Among that elite group, there is an even smaller collection of individuals with ability to make the sublime look easy. Borussia Mönchengladbach midfielder is one such example and in the 2012/13 season, he was at his artistic best.
The 33-year-old, voted by users of bundesliga.com as the best veteran player in the campaign just ended, scored five league goals for Gladbach as the team finished eighth, with each one seemingly outdoing its predecessor. bundesliga.com recounts them here...
The Venezuelan international donned his shooting boots in Gladbach's opening game of the season when the Foals hosted 1899 Hoffenheim. When Gladbach were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box with the scores level at 1-1, it was obvious who was going to take it. Arango, the only player in the league to score from two direct free-kicks in the previous season, stepped up to curl a beautiful strike into the top corner, handing Gladbach all three points.
Eintracht Frankfurt arrived at Borussia Park on Matchday 7 brimming with confidence after a brilliant start. The newly-promoted side had won five of their first six games and had even come from behind to force a draw against defending champions Borussia Dortmund. However, that run came to an abrupt end as Arango opened the scoring after just eight minutes. This time he left keeper Kevin Trapp stranded with a swerving pile-driver from 30 yards to set the Foals on their way.
The last weekend in October 2012 was a good one for away teams. While Bayer 04 Leverkusen dealt FC Bayern Munich their only league defeat of the season, a pulsating a game took shape at the AWD-Arena. Hannover led the Foals 2-0 early in the second half, only for Gladbach to produce one of the greatest comebacks of the campaign. Alvaro Dominguez and Roel Brouwers scored to haul the visitors level - both from Arango assists - before the midfielder netted the winner in astonishing style. He lined up a free-kick in a wide left position, but instead of crossing, he curled his shot around the outside of the wall and into the vacant near post to cap a sensational turnaround.
Gladbach had been on a patchy run of form when Wolfsburg were the visitors on Matchday 14, but just as Frankfurt witnessed first hand, another breathtaking Arango strike laid the foundations for a comfortable victory. Running on to a lofted pass from Havard Nordtveit after 11 minutes, he cracked an unstoppable volley* from the edge of the penalty box across the keeper and into the far corner. It was a moment that exhibited the very best of his many attributes: concentration, timing and impeccable technique.
*visible at 05.00 in video
Barely a fortnight after that stunner against the Wolves came yet another superlative-defying effort, this time against Mainz. After Mike Hanke had put the Foals in front, the game was om a knife edge, with Thomas Tuchel's charges threatening to equalise. Arango dashed their hopes however, proving there is almost no position on the pitch from which he cannot score. Mainz goalkeeper Heinz Müller charged out of his box to dispossess Patrick Herrmann, but only succeeded in giving the ball straight to the former Real Mallorca man. Practically on the sideline and over 40 yards from goal, he lofted a first-time curling strike over the head of the despairing Müller and into the empty net. Just as impressive as the goal itself was the reaction of the Gladbach bench: one of euphoric disbelief.
Compiled by Bernie Reeves.