Using FIFA 11 ratings to name the 30 best players at the start of the decade

FC Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao - Copa del Rey

We're coming to the end of a brilliant footballing decade.

The gradual approach of 2020 has proven a fitting point to look back on 10 more years of the beautiful game from the best players, goals, moments and more.

A lot can change in a decade and picking the best starting XI since 2010 is testament to that with great players both starting and ending their careers in this most recent epoch.

But putting aside the whole 10 years of reflection for one minute, let's take the chance to rewind back to 2010 itself and remember the footballing world as it entered the new decade.

We're all familiar with the top 30 or so players in the current footballing climate, but who were their equivalents nearly 10 years ago?

Top 30 players in 2010

It's a tough question to answer, but we've decide to use EA Sports' FIFA series to discover the answer and have ranked the best players on their FIFA 11 ratings, according to FUTWiz.

FIFA 11 was the first instalment in the series post-2010 and when two players or more have the same rating, we have favoured the player with the highest total statistics.

You can probably imagine who the top two turned out to be, but treat yourself to the entire top 30 for a true wave of footballing nostalgia.

30. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) - 85

Real Madrid's defender Sergio Ramos cele

29. Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid) - 85

Real Sociedad v Real Madrid - La Liga

28. Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich) - 85

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27. Michael Essien (Chelsea) - 85

West Ham United v Chelsea - Premier League

26. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) - 86

FC Internazionale Milano v Juventus FC - Tim Cup

25. John Terry (Chelsea) - 86

Chelsea v Everton - Premier League

24. Kaka (Real Madrid) - 86

Brazil's midfielder Kaka reacts at the e

23. Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich) - 86

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22. Fernando Torres (Liverpool) - 86

Liverpool's Spanish forward Fernando Tor

21. Diego Milito (Inter Milan) - 86

Lecce v FC Internazionale Milano - Serie A

20. Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich) - 86

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19. Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan) - 86

Uruguay v Netherlands: 2010 FIFA World Cup - Semi Final

18. Carlos Tevez (Manchester City) - 86

Newcastle United v Manchester City - Premier League

17. Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal) - 86

Arsenal v West Ham United - Premier League

16. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) - 86

Liverpool v SSC Napoli - UEFA Europa League

15. Maicon (Inter Milan) - 86

Inter Milan's Brazilian defender Maicon

14. Julio Cesar (Inter Milan) - 87

Inter Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper Julio

13. Nemanja Vidic (Manchester United) - 87

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

12. Carles Puyol (Barcelona) - 87

Barcelona's captain Carles Puyol (R) vie

11. Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid) - 87

Atletico Madrid v Real Zaragoza - La Liga

10. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich) - 87

Bayern Munich's Dutch striker Arjen Robb

9. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona) - 87

Barcelona's midfielder Andres Iniesta ce

8. Xavi (Barcelona) - 87

Barcelona's midfielder Xavi Hernandez ge

7. Frank Lampard (Chelsea) - 87

Chelsea v Portsmouth - FA Cup Final

6. David Villa (Barcelona) - 88

Barcelona's forward David Villa celebrat

5. Didier Drogba (Chelsea) - 88

Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League

4. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) - 88

Manchester United's English striker Wayn

3. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) - 89

Real Madrid v AC Milan - UEFA Champions League

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - 89

Real Madrid v Sevilla - La Liga

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 90 

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel M News Now - Sport News