What makes a world-class footballer

*** If this is the wrong place for this topic, please point it out to me! ***


So my question to you for discussion is: how big do you think is the difference between a world-class footballer (let's take Luka Modrić from Real Madrid) and a "normal" professional from e.g. the Austrian Bundesliga (let's take Christoph Leitgeb from Red Bull Salzburg) really?

Modrić has a market value of 55 million euros and Leitgeb has a market value of 2 million euros.

Is the Difference Realistic? Can it really be that big?

And I'm talking about the quality of the game (which unfortunately cannot be measured) - HOW well can this player play football - how well can he play a pass, etc.

So my real question should actually be: how much does true footballing ability have to do with success, and how much do luck and the environment have to do with it?

So Modrić is really SOOOO MUCH better than Leitgeb, or was he "lucky" that the Croatian league is relatively attractive for transfers, and was it "lucky" that Tottenham bought him and was it "lucky" that José Mourinho even considered him moved to Real Madrid and it is "lucky" that he is so good now because he plays in a world class environment. Or HOW MUCH OF IT is luck, and how much of it is pure football skill? It is of course not pure luck.
Would Leitgeb have had the same career if he had come from the youth of Dinamo Zagreb?

And you could make these comparisons with anyone ...

The post is now longer than I wanted, I have a bit of a problem with keeping it short, I just wanted to make it detailed ... but I hope you understand what I mean!

So what do you say - how much really depends on ability, and how much on the given circumstances (playing environment, club, attractive league or not, financial situation of the clubs, trust of scouts / coaches / player agents /, hype from the press, Attractiveness of the position and general reputation of the league or nationality e.g. Brazilian wing dribbler or Ukrainian goalkeeper ...)?