Re: Talent Level In Professional Soccer?
I think you have to be a little careful with the concept of "athleticism" across different sports. There are some commonalities that translate in just about any sport, but a lot of the skills and attributes that really distinguish the greatest in one particular sport do not distinguish players in another. Guys like Messi, Suarez, RVP, Ronaldo, David Silva, or Neymar probably wouldn't be our best football players. In fact, I'm almost sure they wouldn't. Those guys have cultivated specific skill sets over a lifetime of dedicated practice. Natural aptitude plays a role, but I think the more important factor is cultural. Everyone in their countries play soccer, so you have a system that both develops those skills and, most importantly, is ultimately more discriminating. You find out early on who has that special something and you develop those guys a lot more.
You see the same thing over here with basketball or football. I remember an interview with Steve Nash talking about soccer being his favorite sport, but because he shines early in basketball up in Canada, he had more development of his basketball skills.
Along those lines, I would expect point guards an dual- threat QBs to translate best to soccer--at least, for attacking positions. They are similar games in many ways. Linebackers and DBs might be good defenders.