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'We are often guilty of not appreciating what's there until it's gone'

Daniel McDonnell


Ranking the top 50 League of Ireland players of the 21st century delivers a reminder of what we could have done with a more stable structure

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Left to right, Dundalk's Richie Towell, Sligo Rovers' Joseph Ndo and Cork City's Sean Maguire all made the Top 50, with Ndo prevailing as the best League of Ireland player of the past 20 years

Left to right, Dundalk's Richie Towell, Sligo Rovers' Joseph Ndo and Cork City's Sean Maguire all made the Top 50, with Ndo prevailing as the best League of Ireland player of the past 20 years

Left to right, Dundalk's Richie Towell, Sligo Rovers' Joseph Ndo and Cork City's Sean Maguire all made the Top 50, with Ndo prevailing as the best League of Ireland player of the past 20 years

As the saying sort of goes, you should never have to choose between your problem children.

The idea of ranking the top 50 League of Ireland players of the 21st century came from above, and the challenge was both a blessing and a curse.

It provided the opportunity to lay out the array of talent that has graced the League of Ireland during an era of boom and bust, for both the country and the FAI itself, with domestic football on these shores often derided and underfunded if not absolved of all guilt for the flaws.