Footballers at the elite level have achieved brilliant success in their careers. The top 100 here continue to prove their value to their teams and nationals.
Lionel Messi, 26, was born in Argentina. He was awarded the World Player of the Year title in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Cristiano Ronaldo, 29, was born in Portugal. During the 2013-14 season, he made an incredible 47 goals.
Radamel Falcao, 28, was born in Colombia. He was only 14 years old when he was named "El Tigre" (The Tiger) by Argentinean fans.
Franck Ribéry, 30, was born in France. He's been dubbed the "jewel in French football."
Zlatan Ibrahimović, 32, was born in Sweden. Scoring an amazing 43 goals during the 2013-14 season, he also made 12 assists.
Xavi Hernandez, 34, was born in Spain. Known simply as "Xavi," he helped his team win the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Robin van Persie, 30, was born in the Netherlands. In 2011, he won the PFA Player of the Year award.
Andrés Iniesta, 29, was born in Spain. He went on to score the goal that won Spain the World Cup in 2010.
Thiago Silva, 29, was born in Brazil. As a defender, his total score for the 2013-14 season is 2151.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, 29, was born in Germany. He is now known for his explosive play, as well as his white boots and customary wristband.
Arjen Robben, 30, was born in the Netherlands. During his first season with F.C. Bayern München, he led the side to the title.
Edinson Cavani, 27, was born in Uruguay. During the 2013-14 season, he scored an admirable 28 goals.
Juan Mata, 25, was born in Spain. When Chelsea beat Liverpool in the 2012 FA Cup final, he was named Man of the Match.
Mesut Özil, 25, was born in Germany. During Germany's dissection of England at the 2010 World Cup, he was a leading force.
Gareth Bale, 24, was born in Wales. Following an exemplary 2010-11 season, he won the PFA Footballer of the Year award.
David Silva, 28, was born in Spain. He is flexible when it comes to his positions, which helped his team win the 2010 World Cup.
Sergio Agüero, 25, was born in Argentina. As one of the world's most highly rated strikers, it's no surprise he's scored 31 goals in 2013-14.
Philipp Lahm, 30, was born in Germany. As a defender, he still managed to make eight assists during the 2013-14 season.
Wayne Rooney, 28, was born in England. His admiration by fellow players was proven with his win of the PFA Players' Player of the Year award.
Robert Lewandowski, 25, was born in Poland. His shining moment was winning consecutive titles in 2011 and 2012 for Borussia Dortmund.
Angel Di María, 26, was born in Argentina. After making himself known with Rosario Central, it didn't take long for the European clubs to knock on his door.
Luis Suárez, 27, was born in Uruguay. He became a soccer superstar during the 2010 World Cup quarter-final.
Manuel Neuer, 27, was born in Germany. With an impressive 97 saves in 2013-14, it's no surprise that he was named Germany's No. 1 goalkeper for the 2010 World Cup finals.
Cesc Fàbregas, 26, was born in Spain. As an integral part of his team, he helped earn them the World Cup title in 2010.
Sergio Ramos, 27, was born in Spain. He started as one of the youngest Spain internationals in 2005 and aided his team with the 2010 World Cup win.
Gerard Piqué, 27, was born in Spain. With a World Cup win under his belt, he has become known for his strong presence in the backline.
Carlos Tévez, 30, was born in Argentina. As a courageous player who uses his whole body to his benefit, he's earned a total score of 2217.
Nemanja Vidić, 32, was born in Serbia. After helping his team win the Champions League in 2008, he has become one of the world's best defenders.
Vincent Kompay, 27, was born in Belgium. His adept defensive skills helped his team win the Premier League in 2012.
Yaya Touré, 30, was born in Côte D'Ivoire. In 2009, he earned winners' medals for the Champions League, La Liga, and Copa del Rey.
Iker Casillas, 32, was born in Spain. Known as a leader from the back, he has earned his status as his generation's top goalkeeper.
Mario Götze, 21, was born in Germany. One of the six youngest players, he's proudly made 11 goals and 10 assists during the 2013-14 season.
Thomas Müller, 24, was born in Germany. He proudly claimed the title for Best Young Player at the 2010 World Cup.
Sergio Busquets, 25, was born in Spain. His robust skills aided Spain in winning the 2010 World Cup.
Marco Reus, 24, was born in Germany. During the 2013-14 season, he has scored 12 goals and made 10 assists as a midfielder.
Eden Hazard, 23, was born in Belgium. As a defender's nightmare, he has gone on to become one of Europe's most sought-after players.
Arturo Vidal, 26, was born in Chile. His incredibly high total score leads all players at 2308.
Mats Hummels, 25, was born in Germany. Considered one of the best defenders in Bundesliga, his total score tallies 2028.
Luka Modrić, 28, was born in Croatia. Earning him the title of Player of the Year in 2007, he won his third Croatian league title.
Karim Benzema, 26, was born in France. Making the move to Real Madrid in 2009, his 2013-14 season has been spectacular with 23 goals.
Ezequiel Lavezzi, 28, was born in Argentina. He began his career with Atletico Estudiantes, where he scored 17 goals in 39 appearances at the ripe age of 18.
Mario Gomez, 28, was born in Germany. Despite a knee injury that has kept him from playing most of the 2013-14 season, he remains an in-demand player with a bright future.
Santi Cazorla, 29, was born in Spain. His career includes being the Spanish Player of the Year in 2007 and winning the Euro 2008 trophy.
Giorgio Chiellini, 29, was born in Italy. Bloomberg ranked him as the world's seventh best footballer in 2013.
Antonio Di Natale, 36, was born in Italy. While a retirement may be on the horizon, his conviction to the game remains, with 11 goals during the 2013-14 season.
Petr Čech, 31, was born in Czech Republic. One of the best shot-stoppers in the world game, he has made 102 saves during the 2013-14 season.
Xabi Alonso, 32, was born in Basque Country. He is well known for his role in Liverpool's win of the 2005 Champions League final.
Ashley Cole, 33, was born in England. One of his biggest successes includes scoring the penalty shootout victory in the 2012 Champions League final.
Andrea Pirlo, 34, was born in Italy. After making his club debut at age 16, he is now an established veteran as one of the game's best playmakers.
Gianluigi Buffon, 36, was born in Italy. He has been awarded the UEFA awards for Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper, not to mention the 2006 World Cup win.
Isco (Francisco Alarcón Suárez), 21, was born in Spain. During the 2013-14 season, he has scored 12 goals and made six assists.
Thibaut Courtois, 21, was born in Belgium. In 2011, he became the youngest goalkeeper to ever play for Belgium's national team.
Neymar de Silva Santos Júnior, 22, was born in Brazil. This young player has scored an incredible 21 goals, plus 21 assists, during the 2013-14 season.
Pedro Rodríguez Ledesma, 26, was born in Spain. With a total score approaching 2000, his goals for the 2013-14 season rack up to 20.
Hulk (Givanildo Vieira de Souza), 27, was born in Brazil. He has a strong reputation for having killer instinct and shooting abilities.
İlkay Gündoğan, 23, was born in Germany. A main force during Dortmund's 2011-12 Bundesliga win, his reputation for his passing game remains strong.
Mario Barwuah Balotelli, 23, was born in Italy. With the nickname "Super Mario," this player is a strong, creative shooter.
Toni Kroos, 24, was born in Germany. He has become a hot commodity among clubs, scoring three goals and making 12 assists during the 2013-14 season.
Stevan Jovetić, 24, was born in Montenegro. After an injury kept him from playing for a year, he's continued to prove himself again with six goals during the 2013-14 season.
Sami Khedira, 26, was born in Germany. During his first season in the first XI in 2007, he helped his team win the Bundesliga.
Javi Martinez, 25, was born in Spain. For Bayern, he has remained unbeaten in 33 Bundesliga appearances.
Claudio Marchisio, 28, was born in Italy. His total score for the 2013-14 season is an inspiring 2259.
Marek Hamšik, 26, was born in Slovakia. He's gone on to win Slovakian Young Player of the Year awards in both 2007 and 2008.
Salvatore Sirigu, 27, was born in Italy. He has been a member of the Italian national team since 2010 and has made 77 saves during the 2013-14 season.
Hugo Lloris, 27, was born in France. With lightning reflexes and a great command of the box, he has made 110 saves during the 2013-14 season.
Samir Nasri, 26, was born in France. An incredible strike against Porto in March 2010 was named Arsenal's goal of the season.
Samir Handanovič, 29, was born in Slovenia. During the Serie A competition in the 2013-14 season, he made 64 saves with Internazionale.
Dante Bonfim Costa Santos, 30, was born in Brazil. Over the span of four matches in February 2014, he scored three goals for Bayern.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, 30, was born in the Netherlands. One of his greatest victories is earning his place as top scorer and Player of the Tournament at the 2006 UEFA Under-21 Championship.
Igor Akinfeev, 27, was born in Russia. His strong communication and bravery have placed him on the radar for Europe's elite.
Roberto Soldado, 28, was born in Spain. Nicknamed "Soldier," he is known for his dribbling/ball control, durability, and shooting.
Jesús Navas, 28, was born in Spain. He has won a slew of trophies, including the 2010 World Cup in Africa and 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Dani Alves, 30, was born in Brazil. His speed makes him a valuable asset, and former Barcelona President Joan Laporta added to that by calling him "the best right-back in the entire world."
Arda Turan, 27, was born in Turkey. He has made eight goals during the 2013-14 season and has achieved a total score of 2174.
Javier Mascherano, 29, was born in Argentina. Captaining the side of the Argentine national team, he holds two Olympic gold medals (2004 and 2008).
Wesley Sneijder, 29, was born in the Netherlands. His ability to play with both feet helped him win the Treble with Inter Milan in 2009-10.
Federico Marchetti, 31, was born in Italy. Making history, he won the Coppa Italia with Lazio in a derby against Roma in May 2013.
Andrea Barzagli, 32, was born in Italy. Achieving acclaim at the international level, he helped his country win the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Diego Ribas da Cunha, 28, was born in Brazil. After moving back to Atletico Madrid in January 2014, he helped his team win and scored the final goal against Real Sociedad in February.
René Adler, 29, was born in Germany. This goalkeeper has excellent reflexes, aerial ability, positional sense, and shot-stopping skills.
Daniele De Rossi, 30, was born in Italy. His scoring of a penalty in a shoot-out during the 2006 World Cup helped his national win the trophy.
Didier Drogba, 35, was born in Côte D'Ivoire. Known for harassing his markers, his robust style contributed to his team's 2012 Championship League win.
Samuel Eto'o, 32, was born in Cameroon. He scored in two Champions League finals in Barcelona, first in 2006 and then again in 2009.
Pedro Rodríguez Ledesma, 26, was born in Spain. With a total score approaching 2000, his goals for the 2013-14 season rack up to 20.
Shinji Kagawa, 24, was born in Japan. He made a name for himself at Dortmund, where he achieved a through-ball accuracy of 55.6%.
Oscar dos Santos Emboaba, 22, was born in Brazil. Following a hat-trick against Portugal during the 2011 Under-20 World Cup, he was named Man of the Match.
Diego Godín, 28, was born in Uruguay. Best known for his positioning, he's scored five times during the 2013-14 season.
Mario Mandžukić, 27, was born in Croatia. During the 2013-14 season, he has scored an amazing 22 goals with four assists.
Edin Džeko, 27, was born in Sarajevo. Scoring 59 goals in 96 appearances in August 2010, he became Wolfsburg's highest scorer.
A. Hernanes de Carvalho A. Lima, 28, was born in Brazil. His total score for the 2013-14 season is an admirable 2223.
Willian Borges da Silva, 25, was born in Brazil. His speed and shooting have helped him score eight goals during the 2013-14 season.
Diego Costa, 24, was born in Brazil. Touting 27 goals for the 2013-14 season, this striker is reputed for his creativity and speed.
Marcelo Vieira da Silva, 25, was born in Brazil. His flexibility to play as an attacker or defender helped launch his career and earn a place with Real Madrid in 2007.
Lukasz Piszczek, 28, was born in Poland. In 2011-12, he played a role in the Ruhr Valley club's win of the Bundesliga crown.
Antonio Candreva, 26, was born in Italy. He gained acclaim with his score against Spain during the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup knockout stage.
Antonio Valencia, 28, was born in Ecuador. A strong force in wingplay, he helped with the vital wins at Stoke City and West Ham to aid his team to secure the title during in April 2013.
Gonzalo Higuaín, 26, was born in France. Earning his second league title, he made the winning goal in a match with Osasuna during the 2007-08 season.
Jakub Błaszczykowski, 28, was born in Poland. Captain of the Poland national team, he has achieved a total score of 2148 for the 2013-14 season.
Alessandro Diamanti, 30, was born in Italy. After being selected for the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil, he scored against Uruguay.
Steve Mandanda, 28, was born in France. In one game alone with Marseille, the French Ligue 1, he made an incredible 70 saves.
THE WORLD’S 100 MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
These rankings are based on a list compiled by a 15 judge expert panel for The Guardian, awarding points based on multiple factors.