Tim Cahill and Matt Besler have had a meritorious summer. They were outstanding in Brazil, received a hero’s welcome upon their return to MLS and Besler was made a Designated Player by his hometown club. And now, both MLS All-Stars were named to 2013-14 edition of Goal 50.
Goal 50 is the list of the top players in the world.
Cahill, who scored two goals in the 2014 World Cup, is the 50th player on the list. Australia’s all-time leading scorer made the prestigious list because of his impressive year with the national team.
Goal.com’s official statement reads: “He earns his place on the back of some wonderful performances for his national side. Cahill may turn 35 this year, but he remains his country’s talisman and leader.
Over the past year he scored six goals for the Socceroos, including what was undoubtedly the best strike in the World Cup group stage – a stunning volley from a tight angle against Netherlands. He scored twice in the finals despite Australia being eliminated following three losses.”
Tim Cahill also had a fantastic MLS campaign in 2013. His 11 goals were important has New York Red Bulls won the Supporters Shield; the first silverware in club history.
Besler has been stellar in MLS for a longtime, but he gained recognition for his solid showing in Brazil. The 27-year-old comes in at number 46. He becomes the highest ranked American since Landon Donovan finished 39th in 2009.
“I’m honored and quite honestly a bit surprised,” Besler said. “There’s so many talented players in the world and I’m grateful to be recognized.”
The agile center back has played for one club, Sporting Kansas City, since he began his career in 2009. He won the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in 2012 and helped his side secure its second MLS Cup last year. Due to his standout performance at the World Cup, the defender was scouted and touted by European clubs, but he elected to stay at SKC.
“I’m very happy to be staying at such a great club,” Besler said. “After weighing the options I had in Europe, I felt it was best for me as a player to stay. You never want to close the door on anything during your career, and I don’t plan on doing that, but right now I’m dedicated to Sporting KC.”
Although La Liga dominated the list with 12 players from the respected league earning recognitions, the Bundesliga had three players in the top five.
Germany’s “Golden Boy” Thomas Muller was named the 5th best player after scoring 26 times for Bayern Munich last season and finding the back of the net five times in Brazil.
In front of him is Philipp Lahm. The captain, who recently retired from international football, led his country to the promise land. The player that Pep Guardiola describes as the “most intelligent player I have ever coached” also captured the Bundesliga trophy with Bayern.
Even though Lionel Messi led Argentina to the World Cup final, the Barcelona genius was not one of the top two players. Arjen Robben was a close second to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The Real Madrid star helped his side captured the tenth UEFA Champions League trophy in club history.
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