The Chelsea keeper has been a model of consistency and continues to be the rock on which the club’s defence, indeed the whole team, is built. Čech’s shot-stopping ability knows no bounds and the confidence he exudes spreads throughout the whole side. He has made over 450 appearances for Chelsea and is the second most-capped player in the history of the Czech national team.
Seamus has been a revelation in an Everton side redefined by Roberto Martinez and the licence he is given to ‘bomb forward’ from his right back position has seen him add goals to the guile he displays as a defender. Originally a Gaelic footballer, the 25-year-old’s athleticism allows him to carry out his numerous roles with seemingly effortless ease, both for Everton and the Republic of Ireland.
The talented Saints’ left back makes up the English ‘Fab Four’ at St Mary’s, this season joining Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Jay Rodriguez in the national squad. Another product of the now famed Southampton youth system, he made his first team debut in January 2012 and as a virtual ever-present has put himself in the frame for Roy Hodgson’s World Cup finals squad.
Recognised as one of the most accomplished and effective central defenders in the modern game, Vincent is a natural-born leader – both for club and country. The Belgian international has made an indelible impression on the Barclays Premier League since joining City in August 2008; both on and off the field as an official FIFA ambassador for the registered charity ‘SOS Children’.
Having started his career at Aston Villa and making his name at Bolton, Gary has grown in stature at the heart of a Chelsea defence where his partnership with John Terry makes them a formidable force. He won the Champions League and the FA Cup in his debut season with Chelsea and is now an established England international with more than 20 caps to his name.
Small in stature but huge in talent, Eden has been Chelsea’s stand-out performer this season – and the club’s leading scorer to boot. The Belgian mesmerises like Messi and runs like Ronaldo, combining balance and brilliance with consummate ease. With more than 40 international caps to his name at the age of 23 he is on course to be a national legend – and World Cup star in waiting.
The driving force in the City engine room, midfielder Toure already has more than 20 goals to his name and is a welcome reminder of Patrick Vieira in his pomp. The impressive and intimidating Ivory Coast international, who has 16 goals to his name in 82 appearances for his country, has also earned a reputation as a free kick specialist as he looks to inspire another City title triumph.
It’s difficult to sum up the career of Steven Gerrard in so few words, but the phrases Liverpool legend and England hero will do for starters. A former PFA Players’ Player of the Year, Steven was named by Liverpool fans as the greatest player ‘Who Shook the Kop’ in 2013, and has been described as ‘one of the greatest English midfielders in history’. Just about says it all.
When Southampton fans speak of you in similar terms as Saints’ legend Matt Le Tissier, you know you have struck a sensational chord. Adam, like so many others, has come through the ranks at Southampton and is a key player in a side admired by fans and connoisseurs nationwide. Even though he has just three England caps to his name he is looking like a ‘shoe in’ for the World Cup.
Let’s not dwell on events of the past, let’s talk about what Luis Suárez is contributing to the current. Rated by many as one of the best strikers in the world, the Uruguayan international has played a huge part in the Brendan Rodgers’ revolution and recently broke Robbie Fowler’s record of scoring 28 Premier Leagues. More to come no doubt.
Daniel’s partnership with Luis Suarez, and the young England star’s personal development, have been some of the joys of the season. The former Manchester City and Chelsea striker is enjoying the most prolific spell of his career and, having established himself in Roy Hodgson’s England squad, that surely bodes well for the national team in the summer.