No. 24 Karim Benzema, Real Madrid/France
Why he's ranked: Real Madrid's demanding supporters have struggled to warm to the talents of this goal-getter even though he consistently comes up with crucial strikes for the capital city club. He has suffered equally critical analysis of his performances in his French homeland; now, this World Cup offers Benzema a chance to make amends for his omission from France's squad for South Africa 2010.
Key stat: Only Lionel Messi and teammate Cristiano Ronaldo have scored more La Liga goals than Benzema's 64 since 2010-11.
What the experts say: "He has had the best season of his career at Real Madrid, proving that at 26, he is now one of the best strikers in the world. His game is much more than just scoring though. He is capable of great assists thanks to his vision. It makes him a complete forward, one who is really hard to play against." -- Julien Laurens