What Is World Class?
Posted by Luke McKenzie | Published on March 18, 2016
One of the biggest debates by fans and journalists all over the globe is, ‘who’s world class and who isn’t’. Which brings me to the question, What is world class? For me, the definition is ‘A player that would start or give a good argument to start over another world class player for said team’.
We’ve all been guilty of using the term ‘world class’ for a player who’s probably not far off of that term. It was just the other day I was guilty of it, by saying that Isco is world class just because he had a good game and plays for one of the best teams in the world, which does not make you world class in my opinion.
Now, that being said, are there any players in The Premier League that can be given the mighty world class label? yes, there is but there’s not many. Most of the players that I believe are worthy of that tag are keepers. It goes without saying that De Gea, Courtois, Hart, Cech and Lloris are world class because you could make a case for them all to start for the best teams in the world. The others I think that are world class are Hazard, Sanchez, Ozil, Yaya Toure, Kompany, Fabregas, Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and comfortably the best player in the league, Sergio Aguero. People will say, “How can you say Sanchez is on the same level as Messi” simple, Messi is so far beyond world class, he’s the greatest of all time. The likes of him, Ronaldo, Suarez, Neymar and arguably Aguero, are all a level/levels above world class.
I haven’t included Payet or Mahrez in that list because although they’re having exceptional seasons, does one good season in a top league put you on that list? definitely not, If they both have an even better season next year then we’ll have to have another discussion about it, but as of right now, for me, they’re not world class. I might get some stick for saying that Ozil is on that list, but whether you like him or not, the German is world class. He’s been very inconsistent in his time in the Premier League but he’s produced for Real Madrid and Germany countless times and we’re now seeing the Ozil of 2010 World Cup come through this season. Even when he’s not had a particularly good game, he pops up with an assist or 4/5 good chances for his teammates.
There’s the argument that to be world class, you have to be a cut above the rest at international or Champions League level but even that argument could fall short because George Best who is hailed as one of the best ever, did not do much for his country and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who hasn’t really produced in the Champions League is also classed as one of the top 10 players in the world. Everyone will have their own definition of the term, another being you have to be top 5 in your position but as the great Sir Alex Ferguson said, “I’ve only coached four world class players, Ronaldo, Giggs, Scholes and Cantona” leaving out players who could easily have been considered world class, such as Keane, Ferdinand, Schmeichel, Staam and Van Nistelrooy.
Another definition that fans use is a number of trophies a player has won. If that’s the case then it puts a player like Gary Cahill above a player like Diego Godin or Thiago Silva so even that definition falls short. There’s always gonna be a way you can make a case of a player to be world class or not world class so all in all, If you have even the slightest bit of doubt that a player isn’t world class, he probably isn’t.