield legend, yet he has shown this season that he is also capable of modifying his game in the latter stages of his career; Gerrard was superb in a deeper midfield role that allowed him to dictate play.
Key stat: Gerrard led the English Premier League with 13 assists this season, his most ever in an EPL season, and also scored 13 goals, his second-highest tally (16 in 2008-09).
What the experts say: "Now a veteran, his game has evolved. Once he was the long-limbed dynamo, gobbling up miles of grass, firing from all areas and driving his teammates forward. Now he's a deep-lying playmaker, using those same passing skills to dictate tempo and run the attack. It's a natural evolution. But the common thread is still uncanny vision coupled with natural leadership. The fact that he has reinvented himself and has reinterpreted his role is a credit to him." -- Gabriele Marcotti