No. 22 Philipp Lahm, Bayern Munich/Germany
Why he's ranked: It says much about Lahm's supreme talents that he has excelled at Bayern Munich this season in both a holding midfield role and his more familiar full-back berth. Now 30, this relentlessly consistent performer will be playing in his third World Cup this summer, and if he leaves Brazil as a winner, his legacy in the game will be secured.
Key stat: Lahm, one of the best passers in the game, completed the most passes of any player in Bundesliga this season (2,111) and the most by any player over the past three seasons (6,424). He also has the second most passes by any player in the past two World Cup tournaments (757).
What the experts say: "Lahm showed his intelligence in the ease with which he adapted to playing as a full-back on either flank or in the midfield. He has the role of leading a German team with great quality but needs to add the relevant international titles." - Paulo Cobos, ESPN Brasil
"He's one of the world's best left-backs. And right-backs. And central midfielders too. Lahm's capacity to adapt to new positions is matched only by his freakish consistency. 'He can't play badly,' his youth coach, Hermann Gerland, once said." - Raphael Honigstein