The world’s top Ten Best Soccer Players
Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has been named the best player in the world football, beating out Lionel Messi and Kevin De Bruyne in the process. The 32-year-old Polish international had an incredible season in 2019-2020, scoring an incredible 55 goals in 47 games for the reigning German champions.
10. Erling Haaland
Despite having only one season under his belt, Erling Haaland is widely regarded as the best teenage soccer player in the world and has quickly established himself as one of the game’s top strikers. The fact that he is only 19 years old does not diminish the fact that he is one of the best players on the planet at this time.
For the first 14 league games of this season, Haaland played for Austrian club RB Salzburg, where he scored 16 goals and added six assists, as well as eight goals and one assist in the Champions League group stage. He then transferred to Borussia Dortmund in the middle of the season, where he maintained his incredible form, scoring 13 goals and adding three assists in 15 Bundesliga games. In total, Haaland has 44 goals and 10 assists in 40 games this season, and it is these incredible numbers that have propelled the youngster into the top ten at the time of writing.
9. Riyad Mahrez
With so much talent upfront and on the wings, it is extremely difficult to single out one attacking player in a team with as many attacking options as Liverpool does. It’s made even more difficult by the fact that Manchester City’s depth means that some of the team’s best players are forced to sit on the bench. I knew I had to include at least one Manchester City attacker, and after considering the likes of Bernardo Silva, Sergio Agüero, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, and even the injured Leroy Sané, I settled on the former Leicester City player and Algerian international as my final choice for the position.
8. Sadio Mané
Beyond its defensive strength, Liverpool has had one of the most dangerous attacking lineups in the world for several years, and Sadio Mané has played a key role in that success. This season, the Senegalese winger has been outstanding for the current English and European champions, scoring 16 goals and providing nine assists while winning the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals in the previous campaign, which he shared with teammate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and fellow Senegalese Mo Salah.
The fact that Sadio Mané stands out above the rest is despite Mo Salah’s record-breaking goalscoring season two seasons ago and Roberto Firmino’s technical superiority over the other two wingers. A world-class performer in every aspect of his game — pace, finishing, and control — he has scored some incredible goals for Liverpool over the past two seasons, including a brilliant chip against Bayern Munich in the Champions League last season. Mané finished fourth in the Ballon d’Or voting for the 2019 season and appears to be a serious contender for the award in 2020.
7. Virgil van Dijk
Having joined Liverpool from Southampton in January of 2018, the Dutch defender has gone on to establish himself as one of the best defenders in the history of the Premier League. Virgil van Dijk, one of the most important players on an outstanding championship-winning team, finished just behind Lionel Messi in the Ballon d’Or rankings in 2019, coming close to becoming the first defender to win the award since Italian center-back Fabio Cannavaro in 2006. He did, however, earn the title of UEFA Men’s Player of the Year for his efforts. Van Dijk was named Premier League Player of the Year after allowing only 22 goals and keeping 20 clean sheets in the Premier League last season.
He also had a 74 percent tackle success rate and completed the second-highest number of passes, earning him the award. Liverpool only suffered one defeat all season and finished second in the Premier League with 97 points, one point behind the team that defeated them, Manchester City. Liverpool, on the other hand, won the Champions League and have since gone on to win the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, among other things. Over the course of the entire season, van Dijk was only dribbled past once in all competitions.
6. Kevin De Bruyne
Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City is another player who has the potential to challenge for the Ballon d’Or at the end of the season. The Belgian midfielder is a genuine world-class performer. He is without a doubt the best midfielder in the country, and his vision and passing ability are both exceptional. The Belgian international has 11 goals and 18 assists in the Premier League this season, and with four games remaining, he could very well be the player who finally breaks Thierry Henry’s Premier League record of 20 assists in a season.
The Manchester City team, which has lost the Premier League title to Liverpool this season, will be looking to redeem itself when the Champions League returns in August, and Kevin De Bruyne will be a key factor in whether or not the team can finally win the trophy that it has so coveted for so many seasons.
5. Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain)
Mbappé is only one place behind Lewandowski on my list because of his youth and the fact that he hasn’t appeared in a match since March. After only a few years, the Frenchman’s statistics and ability, which are absolutely and objectively outstanding, could very well place him at the top of this list. Mbappé’s trophy cabinet will only continue to grow, as he is already a World Cup champion after scoring in the final and a four-time Ligue 1 champion. Mbappé was slightly hampered by injury this season, but he still managed to score 18 goals and provide seven assists in the 20 league games that he appeared in. In total, he scored 47 goals and added 33 assists in 33 games across all competitions. These are Messi’s personal numbers. These are the Cristiano Ronaldo numbers. These are Kylian Mbappé’s personal statistics.
4. Robert Lewandowski
Bayern Munich’s world-class striker has just completed his sixth season with the club and his tenth season in the Bundesliga overall, contributing to the club’s eighth consecutive Bundesliga championship. And Robert Lewandowski had his best season to date at the age of 31. Lewandowski has won the Bundesliga’s top scorer award for the fifth time in his career after scoring 34 goals in 31 games for Borussia Dortmund.
During the entire season, he only failed to score in six games, racking up seven braces and one hat trick in the process. In addition, he scored 51 goals and added six assists in 43 games across all competitions, including two in Bayern’s recent DFB Pokal championship victory. Those totals are likely to rise even further in August when the Champions League returns to action in Lisbon, as Lewandowski has scored in every Champions League game in which he has appeared so far this season, including the final.
Robert Lewandowski is firmly entrenched in the running for the Ballon d’Or in 2020 after putting together an incredible campaign. In fact, if Lewandowski can maintain his incredible form and, as a result, help Bayern Munich win the Champions League and become only the second European team to win the continental treble twice, the decision may be relatively straightforward. Due to the fact that Bayern Munich are widely considered to be the favorites to win the tournament, this appears well within reach for the Polish international.
After struggling with injury this season and missing the first few weeks of March due to the decision of Ligue 1 to end the season early rather than restart play after the lockdown, Neymar Jr. is ranked third on my list of the best players in the world. This should serve as a testament to how incredible the Brazilian winger is when in peak condition. Neymar has scored 13 goals and provided six assists in only 15 league games this season.
In 22 games across all competitions, those totals rise to 18 goals and 10 assists, respectively. Neymar has not been able to maintain a level of fitness comparable to that of a fully fit season in any of his three seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, but his world-class ability is on display whenever he steps on the field. The only reasons that Neymar hasn’t won the Ballon d’Or yet are because of Messi, Ronaldo, and injuries to his teammates. Even if those three factors were absent, Neymar would be a strong contender, if not a shoo-in, for the title of the greatest player in history.
Neymar’s next goal, aside from winning the Ballon d’Or, is to help Paris Saint-Germain win the Champions League. As the Brazilian national team advances to the quarterfinals of the World Cup after defeating Borussia Dortmund on aggregate in the Round of 16, Neymar will be fit and hungry to win the trophy.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
As long as he’s still alive, he’ll be near the top of the priority list. The Portuguese forward is 35 years old and is only in his second season of professional football in Italy, but he is still amassing absurd numbers in front of goal. In the league, Ronaldo has contributed to half of Juventus’ goals so far this season, scoring 28 goals and adding 6 assists in the 28 games he has played. In total, he has made 39 goal contributions across all competitions this season. He is currently competing with Lazio’s Ciro Immobile for the Capocannoniere (Serie A’s top scorer) award, and he has been the standout player for Juventus during what appears to be a title-winning season. Following his victories in the Champions League with both of his former clubs, Ronaldo will be looking to complete his personal treble when the competition resumes in August.
More impressive is the fact that Ronaldo is scoring one goal per game in the league despite receiving less assistance from his teammates than he has done in the past. Juventus is 16th in crosses made this season out of the 20 teams in Seria A, and 14th in both accurate crosses and assists from crosses, according to Soccerexpress. Given that Ronaldo has scored the most headed goals in the history of the sport, his inability to cross the ball has taken a significant toll on his goal tally this season. Despite this, he is still one point behind the team’s leading scorer.
1. Lionel Messi (Argentina)
The Atomic Flea, also known as La Pulga Atómica (the Atomic Flea), has been at the top of this list for more than a decade and is still going strong at the age of 33. In fact, he has become accustomed to putting together sensational stats and seasons. Despite missing Barcelona’s first four games of the season due to injury, Messi is on track to become La Liga’s leading scorer for the seventh time in his career with 22 goals in as many games as there are games left in the regular season.
Along with those 22 goals, Messi has contributed to another 20 goals in the league so far, breaking his own personal record of 18 assists in a season and contributing to a total of 42 goals in 30 games this season. That is the season of a player’s life for any given player. For Lionel Messi, this is just another day at the office.
In all competitions, Messi has 27 goals and 24 assists in all competitions, and he is hoping to lead Barcelona to its first Champions League title since the 2014-15 season when the club won the treble. Messi is also the most recent winner of the Ballon d’Or, having narrowly edged out Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk by seven points in the award’s history. The Argentinian forward has continued to produce unstoppable and exciting soccer despite Barcelona’s managerial problems and uncertainty about the club’s future after Messi departs. He recently scored his 700th career goal, which brings his total number of goals to 700.