Joey Barton is a man everyone loves to hate.

So when the controversial QPR midfielder recently remarked that Wayne Rooney was not a footballer whose name falls into the ‘world-class’ category, it was never going to slip under the radar.

But while many will claim that he is off his mark by suggesting that England’s iconic forward doesn’t qualify for the top bracket of football player, there’s another element of the interview which few will be able to argue with: the term ‘world-class’ is thrown around far too easily. It’s become a regular fixture in the modern game that a player can have one outstanding season and end up being lauded as a world-beating entity.

We here at GiveMeSport believe there still should remain a plateau for the ultimate talent. A higher level, if you will, which separates the very good - and all those below them - from the incredible. From the players who truly are world-class.

Click on to see who we deem to be the ‘world-class’ players currently kicking it in the modern game.

*We’ve done our best not to discriminate between positions...

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