No. 26 David Silva, Manchester City/Spain
Why he's ranked: Such is the depth of talent in the Spanish midfield ranks that Manchester City's Silva has not always been a first pick for his national team in recent years, but there is no doubt he has the talents to light up Brazil 2014. Nimble-footed, a decisive passer and a scorer of spectacular goals, this 28-year-old is a class act.
Key stat: Over the last three seasons, Silva has the most Premier League assists with 32 since 2011-12.
What the experts say: "A quick straw poll of Manchester City fans would tell you that the player they love most of all is Silva. And that's despite playing alongside Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany. Silva's tiny form masks a robust work ethic, and a fearless seeking of possession in the most dangerous areas of the pitch. Were he able to finish in the same way as he supplies, then he would be in the very top echelon." - John Brewin
"He is one of soccer's most creative players right now and has become part of the backbone of Manchester City's successful season. He stills needs to reach the same heights when playing for Spain, but the World Cup may be the perfect occasion." - Enrique Sacco, ESPN Argentina