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Overrated / Underrated Footballers

Updated on July 24, 2019
MartialLaw profile image

20 Times. Avid United fan through the hard times and the good. Still believes Wes Brown is the real hero of Old Trafford.

Overrated - Gerard Pique

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Barcelona's Titan?

Gerard Pique has never convinced me. It seems like the modern defender in football is increasingly more concerned with carrying the ball forward, making inch perfect passes and, most bizarrely, scoring goals.

You probably can't blame Pique for never cutting it at Manchester United, he was up against the best centre back pairing the club had ever seen in Vidic and Ferdinand at the time after all.

However, you only need to look at his performances against Liverpool this year to explain why he makes this list. No leadership qualities displayed, routinely out of position and slow on his reflexes and all round looking pretty naive against a quality opponent showed Pique for his true worth.

Overrated: David Luiz

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Chelsea's Adventurous Defender

How David Luiz made the Fifa World Eleven as a defender in 2014 is, and will always be, beyond me. Not only were there a plethora of more successful and consistent defenders out in the world at the time, but Luiz's inclusion in this prestigious side would coincide with the definitive moment of his entire career.

Hosting a World Cup in his own country, Luiz captained his Brazil side against Germany in what was the definitive crunch match of the tournament. What followed was the most shocking, and harrowing if you were a Brazil fan, game in World Cup history.

Luiz, and his partner-in-crime Dante, were made to look like amateurs as the German side tore them to shreds, netting 7 on a day that should have been celebrating Brazilian greatness. I have no idea how Luiz's reputation ever recovered from this match.

The sad thing about David Luiz is that I actually think there's a lot of talent in there as a player, I just don't understand why he's a defender when it's so clear those strengths lie away from defence.

Overrated: Neymar

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Definitely Not The Next Pele

Neymar does not justify even half the hype he gets. Boasting the most hyped fanbase anywhere in the world and the largest transfer fee ever to boot, this is a player who was meant to take over the world by now.

Instead, Neymar's career is littered by a combination of injuries, suspensions and discipline issues, and being overshadowed by the more talented and consistent players around him.

Neymar has undoubtedly been hindered by his agent's dodgy dealings and being pushed away from Barcelona has well and truly come back to haunt him. Nevertheless, the hype that continues to swirl around his head is totally unjustified. I can count on one hand how many competitive games I've seen him step up and dominate the pitch in the way his fans say he does.

Underrated: Cesar Azpilicueta

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Chelsea's Underrated Gem

Cesar Azpilicueta has never, ever gotten the recognition he deserves. From his ability to play across the entire backline, to his unwavering work ethic for a team that has a tendency to go on strike at times, there is no doubt that Azpilicueta will finish his career as one of the most under-appreciated gems the English game has ever seen.

Rock solid in both successful and unsuccessful Chelsea sides, Azpilicueta must be a manager's dream to work with. Unwavering in his commitment to the side, he actually boasts a very good level of skill on the ball, his delivery into the box isn't bad, and he makes up lost ground very well.

It seems crazy that he might well end up his career with only 25 appearances for Spain.

Underrated: Thiago Alcantara

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Guardiola's Most Treasured Work

Thiago Alcantara literally turns football into art. Pep Guardiola once told Bayern Munich that it was "either Thiago, or no one" when he first joined the club, just illustrating how highly his peers think of him.

Thiago has the perfect blend between an energetic, versatile number 8 and a drive of a number 6 in the middle of the park. His vision is exceptional, his balance is world class and he comes as a player moulded by the minds of Guardiola, Ancelotti etc.

His injury record has sadly blipped what would have surely been one of the most accomplished in Europe, and it has prevented him from creating a true run that would have had every football fan remembering his name. On his day however, he remains one of the most enjoyable footballers to marvel at.

Underrated: Olivier Giroud

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Arsenal's Loss Is Chelsea's Gain

Olivier Giroud used to gain a lot of stick during his time at Arsenal. Fans commented on his lack of pace in particular as their sole reason for not winning a league title, yet they were totally under-appreciating what a decent talent they had on their hands.

For both Chelsea and the French national team, Giroud has had to oust some pretty serious competition to get his time on the pitch. Whether it be the likes of Anthony Martial, Alexandre Lacazette or Alvaro Morata, Giroud has demonstrated a level of commitment rarely seen in the modern footballer.

Putting the needs of the team way ahead of his own, he has proven himself to be an invaluable cog in a team that actually attempts to utilise him. Over the 30 threshold now, you can see his play continue to develop as he hones his talent through various impressive flicks, tricks and handy hold up plays.

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