Football

Top 5 Players of 2012

Van Persie celebrates successful 2012. (©GettyImages)
Van Persie celebrates successful 2012. (©GettyImages).

As the end of the year gets ever closer, I take a look at five of the English Premier League's best performers for 2012.

5. Luis Suarez (Liverpool and Uruguay)

The South American's record is impressive, having scored 17 goals and assisted four times in 2012. Although some may argue that a striker of his calibre should score more goals, Suarez's all-round contribution cannot be underestimated.

He scored two hat-tricks in 2012 - both coming against Norwich at Carrow Road - and this season the Uruguay international has already amassed 11 goals, whilst he has been the driving force for Liverpool. His most memorable strike came against Norwich when he caught John Ruddy off his line and hit a sumptuous shot into the net.

4. Juan Mata (Chelsea and Spain)

To date, the Spaniard has scored eight goals and made 12 assists this calendar year. His dribbling skills are second-to-none and his ability to pick a pass means Chelsea and Spain are always dangerous going forward. Although Mata would want to add to his goal tally, he's been effective for Chelsea in the playmaking role under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez in 2012.

Along with the likes of Hazard, Oscar and Moses, Mata is the creative force behind Chelsea's attacking play and is an integral member of their squad. Mata's stand-out goal from 2012 was his spectacular volleyed effort in the 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

3. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United and England)

Manchester United's talisman has nine assists to his name, scoring 21 goals this calendar year. He has been instrumental to Manchester United's success for the past five years and his willingness to adapt to a variety of positions makes him an invaluable asset.

Rooney has featured mostly in attack during 2012, although he has also played further back in midfield, often playing behind the striker in the 'number 10' position. Rooney has scored a whole host of top goals, making it almost impossible to choose one strike that stands out from the rest.

2. Vincent Kompany (Manchester City and Belgium)

The captain of title-winning Manchester City has been solid at the back, helping to keep 13 clean sheets and scoring one goal. That solitary effort was crucial, as Kompany headed the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat rivals Manchester United 1-0 in what was effectively a title-decider.

The Belgian is one of the best defenders in the world and his consistent displays throughout 2012 have earned the 26-year-old plaudits from managers and players alike. Although Kompany looked out of sorts during the early stages of the season, he has regained his form, reinforcing why he is one of the most feared defenders on the planet. As mentioned, Kompany's highlight of 2012 came in the Manchester derby, as he scored the only goal of the game to claim all three points for City.

1. Robin Van Persie (Manchester United, Arsenal and Holland)

The Dutch striker has scored 29 goals this calendar year and created 10 assists for his teammates. During his time at Arsenal, Van Persie single-handedly carried the Gunners to a 3rd-placed finish, with 'RVPs' scintillating form earning him the right to be discussed in the same breath as some of the best players in the world.

Now plying his trade with Manchester United, Van Persie has already endeared himself to the United faithful, scoring two hat-tricks and three braces this calendar year. Although not necessarily his best goal, the most significant of 2012 would be the one against Manchester City in his first ever Manchester derby.

Topics:
Robin Van Persie
Football
Premier League
Vincent Kompany
Juan Mata
Wayne Rooney
Luis Suarez

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