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Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG
FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG
Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG
FOX Soccer Power Rankings - February 14-20 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Lack of firepower have Arsenal going in the wrong direction /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-14-20-arsenal-going-in-the-wrong-direction-lack-of-firepower-021414 http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/14/021414-SOCCER-FAILURE-TO-FIRE-OB-pi_20140214172035535_136_102.JPG
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Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890015 Stars come out at night Stars+come+out+at+night Champions League

Many of Europe's top players will take center stage over the next few months as the UEFA Champions League unfolds. Some of those stars deserve just a little bit of extra attention before the fun starts, though. Here are a few familiar faces to monitor carefully when the group stage starts on Sept. 17.

Mitchell Gunn - USA TODAY Sports http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G1_2013082919504725_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G1_2013082919504725_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890017 Lionel Messi, Barcelona Lionel+Messi%2C+Barcelona Champions League

Barcelona faces genuine questions about its perch at the top of European football in the wake of the humbling 7-0 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich at the semifinal stage last season. Messi, as usual, provides a ready riposte to those inquisitions. The world's best player scores with reckless abandon and turns matches with regularity. He must sprinkle a little bit of his magic throughout his side – and particularly over that questionable rearguard – to ensure those queries are dispatched in short order.

Gustau Nacarino - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G2_2013082919504722_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G2_2013082919504722_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890016 Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Cristiano+Ronaldo%2C+Real+Madrid Champions League

Ronaldo – not his bitter rival, Messi – finished atop the Champions League goalscoring charts last season. The 12-goal haul provided scant solace when Madrid crashed out against Borussia Dortmund at the semifinal stage, though. The prolific and versatile attacker – perhaps even a center forward, if Carlo Ancelotti continues to tinker – will expect to repeat his heroics from last year and spur Madrid to its tenth title in this competition.

Sergio Perez - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G3_2013082919504723_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G3_2013082919504723_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890020 Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paris Saint-Germain Zlatan+Ibrahimovic%2C+Paris+Saint-Germain Champions League

Few strikers produce more reliably than the temperamental Swede. His top-flight career is littered with goals and trophies, but he now finds himself mired in the middle of a PSG project managed by a new coach (Laurent Blanc) and stocked by a surplus of attacking options. Ibrahimovic's unique blend of power and skill must bring it all together in order to match or exceed the quarterfinal berth secured under Carlo Ancelotti's guidance last season.

Stephane Mahe - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G6_2013082919522333_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G6_2013082919522333_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890014 Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund Robert+Lewandowski%2C+Borussia+Dortmund Champions League

Dortmund handed the Polish striker a significant wage hike during the summer to quell any potential rebellion after quashing his expected move to Bayern Munich. Lewandowski will still join the current holders next summer, but he must finish off his tenure with Dortmund in style nonetheless. Another fine Champions League campaign – he struck 10 times to finish second in the goalscoring table – could propel Jürgen Klopp's talented side into the latter stages of the tournament once more.

Carl Recine - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G5_2013082919504724_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G5_2013082919504724_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890018 Franck Ribery, Bayern Munich Franck+Ribery%2C+Bayern+Munich Champions League

Ribery beat two lightly regarded fellows named Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to the UEFA Best Player in Europe award in August for his displays in last season's Champions League. Bayern's collective success – including that 2-1 victory in the final over Borussia Dortmund sealed by an Arjen Robben goal – played a part in the triumph, but the clever French winger will hope his own performances warrant similar acclaim as the German champions defend their title.

Andrew Boyers - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G4_2013082919504826_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G4_2013082919504826_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890022 Mario Balotelli, AC Milan Mario+Balotelli%2C+AC+Milan Champions League

The recent magazine cover boy continues to captivate with his antics and his candor. The best part about his constant sideshow: Balotelli can play a bit, too. The former Manchester City striker unsettles defenses with his pace, his power and his predatory instincts. More of the same could lead the retooled Italian giants back to the knockout stages.

Tony Gentile - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G7_2013082919522436_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G7_2013082919522436_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890021 Andrea Pirlo, Juventus Andrea+Pirlo%2C+Juventus Champions League

This ageless purveyor of the Panenka conducts the Italian champions with precision through midfield. He receives more support now – Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tevez joined in the summer, while Paul Pogba emerged as one of Europe's most promising players last season – without conceding his integral role in the proceedings. If the veteran magician can pull the strings from his deep-lying role as effective as he has in the past, then Juve could match its quarterfinal berth from a year ago.

Giorgio Perottino - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G8_2013082919522334_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G8_2013082919522334_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890025 Robin van Persie, Manchester United Robin+van+Persie%2C+Manchester+United Champions League

United enters the competition further down the line of potential champions than usual, but the presence of the prolific Dutch international provides hope of a deep run through the competition. Van Persie's continued production allowed United to set a firm line on Wayne Rooney's transfer machinations. Whether his goals can lead United to another Champions League triumph may hinge on the performances of the midfielders behind him, though.

John Sibley - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G9_2013082919550743_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G9_2013082919550743_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31890019 Gonzalo Higuain, Napoli Gonzalo+Higuain%2C+Napoli Champions League

The draw in Monaco deliciously lumped Higuain together with Arsenal, the club that spent much of the summer chasing him. The Premier League side rejected the chance to complete Higuain's anticipated move from Real Madrid in a bid to procure Liverpool striker Luis Suarez instead. That peculiar decision could come back to haunt Arsène Wenger as he enters group play without a traditional center forward of Higuain's caliber to lead the line in the dreaded Group of Death.

John Sibley Livepic - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G10_2013082919522435_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-10-players-to-watch-TV-G10_2013082919522435_107_80.JPG
Champions League 185 43 UEFA Champions League Group Stage - Players to Watch 31891896 David Villa, Atletico Madrid David+Villa%2C+Atletico+Madrid Champions League

Atlético tempted the former Barcelona forward to Madrid during the summer to replace the departed Radamel Falcao. Villa won't score quite as many goals as the Monaco-bound Colombian plunderer, but his extensive experience in this competition and his savvy movement inside the final third should provide Atlético with the sharpness required to progress to the knockout stage.

Juan Medina - Action Images/Reuters http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-Atletico-Madrid-David-Villa-TV-G1_2013082920340561_600_400.JPG http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2013/08/29/082913-soccer-Atletico-Madrid-David-Villa-TV-G1_2013082920340561_107_80.JPG
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http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/24/022414-Rumor-Mill-GUNDO-GONE-DG-PI_20140224164223176_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 26, 2014 8:47 AM ET 1 8 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-24-march-2-football-soccer-players-teams-022414
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/21/drasticjump-pi_20140221180930519_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - Feb. 21-28 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germai... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Paris Saint-Germain return to top five after crushing Champions League win Giant thumping brings Ibrahimovic and Co. back to our top ten list. Feb 22, 2014 1:50 PM ET 1 8 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-21-28-paris-saint-germain-return-to-top-five-after-crushing-win-022114
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/17/021714-SOCCER-Shock-Waves-HF-PI_20140217182428996_136_102.JPG Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds... Check out the latest rumors doing the rounds throughout world football. Robin van Persie's rumored return to Arsenal would be beyond controversial in many ways. Feb 20, 2014 10:42 AM ET 1 8 /foxsoccer/world/lists/transfer-rumors-february-17-23-football-soccer-players-teams-021714
http://static.foxsports.com/content/fsc/img/2014/02/14/021414-SOCCER-FAILURE-TO-FIRE-OB-pi_20140214172035535_136_102.JPG FOX Soccer Power Rankings - February 14-20 FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Lack of firepower... FOX Soccer Power Rankings: Lack of firepower have Arsenal going in the wrong direction Lack of firepower has Gunners going in the wrong direction. Feb 15, 2014 1:14 PM ET 1 8 /foxsoccer/world/lists/power-rankings-february-14-20-arsenal-going-in-the-wrong-direction-lack-of-firepower-021414