7. Gareth Bale

World football's most expensive player jumps 33 places to number seven in this year's Guardian top 100, following a remarkable end to last season at Tottenham Hotspur with a swift transition to life at the Bernabeu.

Real Madrid shelled out just over £85m to bring the Welsh wizard to La Liga and after initial injury problems Bale has begun to pay back that extortionate fee, slamming home nine goals in 15 games.

The challenge now for Bale is to try and replicate or even better a breakthrough 2013, which must seem like a whirlwind for Spurs fans now surely missing their best player of the millennium so far.

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