Ali McCann joins six Rangers and Celtic stars on prestigious World Soccer 500 list

Former Stranraer star Ali McCann has been named as one of the 500 most important players in the world.

By Ian MacLean
Thursday, 14th October 2021, 4:24 pm
Ali McCann in action for St Johnstone. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ali McCann in action for St Johnstone. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Influential football magazine World Soccer has compiled its annual list of the most important footballers on the planet.

And the 21-year-old Northern Ireland international - who spent part of the 2018-19 season at Stair Park on loan from St Johnstone - takes his place alongside the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, Lewandowski and Haaland.

The World Soccer 500 isn't intended to be a definitive list of the world's best players but a list of those making the most significant impact on the sport at the moment.

The magazine highlighted the part played by McCann, now with Preston North End, is St Johnstone's unprecedented cup double last season.

Six current SPFL players also make the cut - Rangers trio Glen Kamara, Ryan Kent and James Tavernier and Celtic stars Kyogo Furuhashi, Callum McGregor and David Turnbull.

McGregor and Turnbull are among six Scots on the list - there are also places for current skipper Andy Robertson. midfield star Billy Gilmour, Arsenal's former Celtic defender Kieran Tierney and ex-Dundee United midfielder Ryan Gauld, now with Vancouver Whitecaps after several years in Portuguese football. .

There's also a place for former Hibs striker Jamie Maclaren, now with Australian champions Melbourne City and hitting the heights for club and country.

Others with a Scottish connection to make the final selection are Leicester City duo James Maddison and Kasper Schmeichel, former loanees at Aberdeen and Falkirk, Liverpool's ex-Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk and Borussia Dortmund teenager Giovanni Reyna, son of former Rangers star Claudio Reyna.