Choosing the world's top 100 players is no easy task. We speak to the guys at FourFourTwo as they publish this year's 'Top 100' list.

Hi guys, can you introduce the FourFourTwo 'Top 100' for anyone new to it?

We’ve been doing the FourFourTwo Top 100 since 2007. It’s a list of the 100 best players in the world, from the top divisions around the world. It’s something that takes up an ordinate amount of time to put together because we are very thorough in the way we approach it. We normally establish a long list of around 150 players, hopefully made of decent cross-section of players, representing a number of positions. Once that is done we share this with our correspondences around the world.

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How early in the year do you start thinking about the Top 100 list?

We start to think about the Top 100 around August time, but we get down to the arguments about positions in about October. We ask our FourFourTwo experts around the world where they would position certain players and then we take all suggestions into a room and don’t emerge for about a week!

We have key people in most of the major footballing nations who run their eyes over the list of players playing in their nation, then they give us a rough idea of where they think some players are in regards to ranking within their nation. This helps us get a proper global view of the best 100 players in the world.

How imporant are stats when determining the list?

We are long term partners with OPTA, so we can ask them for any number of stats. If we are unsure of something or have a hunch that, for example, Ezequiel Garay is one of the best defenders int the world, we can ask for statistical proof of that. Stats can be used in any number of ways, but in general they allow you to back-up your hunches.

How much can injuries affect a players ranking?

Injuries can obviously affect a players ranking. For example somebody who has been injured for six months but scored a millions goals in the previous five years is still going to be a good player and still be one of the top 100 players of the year.

A good example this year has been Rademal Falcao. We had some long and hard arguments about how good he is compared to other players because he hasn’t played many games this season. Even so, he’s still one of the best players in the world, which is why Manchester United wanted him so much.

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How has this year's World Cup affected the list?

It’s unlikely that James Rodriguez would have been as high as he is in the Top 100 if he didn’t play in the World Cup - lets put it that way! The World Cup is a huge event and it must be said that a lot of players not only played well in Brazil, but also got decent moves off the back of their performances.

Have you noticed a shift in nationalities since you started the list in 2007?

There are a lot less English players! English players are starting to become a dying breed. We were looking at the list the other day and it’s interesting when you think back to England’s golden generation. I think Steven Gerrard was the last player on the list two years ago, and he was in at 99 - so English players are dwindling badly.

When will we see a list that's not topped by either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi?

All I’m going to say is the one and two positions aren’t what you might think - especially after Lionel Messi’s performances over the past few weeks!

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What's the feedback like once you publish the Top 100?

Anything that FourFourTwo does always gets a lot of social media feedback and almost any feedback we get will be mixed between hysterically good or hysterically hysterical! We have people who argue about every single article we put online so the Top 100 is obviously going to cause more disagreement than others.

However we can assure everybody that we haven’t just thrown numbers onto a page - we have thought long and hard about this. We thought about it and thought about it until we finally came to an agreement about who are the Top 100 players in the world!

To see the full FourFourTwo Top 100, visit