3. Xavi

Would Barcelona and Spain have been able to achieve what they have in the 21st Century without Xavi? It's doubtful.

The midfield maestro has been hugely influential for both club and country since around 2006 - but particularly when Pep Guardiola was appointed manager of Barcelona in 2008.

Xavi has controlled hundreds of matches with his computer-like brain. His passes are unnervingly accurate - just check out the passing statistics whenever he plays - while he has developed a telepathic understanding with his teammates.

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