The wait is over! The Top 100 Footballers in the World of Football for 2015-16 is finally here! From world beaters like Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez and Neymar to rising stars like Mahrez, Kante, Vardy and Payet, this is The Mastermind‘s official Top 100 Footballers in the World list and it’s bigger and better than any other.
In order to develop a comprehensive list of the Top 100 Footballers in the World, we first have to develop some kind of formula to properly rank players. The formula that I have developed is a very complicated one that includes a player’s overall ability, season form, club’s season form, season form from the year before, difficulty of the league they play in and the number of team of the week appearances they have accumulated on this very site over the course of the season. Each of these things is given a score out of 100 for each player and weighs different amounts within the formula. So for example, the player’s overall ability weighs the most and is responsible for 42% of a player’s score. Team of the Week Apperances meanwhile is responsible for just 2% of a player’s score.
This is not a list of the players who played the best this season, rather this is a list of players who have played well for a number of seasons and may or may not have had an excellent campaign in 2015-16.
Each season, a list of nearly three hundred players from leagues around the world is complied, with each of them being tested within my formula to ensure that nobody worthy of a spot misses out on the list. But, I won’t bore you with the process any longer, let’s get straight to the list! Here are my top 100 footballers in the world at the end of 2015-16! Actually before we get to the top 100, first here are three honourable mentions worth talking about.
Just Missed Out (#107): Mario Gotze
Mario Gotze barely played in 2015-16, horribly falling out of favour with Pep Guardiola. But when he did play, he was good, well actually he was only okay, scoring 3 goals with 4 assists in 14 Bundesliga matches. Gotze also scored 2 goals in 4 UEFA Champions League matches as die Roten made it to the semi finals. He’s still only the age of 23 and still has a bright future ahead of him, but you just have to wonder where he’d be right now had he stayed at Borussia Dortmund. He was awful at Euro 2016 and it just seems that he’s getting worse and worse by the day. Hopefully if he makes a return to the club that made him into one of the best footballers in the world, he’ll make the list next year. Formula Score: 82.34. Ranking: #107.
Just Missed Out (#102): Jonas
Jonas Oliveira was unbelievable in Portugal’s top-flight this season as only four players bagged more goals in league play across Europe this season than him. Jonas scored 32 goals with 12 assists as he featured in all 34 Primeira Liga matches to help Benfica win their 35th league title. His recent re-call to the Brazilian National Team demonstrates just how good he has been this season. However, with him playing in the Portuguese league and not playing to his full-potential in the UEFA Europa League in 2015-16 it is very hard to rank him inside this season’s top 100. However, if Morata hadn’t had a solid Euro 2016 campaign with Spain, Jonas would have made the list. Formula Score: 82.41. Ranking: #101.
Just Missed Out (#101): Sebastian Giovinco
Is this a case of a big fish playing in a small pond? Maybe, but doing what Sebastian Giovinco has done in any league two seasons in a row let alone possibly the best league outside of Europe is incredible. Sebastian Giovinco had one of the best seasons the MLS has ever seen in 2015 as he smashed all kinds of records scoring 22 goals with 13 assists in 34 matches. He’s now started off the 2016 MLS season in arguably even better form, scoring or assisting pretty much every single goal Toronto FC has scored, with 15 goals and 10 assists in just 21 matches so far! He’s not only the best player in the MLS at the moment, but he’s the best player the MLS have ever had and he’d likely be able to achieve the same level of greatness if he was still playing in Serie A. Being a Canadian and a fan of Toronto FC, Giovinco has a special place in my heart. But nonetheless, his ranking at #101 on my list can’t even be interpreted as biased. The Guardian ranked him as the 97th best footballer in the world at the end of 2015 and FourFourTwo went one better by ranking him at number 94. Formula Score: 82.41.
100. Yaya Toure
On paper, Yaya Toure’s season with Manchester City looks decent, but in reality it was a below average campaign for the Ivory Coast midfielder. Toure scored 6 goals with 5 assists in 32 Premier League matches to help Manchester City finish fourth and scored 1 goal with 2 assists in 10 UEFA Champions League matches. Towards the end of the season, he started to fall down the pecking order at City and wasn’t even really involved in their final few Champions League matches as they made a push for the final. He’s slowly starting to decline and at times just looks completely uninterested, but in terms of his ability, he’s still an excellent, top quality footballer. Formula Score: 82.42.
99. David Luiz
Yep that’s right, David Luiz is still one of the best defenders in world football. David Luiz often goes criminally underrated these days and despite being one of PSG’s most crucial players to their success, he is rarely talked about anymore. The Brazilian defender scored a goal with 2 assists in 33 matches, also accumulating 2.4 interceptions per game, 75 passes per game, and a 92.1% passing completion rate as he was selected for the Ligue 1 Team of the Year. He was also key in PSG’s Champions Leauge fight, scoring a goal with 21 interceptions in 7 matches. Despite very few football fans even remembering who he is these days, David Luiz is still one of the best defenders in the world. Formula Score: 82.42.
98. Alvaro Morata
Alvaro Morata continues to be one of the deadliest goal scorers on the planet despite not even being a regular starter for his club team. Morata had a brilliant season in 2015-16, scoring 7 goals with 7 assists in 34 Serie A matches with Juventus, 18 of which were substitute appearances. The centre forward was also clinical in every other competition he participated in, scoring 3 goals in 5 Coppa Italia matches, 2 goals in 3 international friendlies, 2 goals with 2 assists in 8 UEFA Champions League matches and of course his stunningly good Euro 2016 campaign in which he scored 3 goals in 4 matches for Spain as they crashed out in the Round of 16. Alvaro Morata is one of the deadliest goal scorers on the planet and if he continues to score goals, eventually he will become one of the world’s very best strikers if he isn’t at that level already. Formula Score: 82.42.
97. Keylor Navas
At the start of the season, Keylor Navas was almost sold to Manchester United as part of Real Madrid’s attempt to sign David De Gea. That deal only fell through at what was literally the last minute of the summer transfer window. Real Madrid should consider themselves lucky they didn’t sell Navas in that transfer window because he was incredibly good for Los Blancos in 2015-16 and was arguably the best goalkeeper in world football this season. His form in the UEFA Champions League was particularly impressive as he kept 9 clean sheets in just 11 matches and conceded just 3 goals the entire tournament as Real Madrid lifted the trophy! The Costa Rican goalkeeper was also very good in La Liga as he kept 13 clean sheets, made 84 saves and conceded just 28 goals in 34 La Liga matches to help Real Madrid finish in second place. Keylor Navas had an incredible season and although not as big of a name as David De Gea, he is still one of the best goalkeepers on the planet and should stay at Real Madrid for a very long time. Formula Score: 82.44.
96. Jan Oblak
Jan Oblak wasn’t even Atletico Madrid’s starting goalkeeper in 2014-15. Then in 2015-16 he became the most dominant goalkeeper in not only La Liga but the UEFA Champions League as well, putting up some fantastic displays against some of the world’s best teams and establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The Slovenian goalkeeper kept an astonishing 24 clean sheets in 38 league matches conceding just 0.47 goals per game. He also made 63 saves and 79 successful cross claims, 0 unsuccessful. Oblak also kept 8 clean sheets in 13 UEFA Champions League matches, conceding just 0.62 goals per game, the second best behind Keylor Navas in both categories and made 33 saves, more than any other goalkeeper in the competition. His 24 clean sheets in La Liga was 8 more than second place Claudio Bravo’s 16 and his 0.47 goals conceded per game was the best in the league by far as well. He was the best goalkeeper in both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16 and is now one of the top 100 footballers in the world. Formula Score: 82.44.
Spanish right back, Juanfran, had another fantastic season with Atletico Madrid and Spain in 2015-16. The 31 year old was once again one of Atletico Madrid’s most important players, featuring in 35 league matches, making 2.1 tackles per game and scoring and assisting 1 goal each. He was also incredibly key in Atletico’s Champions League campaign in which they made it to the final. Juanfran assisted 2 goals in 12 games, helping Atletico keep 8 clean sheets as he was named to the Squad of the Season. His penalty miss in the final was heartbreaking but the Spanish giants likely would not have even gotten to that point if it had not been for this brilliant defender. Juanfran is an excellent fullback and one of the very best in the world. Formula Score: 82.45.
94. Aritz Aduriz
Aritz Aduriz has slowly become one of the most clinical finishers in the world of football. He just can’t stop scoring at the moment. Aduriz scored 20 goals with 6 assists in 34 league matches in 2015-16 to help Athletic Bilbao finish in 6th place. The striker also netted 10 goals with three assists in 11 UEFA Europa League matches to make the Europa League Squad of the Season and lead the tournament in goals. At the age of 35, Aduriz is finally a star in the world of football. Formula Score: 82.48.
93. Santiago Cazorla
It seems like he’s spent all season out injured, but in reality Santiago Cazorla actually played a decent amount of games despite his horrible injury woes and was in good form early on, assisting 3 goals in 15 Premier League matches and making 82 passes per game, 2.5 of which were chances created per game. He also made 5 Champions League appearances with another assist to his name as Arsenal crashed out in the Round of 16. Santi Cazorla is an excellent player with incredible capabilities, but unfortunately he just spent far too long out injured in 2015-16. When he’s back to full fitness in 2016-17, everyone will remember just how good this Spanish footballer really is, however 2015-16 was just not his year and he spent far too long out injured to secure a place on the list. Formula Score: 82.55.
92. Raphael Varane
Raphael Varane was Real Madrid’s best centre-back for the first half of the season when Rafael Benitez was in charge but then when Zinedine Zidane came into the fold, Varane fell out of favour again just like he did when Carlo Ancelotti was the manager. He still picked up 26 La Liga appearances to help Madrid narrowly finish in second and played in 7 UEFA Champions League matches as Madrid won the tournament. Varane is also one of France’s most key players and was a massive miss for Les Bleus at Euro 2016 as they lost in extra time in the final to Portugal. Formula Score: 82.59.
91. Petr Cech
In his first season with Arsenal, Petr Cech was very solid and at times looked in top form. It was a very solid campaign for one of the greatest goalkeepers in Premier League history as he won the golden glove with 16 clean sheets, conceded just 31 goals in 34 matches and made 75 saves. Despite being axed by Chelsea, Petr Cech proved in 2015-16 why he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Formula Score: 82.60.
90. Mario Gomez
After a big-money move to Besiktas, Mario Gomez is back to his best, scoring goals for fun again. Even though it was in a much easier league, the Turkish Super Lig, Mario Gomez was far and away the league’s best player, scooping up the player of the season award, easily winning the Golden Boot with 26 goals and 5 assists and showing everyone why he’s still got it. He was also the only forward named to Germany’s Euro 2016 squad and had a successful campaign, scoring 2 goals in 4 matches as the Germans made it to the semi finals. Formula Score: 82.61.
89. Grzegorz Krychowiak
No matter what competition he’s playing in, Grezegorz Krychowiak always finds a way to dominate matches. The Polish defensive midfielder has recently become one of the best midfielders in the world and after back to back impressive Europa League winning seasons with Sevilla and a stunning Euro 2016 campaign, Krychowiak has rightfully earned his place on this list. For club and country the 26 year old played in 43 competitive matches in 2015-16, averaging 2.5 tackles and 4.3 interceptions per game. He also made the most interceptions per game in La Liga in 2015-16 with 4.5. Krychowiak was key to Sevilla’s 2015-16 Europa League win as he assisted 2 goals in 7 matches, made 3.7 interceptions per game and was selected for the tournament’s Squad of the Season. The Polish defensive midfielder is now one of the best defensive midfielders in the world and after making a big money move to PSG after Poland were knocked out of Euro 2016, he could climb up the list even further next season. Formula Score: 82.63.
88. Alexandre Lacazette
A clinical finisher, fox in the box and deadly goal scorer, Alexandre Lacazette can score all types of goals and usually does. In 2015-16 that continued as he scored 21 goals with 5 assists in 34 league matches, which was less than just Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Ligue 1. He also scored 2 goals in 6 Champions League matches and his omission from France’s Euro 2016 squad was one of the strangest decisions of all as they instead decided to go with a bloke who couldn’t net a single goal the entire tournament in Andre-Pierre Gignac. Once he gets his big move away from Ligue 1 like Dimitri Payet did last year, France will realize how much they’ve missed over the years. Formula Score: 82.68.
87. Juan Mata
Lately, Juan Mata has become extremely underrated. The Manchester United midfielder still gives everything he can for his club and is still one of the best play-makers in the league. Having said that, inconsistency really hurt Mata this season as at times he was unplayable and at other times he faded into the background. Juan Mata still had a decent 2015-16 campaign, scoring 6 goals with 5 assists in 38 Premier League matches, 1 goal with 2 assists in 5 UEFA Champions League matches and 3 crucial goals in 4 matches in Manchester United’s FA Cup trophy win. But, he was nowhere near his best. With his inconsistency and constant playing out of position, Spain omitted him from their Euro 2016 squad. However, with the quality that Mata has that was likely the wrong decision. Formula Score: 82.83.
With so many talented players in Real Madrid’s midfield, it can be hard for someone like Isco to get adequate playing time. But when he did play, Isco was on top of his game and played a crucial role in helping Real Madrid win their second Champions League title in the past three years. Isco scored 3 goals with 7 assists in 31 league matches to help Real Madrid finish second in La Liga and assisted three goals as he made 11 UEFA Champions League appearances. But due to not being a regular starter for his club team, the Spanish midfielder, just like Mata and Cazorla missed out on making Spain’s Euro 2016 squad and has since fallen down the list. Formula Score: 82.83.
85. Andrea Barzagli
Even at the age of 35, Andrea Barzagli is still one of the best defenders in world football. In fact, he arguably had his best season ever as a footballer in 2015-16. The Juventus defender featured in 31 Serie A matches, scored 1 goal, completed 89% of his passes and helped Juventus keep 18 clean sheets in those 31 games as he was named to the Serie A Team of the Season. Barzagli then rocked Euro 2016 forming an unbreakable partnership at the heart of the Italy defense with Juventus teammates Chiellini and Bonucci to help Italy keep 3 clean sheets and make it to the quarter finals. Even though he’s 35 years old, Andrea Barzagli is still one of the best defenders in the world. Formula Score: 82.84.
84. Shinji Kagawa
It’s a mystery why Thomas Tuchel doesn’t trust Shinji Kagawa in the big games. He is absolutely essential to Dortmund’s side and was brilliant for the club yet again in 2015-16. Kagawa scored 9 goals with 7 assists in just 29 Bundesliga appearances to make the Team of the Season.The ex-Manchester United player also scored 1 goal with 2 assists in 5 DFB Pokal matches as Dortmund made it to the final. The Japanese international popped up with some big goals at crucial moments and certainly deserves to be back on this list this season. Formula Score: 82.92.
83. Olivier Giroud
Anytime there’s criticism of Olivier Giroud he silences them immediately by scoring goal after goal in game after game. Olivier Giroud struggled with inconsistency for large parts of 2015-16, but he managed to finish the season strong and come away with 16 goals and 6 assists in 34 matches. He then stole the show at Euro 2016, linking up with Griezmann and Payet excellently well and scoring 3 goals with 2 assists in 7 matches. Good in the air and a natural finisher, Giroud just needs to be more consistent if he’s to climb back higher on the list in the future. Formula Score: 82.94.
After a breakthrough season with Celta Vigo in 2014-15, Manuel Agudo Duran, also known as Nolito, had another fantastic season in 2015-16 to earn his place on the Top 100 Footballers in the World list. Nolito was relatively unknown up until a couple years ago but since then the 29 year old has quickly become one of the most sought-after and respected talents in La Liga. The Celta Vigo winger scored 12 goals with 7 assists in 29 matches and won 9 man of the match awards to help the club finish in their highest position ever as a club, 6th place in La Liga. He then rocked Euro 2016, securing a spot in Spain’s starting lineup despite tough opposition from players like Koke and Pedro, and scoring 1 goal with 1 assist in 4 matches at the tournament. Nolito had a wonderful season in 2015-16 and at the age of 26, he looks to finally be finding his feet and developing in to one of the world’s very best players. Formula Score: 82.96.
81. Romelu Lukaku
In 2015-16, Romelu Lukaku had his best season ever as a footballer. The Belgian forward scored 18 goals in the Premier League to establish himself as one of the league’s best strikers and led the line for Belgium at Euro 2016 scoring 2 goals in 5 matches. Romelu Lukaku always knows where the back of the net is and he demonstrated that in 2015-16 by taking the league by storm to score 18 goals with 6 assists in 32 Premier League matches. He also scored 3 goals in 3 FA Cup matches and 4 goals in 6 Capital One Cup matches to help Everton make it to the semi finals in both competitions. Formula Score: 82.97.
80. Toby Alderweireld
Toby Alderweireld was arguably the best defender in the Premier League this season. The Belgian international was excellent, helping Tottenham to keep 15 clean sheets and acting as their most integral defensive player in their charge to try and win the title. Going forward he was also excellent, scoring 4 goals with 2 assists as he featured in all 38 Premier League matches. He then played very well at Euro 2016, helping Belgium make the quarter finals with 1 goal in 5 matches. After making the PFA Team of the Year and having a good Euro 2016 campaign he is now considered to be one of the best defenders in the world. Formula Score: 83.00.
79. Filipe Luis
Filipe Luis was the best left back in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16, showing Chelsea exactly why they should have never let him go. Luis scored a goal with 4 assists in 32 La Liga matches, making 3.9 tackles per game and 2.7 interceptions per game as Atletico finished in third. He was one of the club’s most integral Champions League matches as well, playing in 9 matches and making 4 tackles per game and 2.2 interceptions per game. No left-back in the world was better than Filipe Luis in 2015-16 and if the FIFPRO World XI was based purely on how well a player played over the course of the year, Luis would be a lock. Formula Score: 83.04.
78. Jordi Alba
Jordi Alba has been one of the best left-backs in the world for the past decade and he continued that trend this season with another solid campagin. The Spanish defender assisted 6 goals in 31 league appearances in 2015-16, the most he’s ever achieved in a La Liga season. He also was solid in 9 UEFA Champions League matches, assisting one goal as Barca made it to the quarter finals. He was also crucial in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey win, featuring in 3 matches and scoring and assisting one goal each. Formula Score: 83.05.
77. Carlos Tevez
No matter what league he’s playing in, Carlos Tevez always manages to score goals. In the 2016 Argentine Primera Division, the ex-Manchester United striker scored 4 goals with 2 assists in 11 matches to help Boca Juniors finish in first place. Although those aren’t staggering statistics, he still had a very good season to help his side win the league. But, it hasn’t been the best of times though since returning to his home country and with the quality that Tevez has he should be one of the top scorers and assist makers in the league just like he was for so many seasons with Juventus in Italy. Carlos Tevez needs to step up his game or risk falling off this list altogether. However, he is still one of the deadliest goal scorers and best players in world football. Formula Score: 83.05.
76. Radja Nainggolan
Radja Nainggolan was one of the best midfielders in Serie A in 2015-16. The central midfielder scored 6 goals with 1 assist in 35 league matches to help Roma finish in third in the table. This fantastic season earned him a place on the Serie A Team of the Year. He also featured in 7 UEFA Champions League matches, assisting 1 goal, and then was a rock for Belgium at Euro 2016 as they made it all the way to the quarter finals. Nainggolan featured in all 5 of his country’s Euro 2016 matches, scoring 2 goals with 1 assist. The Belgian midfielder has only recently become known as one of the best midfielders in the world but with him being the age of only 28, there are still bigger and better things to come from this crazy-haired midfielder. Formula Score: 83.08.
The best player in the Russian Premier League by a country-mile. Hulk, also known as Givanildo Vieira de Souza, scored an astonishing 17 goals with 16 assists in 27 Russian Premier League matches. What was different about this year for Hulk though was that he was also one of this season’s standout players in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 4 goals and assisting a further 4, in just 7 matches, walking away with 3 Team of the Week appearances and showing everyone what he’s capable of accomplishing on the world’s biggest stage. After several seasons of being underrated, Hulk is now considered by all to be one of the best footballers in the world. Formula Score: 83.13.
74. Aaron Ramsey
Aaron Ramsey is one of the most versatile and talented midfielders in the world. The Welsh international scored 5 goals with 4 assists in 31 matches from playing as a right or central midfielder and was a solid dictator of the tempo of Arsenal’s play. He didn’t standout as being one of Arsenal’s best players but at the same time he still had a solid campaign. But then at Euro 2016 he transformed back into the very best version of himself and was one of the very best players at the entire competition. Aaron Ramsey was one of the stars of the tournament and was fantastic for Wales leading the charge with Gareth Bale as Wales shockingly made it to the semi finals. He scored a goal and assisted 4 as Wales defied expectations and come so close to winning it all. This fantastic Euro 2016 campaign moved Ramsey up the list from 91 all the way to 75 as he proved just how good he can be when he’s in top form. Formula Score: 83.15.
73. Marco Verratti
Marco Verratti is another player that missed large parts of the season due to injury, but when he played, was still on top of his game. The Italian midfielder played in 18 Ligue 1 matches, assisting 3 goals, making 82.2 accurate passes per game with a 93% completion rate and he also played in 5 Champions League matches assisting a goal and making 3.6 tackles per game. Verratti’s injury troubles forced him to miss out on Euro 2016, but didn’t stop him from making the Ligue 1 Team of the Year. Formula Score: 83.15.
72. Hugo Lloris
Hugo Lloris was one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League in 2015-16 and has been ever since his arrival in 2012. The French goalkeeper conceded just 34 goals in 37 games, with 5 of those coming on the final day of the season. He also kept 13 clean sheets, made 68 saves and 69 successful cross claims. Without him Tottenham might not have been able to go on quite the fairy tale run that they did in 2015-16. Then at Euro 2016, Hugo Lloris was one of the best goalkeepers of the tournament, keeping 3 clean sheets in seven matches as France finished as runners-up. Hugo Lloris had an excellent season and is one of the top five goalkeepers in the world. Formula Score: 83.18.
71. Laurent Koscielny
Laurent Koscielny had another very good season in an under-performing Arsenal side that somehow managed to finish in second in the table. The French defender scored 4 goals in 33 Premier League matches, made 3.8 interceptions per game and won 3.2 aerial duels per game in the league as he continued to be known as one of the league’s most capable defenders. He also made 7 UEFA Champions League appearances as Arsenal were knocked out in stylish fashion at the Round of 16 to Barcelona and with Varane’s injury and Sakho’s suspension, Koscielny was France’s most important player at Euro 2016 as he played in all 7 matches and made 1 team of the week appearance. Most people might not agree but Laurent Koscielny is one of the very best defenders in the world. Formula Score: 83.18.
70. Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney was a below-average version of himself for most of the season, but when he turned it on, he was impossible to stop. The striker-turned-attacking midfielder scored 8 goals with 6 assists in 28 league matches and scored 2 goals in 5 FA Cup matches to help Manchester United lift the trophy. He was also key for England in UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying, breaking England’s all time scoring record and helping them secure a spot in France without losing a single game. He then had a solid campaign at the actual Euro 2016 tournament scoring 1 goal and playing as one of England’s only bright spots. He is still absolutely integral to both England and Manchester United and although he’s showing signs of aging, he can still absolutely dominate and control games with his killer passing ability, work rate and natural abilities in both attack and defense. Despite what the TSN sportscaster’s want to believe, Wayne Rooney is still one of the top 100 footballers in the world. Formula Score: 83.22.
69. Marek Hamsik
Strangely, Marek Hamsik is one of the most underrated footballers out there. He scores and assists a bundle of goals every single season but is somehow still not ranked that highly by most. The Slovak vice-captain is only 28 and is Napoli’s second highest goal scorer of all-time behind only the great Diego Maradona. Marek Hamsik was one of the classiest midfielders in all of Serie A yet again in 2015-16. The crazy-haired captain helped Napoli finish second in the table by scoring 86 goals with 11 assists as he featured in all 38 matches. He also chipped in with 2 goals in Napoli’s six Europa Leauge matches and then was by far one of the standout players of the Euro 2016 Group Stages, having the fourth highest Squawka score at the time when Slovakia were knocked out, and scoring 1 goal with 1 assist in 4 matches. Formula Score: 83.27.
68. Gabi Fernandez
Gabi Fernandez was essential to Atletico Madrid’s incredible 2015-16 campaign as he captained them to their second Champions League final in three years and a third place finish in La Liga. Gabi himself was excellent, scoring a goal with 3 assists in 35 league matches and 3 assists in 12 Champions League matches from his defensive midfield position. His tackling, work rate and precise passing are all fantastic and there are few players of his quality that are as underrated as him. Formula Score: 83.31.
67. Franck Ribery
Franck Ribery spent most of the season out injured but came back slowly at the end of the season to play decently well, scoring 2 goals with 3 assists in 13 matches. His overall ability and what he’s done in previous years carries him into the number 67 slot but if he finds himself in another injury-ridden season next year, he might fall off the list altogether. It’s very hard to rank Franck Ribery these days. Everyone knows on his day he could probably still be one of the top 30 or-so best players in the world, but he just hasn’t played at all in recent years and thus can’t possibly have a high ranking on this list. Formula Score: 83.36.
Although Raphael Varane has become better and better every single season, he still can’t get a regular starting spot in Real Madrid’s side due to Pepe’s quality and natural ability. Pepe is one of the best one-on-one defenders on the planet. He is so hard to get past and even if you do, he’ll kick you down to the ground and show you who’s boss. Pepe was injured for the first-third of the season but came back to knock Varane out of the lineup and play as one of Real Madrid’s most important players as they won the UEFA Champions League and finished 2nd in La Liga. Pepe scored 1 goal with 1 assist in 21 La Liga matches, played excellently well in 9 UEFA Champions League matches and helped Portugal keep four clean sheets at Euro 2016 as they won the tournament. Pepe had another excellent season at Real Madrid and despite the young talents coming through at Real Madrid, it is still the experienced Portuguese defender that remains as one of the first names on their team sheet. Formula Score: 83.37.
65. Diego Costa
Diego Costa was at times brilliant and at other times terrible in 2015-16. When he’s not enjoying his football he can’t get his head straight and usually struggles to find the back of the net. But when he has little spurts of form and is fully-focused at the task at hand, he shows everyone why he can be one of the world’s top strikers. Costa scored just 12 goals with 6 assists in 28 Premier League matches and just 2 goals with 1 assist in 8 UEFA Champions League matches as Chelsea struggled the entire season. It wasn’t a great season for Diego Costa by any means and as a result he was left out of Spain’s Euro 2016 squad. Formula Score: 83.38.
Willian was just about the only player playing up to his full-ability at Chelsea Football Club in 2015-16. It was probably Willian’s best season ever as he scored 5 goals with 6 assists, creating 81 chances in 35 matches to pick up both the Chelsea Player of the Year and Chelsea Fans’ Player of the Year award. He was also one of the very best players in the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16, scoring 5 goals with 1 assist in 8 matches. The Brazilian midfielder also proved to be one of Europe’s best free kick takers and dribblers, netting six free kick goals and completing 120 dribbles between the league and the Champions League. Willian is a very good footballer and even in a struggling Chelsea side he still managed to play well. Formula Score: 83.53.
63. Philippe Coutinho
After a stunning 2014-15 campaign, Philippe Coutinho arguably had an even better 2015-16 season but didn’t receive anywhere near as much credit and praise. The Brazilian playmaker scored 8 goals with 5 assists in 26 matches in the Premier League in 2015-16, topping his five goal, five assist 2014-15 tally. He was also key in Liverpool’s Europa League campaign, scoring 2 goals with 2 assists in 13 matches to help Liverpool make it to the finals. Coutinho was then absolutely key for Brazil at the Copa America, scoring 3 goals in 3 matches. Formula Score: 83.58.
62. Thibaut Courtois
It was not a good season for Thibaut Courtois but it wasn’t a good season for any Chelsea player and Courtois at least can say he finished strongly with a very good Euro 2016 campaign with Belgium. In 2015-16, Courtois played in 23 matches for Chelsea, conceding 29 goals, keeping just 5 clean sheets and making 52 saves. He wasn’t ever in top form and quite honestly really struggled in the Premier League, but came back strong to play well at Euro 2016, keeping 3 clean sheets in 5 matches and making 17 saves, more than any other keeper at the tournament. With Antonio Conte in charge, Courtois is likely to bounce back next season and re-establish himself as one of the top three goalkeepers in the world. Formula Score: 83.58.
61. Dani Alves
Dani Alves is still one of the best fullbacks in the world at the age of 34. Alves was brilliant in helping Barcelona win the La Liga title yet again in 2015-16 by assisting 4 goals in 29 matches. The Brazilian defender also assisted three goals in eight Champions League matches and scored 1 goal in 5 Copa del Rey matches as Barca won the cup. After another fantastic season with Barcelona, Alves is now finally on his way out of the club after 8 years and with the style of play at Juventus, he could be even better at the age of 35 next season. Formula Score: 83.61.
60. Vincent Kompany
Vincent Kompany was brilliant for City in the first few matches, scoring 2 goals and helping Manchester City keep five clean sheets in the first five games as City walked away victorious in all five. Sadly, after that he was either injured or playing through injury for the remainder of the season. When Vincent Kompany is fit and healthy he is one of the top-five centre backs in world football. Unfortunately, he just can’t seem to put a string of matches together without getting injured. Kompany feautured in just 14 matches this season and although he was either solid or brilliant in all 14, it just wasn’t enough to help City finish above fourth place or help his case for a higher ranking on this list. Formula Score: 83.85.
59. N’Golo Kante
N’Golo Kante was the best buy of all Premier League signings made in the 2015-16 season. Kante was one of Leicester City’s most important players in their title winning campaign as he made more tackles, 174 and more interceptions, 156 than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues. He was also very good going the other way, bossing the midfield, running around like a gazelle and scoring a goal with 4 assists in 37 matches. His play was so good that he earned a selection on the PFA Team of the Year, a nomination for Player of the Year and earned his first couple of caps for France’s National Team. He was then incredibly good at Euro 2016, making the team of the week once, helping France make it to the final and earning himself a dream-move to Chelsea FC. Formula Score: 83.95.
58. Jamie Vardy
Jamie Vardy went from a player barely scoring goals in a team fighting against relegation in 2014-15 breaking the all-time Premier League record for scoring in consecutive matches in 2015-16. Vardy was on fire from September to November as he scored 13 goals in 11 consecutive matches, breaking Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record. He would go on to finish the season with 24 goals and 6 assists in 36 matches, finishing second in scoring and winning the FWA Player of the Year and Barclays Premier League Player of the Year awards while also earning himself a new found role in England’s National squad as a starting striker. Formula Score: 83.95.
57. Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso continues to be one of Bayern Munich’s most key players despite being at the age of 34 now. The defensive midfielder assisted 2 goals in 25 Bundesliga matches with 2.1 tackles per game and 90.1 passes per game (the highest in the league) to help Bayern Munich walk away with the trophy. He was also excellent in Bayern’s Champions League fight as he scored a goal in 8 matches with 91.1 passes per game, created 17 chances and had 2.4 tackles per game to help the team just miss out at the final as they were knocked out at the hand of Atletico Madrid in a narrow semi final defeat. Somehow, at the age of 34, Xabi Alonso is still one of the best footballers in the world. Formula Score: 83.95.
56. Cesc Fabregas
Cesc Fabregas was one of many Chelsea players that didn’t perform to the level that he was capable of in 2015-16. The Spanish playmaker managed to dominate a number of games this season but faded into the background in far more. Fabregas ended the season with 5 goals and 7 assists, a decent tally for a centre midfielder who was a below-par version of himself for most of the season. Fabregas also created 66 chances, the second most of anyone in Chelsea’s side, while also making 75.6 passes per game, far more than anyone in Chelsea’s team and 2.8 tackles per game, the third most in Chelsea’s side. Fabregas was still very important for Chelsea in 2015-16, but wasn’t amazing as the side as a whole struggled and thus he falls catastrophically down the list. Formula Score: 84.00.
55. Dimitri Payet
Dimitri Payet had an unbelievably good season with West Ham in 2015-16 and then an outstanding Euro 2016 campaign with France to become known around the world as one of the best footballing talents on the planet. For both club and country he was their most important player. When he wasn’t playing, West Ham were a completely different team and struggled to find a way to win. Payet scored 3 goals in 6 FA Cup matches to help West Ham make it to the quarter finals, but most importantly was his 9 goals and 12 assists in 30 Premier League appearances, giving himself a Team of the Season appearance and helping West Ham to finish in 7th place. He was then the second-best player at Euro 2016, scoring 3 goals and assisting 2 more in 7 matches to help lead France to the final. The West Ham United midfielder also had 20 shots, created more chances than any other player at the tournament with 24 and completed 18 dribbles to help France dominate every single game they played in. Payet can change any game on the drop of a dime and is one of the most creative midfielders in all of world football. Formula Score: 84.10.
54. Ilkay Gundogan
Ilkay Gundogan was not only one of the best midfielders in the Bundesliga in 2015-16, but was also a key figure in Germany’s Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. The German midfielder dominated a handful of games for both club and country in 2015-16, climbing all the way back on to this list inside the top 55 and earning himself a massive move to Manchester City. The 25 year old midfielder made 25 apperances in 2015-16, scoring 1 goal and assisting 3 more to help Borussia Dortmund finish as Bundesliga runners up and in the process earning himself a selection for the Team of the Season. He also made the 4th most passes per game in the league with 80.9, and had the 14th highest passing percentage with 87.8%. Ilkay Gundogan is brilliant in both attack and defense and will be key to Manchester City’s quest for the Premier League title next season. Formula Score: 84.25.
53. Harry Kane
Harry Kane had another very good 2015-16 season with Tottenham Hotspur. The rising star was brilliant in his first full season with the senior side scoring 20 goals in 2014-15 and followed that up with an even better, league-leading 25 goals in 38 matches to help Spurs challenge for the title in 2015-16. He was by far Spurs’ best player and was their best hope of winning the title. His 25 goal, golden boot performance earned him a spot on the PFA Team of the Year and a nomination for the Player of the Year Award, where he was voted as the third best player in the league. Harry Kane unfortunately though suffered from tiredness at Euro 2016, which is understandable, he did everything he could to lead his club to their first ever Premier League title, and not to mention he’s only 22, but he was shockingly bad. The English forward was one of the worst players of the tournament and really struggled to do anything good for England. But, Harry Kane is still one of the best young players on the planet and one of the deadliest goalscorers on earth as well. Formula Score: 84.31.
52. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard had his worst season ever as a footballer in 2015-16, failing to score until April 23rd after being named Player of the Year in a title winning squad the season before. Hazard finished the season strong though, scoring 4 goals in the last 6 matches to end the season with 4 goals and 3 assists in 31 matches. Somehow he managed to achieve the highest Squawka rating of all Chelsea players once again in 2015-16 as he had impressive stats such as 66 chances created and 2.9 successful dribbles per game. Hazard also scored 2 goals with 2 assists in 2 FA Cup matches and then played excellently well at Euro 2016 for Belgium, scoring 1 goal with 4 assists in just 5 matches as Belgium were knocked out in the quarter finals. It wasn’t the best season for Eden Hazard, but he finished strong and is likely to rise back up to the top under the influence of Antonio Conte next season. Formula Score: 84.34.
51. Paulo Dybala
Paulo Dybala was incredibly good for Juventus in 2015-16, becoming one of Juventus’ most important players in his very first season at the club. The 22-year old scored 19 goals with 9 assists in 34 matches to help Juventus win the title and earn himself a spot on the Team of the Year. The Argentine forward also scored 2 goals in 4 Coppa Italia matches to help Juve win the cup. He’s slowly becoming one of the best forwards in the world and soon could be one of the very best players in all of world football. Formula Score: 84.38.
Marcelo proved to be one of Real Madrid’s best players in 2015-16 as they won the UEFA Champions League and finished second in La Liga. The Brazilain left back scored 2 goals and assisted 3 more in 30 league matches, while also making 2.5 tackles per game, securing 7 team of the week appearances and a spot on the Team of the Season. The 28-year old also assisted a goal in 11 UEFA Champions League matches as he earned himself a spot on the Squad of the Season and Real Madrid won the tournament. He was by far one of the best left backs in world football in 2015-16 and was so key in Real Madrid’s Champions League victory. Formula Score: 84.48.
49. Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Mahrez went from a below-average Premier League midfielder scoring 4 goals with 3 assists in 30 matches in 2014-15, to becoming the best player in the league, scoring 17 goals with 11 assists in 37 matches to win the PFA Player of the Year award. Mahrez was Leicester City’s most crucial player in their title winning season and was the first name on the team sheet for team of the year as he became one of the best midfielders in the world of football in 2015-16. His link up play with Vardy and his incredible skill absolutely shocked world football in 2015-16 as Leicester City pulled off the biggest shock of all. Formula Score: 84.28.
48. Blaise Matuidi
Blaise Matuidi had one of his best seasons ever in another stunning Paris Saint Germain treble winning season. Matuidi scored 4 goals with 6 assists in 31 Ligue 1 matches, earning himself 8 team of the week appearances, and a spot on the Ligue 1 Team of the Year. The central midfielder also completed 91.8% of his passes and helped out in defense with 2.4 tackles per game in the league. The Frenchman was also excellent in PSG’s 9 UEFA Champions League matches as he assisted 2 goals and completed 90.6% of his passes. Then to top it all off, he had a solid Euro 2016 campaign with France as they made it to the finals and he featured in all 7 matches. Matuidi is one of the best midfielders in the world and with such standout statistics in all areas of the game, it’s easy to see why. Formula Score: 84.50.
47. Miralem Pjanic
Miralem Pjanic had another wonderful season with Roma, making the team of the season and finally making the top 50 of this list. Pjanic scored a stunning 10 goals with 12 assists in his 33 Serie A matches to help Roma finish in third place. He also completed 85% of his passes and created a total of 80 chances during the season. Pjanic also appeared in 7 UEFA Champions League matches scoring 2 goals and assisting one. The Boznian play-maker is an excellent midfielder and his goal/assist tallies are better than almost any other central midfielder in the world. His fantastic displays for Roma in 2015-16 earned him a well-deserved spot at number 47 on this list and a big money move to the best club in Serie A, Juventus. Formula Score: 84.56.
46. David Silva
David Silva started the season off brightly but after getting injured in September, he couldn’t ever regain top form and was nowhere near his best for the rest of the season for Manchester City and Spain. Silva still scored 2 goals with 11 assists in 24 Premier League matches which are still good numbers for a regular Premier League player, but not good enough for someone of David Silva’s quality. The Manchester City attacking midfielder also struggled at Euro 2016, featuring in all four of Spain’s matches but not doing anything noteworthy. He didn’t score or assist, nor did he shine in any particular match at all the entire tournament. David Silva is still a wonderful footballer and without a doubt is too low on this list, but for what he did in 2015-16 compared to what other players above him have done, it is simply not as impressive and it was just simply not his best season. Formula Score: 84.52.
45. Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique was solidly good once again for Barcelona and Spain in 2015-16. After a couple of seasons of being heavily criticized, Pique silenced his critics last season to claim back his reputation as one of the best centre backs in world football and now after another fantastic 2015-16 campaign, nobody is criticizing him now. The Spanish centre back featured in 30 La Liga matches, scoring 2 goals with 1 assist and completing 90.5% of his passes. He also made 7 UEFA Champions League appearances, scoring 1 goal and then was one of Spain’s standout players at Euro 2016 as he played in 4 matches, scoring 1 goal as they made it to the Round of 16. Gerard Pique is one of the best centre backs in all of world football and showed exactly why with a great 2015-16 season. Formula Score: 84.70.
44. Jerome Boateng
Jerome Boateng missed a large section of the season to injury, but still played well enough when he was fit to make the German Bundesliga Team of the Season. The German international played in just 19 Bundesliga matches assisting three goals, and just 7 UEFA Champions League matches as Bayern made it to the semi finals but was very solid throughout the campaign. The 27 year old then had a stunningly good Euro 2016 campaign, helping Germany keep 4 clean sheets in 5 matches as they made it to the semi finals and he was selected for the Team of the Tournament. Boateng wasn’t absolutely excellent in 2015-16, not for Bayern Munich anyway, but he is still one of the best centre backs in world football. Formula Score: 84.78.
43. Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta has slowly become worse and worse each season but is still considered by many to be one of the best midfielders in the world. For example, despite doing almost nothing in 7 UEFA Champions League matches, he was named to the Squad of the Season without scoring or assisting a single goal or having any standout statistic whatsoever. Andres Iniesta scored 1 goal with 2 assists in 28 matches in La Liga 2015-16, which was better than his 2014-15 tally of 0 goals and 1 assist in 24 matches, but it’s still highly unimpressive for a player of his caliber. Where he really climbed up the list this year was after his displays with Spain at Euro 2016. The 32-year old was excellent for his nation during the tournament, assisting 2 goals and leading his country fantastically far into the competition, the Round of 16. Andres Iniesta still has top-class quality, but not to the extent that he used to and not to the extent that many think he does these days. Hence, he is much lower on this list than many others would rank him. Formula Score: 84.82.
42. Javier Mascherano
Javier Mascherano is a defensive midfielder, but since joining Barcelona he’s made the centre-back position into his own and has since become known as one of the best centre backs in the world. Mascherano had another impressive season at centre back for Barcelona in 2015-16 as they won La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Mascherano featured in 32 La Liga matches, completing 90.5% of his passes and making 83 tackles. He also featured in 8 UEFA Champions League games, making 2.3 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game. Then it was back to his normal position at the Copa America as he played 5 games, helped Argentina make it to the final and was selected for the team of the tournament. It will be very interesting to see where he lines up for whoever he ends up playing for next year. If it’s centre-back yet again, Javier Mascherano will surely continue to be one of the best defenders in all of world football. Formula Score: 85.18.
41. Edinson Cavani
Ever since joining PSG and being outshone by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani has become criminally underrated. There is no reason why Cavani shouldn’t still be considered one of the best strikers in the world of football. Since joining PSG, he has switched to left wing to accommodate Ibrahimovic and has flourished in his new position just as much as he did from centre forward for Napoli. In the 2015-16 Ligue 1 season, Edinson Cavani scored 19 goals with 5 assists in 32 matches to end as the league’s third highest scorer. He also scored 3 goals in 6 Coupe de la Ligue matches as PSG lifted the trophy and despite not having the best of times in the UEFA Champions League, he still finished the season with 27 goals in 56 matches. Nearly a goal every other game is excellent for any striker including this man who has such a big reputation as one of the best goalscorers on the planet. Now that Ibrahimovic has left PSG, Cavani could flourish even further as a centre forward again next season and could become known around the world again as one of the top twenty players in the world. Formula Score: 85.26.
40. David Alaba
It wasn’t the absolute best season for David Alaba but he was still an absolutely crucial player for Bayern Munich as they won the league title and domestic cup yet again. David Alaba played 30 matches, most of them from centre back, scoring one goal. The Austrian defender also completed 92.4% of his passes, the second highest in the league, to give himself a total of 81.6 passes per game, the third highest in the league. His possession statistics were excellent and perhaps the only reason why his defensive statistics are not as high as they normally might be may be because Bayern Munich’s midfield was so solid that the defense didn’t even have that much to do. The fact that he boasts the third highest score in the Bundesliga on Squawka despite not even making 1 tackle per game is highly impressive. David Alaba also played in 10 UEFA Champions League matches scoring 1 goal and assisting 1 as Bayern Munich made it to the semi finals. However, the 24-year old was terrible at Euro 2016 as Austria struggled immensely and couldn’t even win a single game. Still though, David Alaba is one of the world’s best rising stars and one of the best defenders in the world. Formula Score: 85.32.
39. Gianluigi Buffon
At the age of 38, Gianluigi Buffon is still somehow one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He was the best goalkeeper in Serie A by far in 2015-16, conceding just 17 goals in 35 matches, which was bettered only by Manuel Neuer’s 16 goals conceded in 34 matches in the Bundesliga. The Italian shot stopper also kept 21 clean sheets, which was bettered only by Jan Oblak’s 24 in La Liga and made 63 saves on his way to helping Juventus win the league title and earning himself a spot on the Serie A Team of the Season. Buffon has been around the footballing world for what seems like an eternity and is still showing no signs of stopping. Somehow at the age of 38, he is still one of the best goalkeepers, leaders and footballers in the world and will continue to be until he retires. Formula Score: 85.33.
38. James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez is another playing that failed to deliver in 2015-16 for what he is normally capable of. After Zinedine Zidane came in as manager, James failed to even secure a spot in the starting eleven, seemingly falling below both Isco and Casemiro in the pecking order. The Colombian midfielder for the most part though, was still pretty good when he was given the chance to play. Rodriguez scored 7 goals with 8 assists in 28 La Liga matches, making the team of the week 5 times. However, he only featured 5 times in the UEFA Champions League as Real Madrid lifted the trophy, scoring just one goal. Then despite being Colombia’s best player at the 2016 Copa America, he still only managed two goals and one assist, which was seriously below his normally high standards. James Rodriguez is still one of the best midfielders on the planet but he needs to have a more consistent run in the Real Madrid side and needs to bag more goals and assists in the process to be back to being considered one of the very best players in world football. Formula Score: 85.37.
37. Douglas Costa
With Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery out injured in 2015-16, Douglas Costa was given his chance to shine under Pep Guardiola and filled their boots better than anyone could have ever imagined. The Brazilian play-maker arrived from Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk before the season began and became one of Bayern Munich’s best players in 2015-16, scoring 4 goals with 9 assists and completing 89 dribbles in 27 Bundesliga matches as Bayern Munich lifted the trophy. He also scored 1 goal in 3 DFB Pokal matches as Bayern won the tournament and scored 2 goals with 3 assists and 39 dribbles in 11 UEFA Champions League matches as the German Champions made it to the semi finals. After a stunning season with Bayern Munich, Douglas Costa is now considered to be one of the best players in world football. Formula Score: 85.40.
36. Giorgio Chiellini
Giorgio Chiellini continues to be one of the best centre backs in the world ear after year and now that he is 31 he is still showing no signs of slowing down. The Italian defender featured in 24 Serie A matches, helping Juventus keep a staggering number of clean sheets and helping them win the Serie A title. In his 24 matches, he also made 83 clearances and 56 interceptions showing his defensive quality. Chiellini then rocked Euro 2016, playing excellently well and helping Italy keep 3 clean sheets on their way to the quarter finals. Giorgio Chiellini is still one of the best defenders in world football and had another stunning season with both Juventus and Italy to cement his place inside the top 40. Formula Score: 85.41.
Koke was one of Atletico Madrid’s most important players as they had another fantastic season. Jorge Resurrección Merodio, also known as Koke, scored 5 goals and assisted 14 goals in 35 matches from his position as a centre or wide midfielder. He also was so key in defense, instilling that defensive mindset that his manager Diego Simeone expects of his players, making 2.9 tackles and 1.4 interceptions per game in La Liga. He was also key to Atletico Madrid’s Champions League success as they made it all the way to the final and the Spanish midfielder featured in 11 matches. Vincente del Bosque was foolish not to play him at Euro 2016 as he arguably had a better 2015-16 campaign than any other player in that Spanish national team going into the tournament. Koke was brilliant in 2015-16 and continues to grow into one of the best midfielders in the world. Formula Score: 85.57.
34. David De Gea
David De Gea was Manchester United’s best player and Player of the Year Award Winner in 2015-16 for the third season in a row. The Spanish goalkeeper has been absolutely brilliant these past few years, just building his reputation as one of the best goalkeepers in the world every single step of the way and had another fantastic season in 2015-16. David De Gea conceded just 33 goals in 34 matches, the fourth best ratio in the league and the second least amount conceded of goalkeepers with 24+ appearances. The Spanish goalkeeper also finished with 15 clean sheets and would have shared the Golden Glove with Petr Cech had it not been for Chris Smalling’s stupid own goal with the last kick of the game on opening day. He also made 76 saves and was named to the PFA Team of the Year once again, winning his spot in the Spanish national team where he featured in all 4 of his nation’s Euro 2016 matches. David De Gea had a brilliant 2015-16 campaign and is now considered by almost everyone to be the second best goalkeeper in the world behind only Manuel Neuer. Formula Score: 85.69.
33. Leonardo Bonucci
Leonardo Bonucci had another fantastic season with Juventus and Italy and has now become known around the world as one of the best centre-halves in modern day football. Leonardo Bonucci featured in 36 Serie A matches in 2015-16, scoring 3 goals and assisting 1 as Juve won the Serie A title and as he made the Team of the Year. The Italian international also featured in 8 UEFA Champions League matches and 4 Coppa Italia matches as Juve won the cup and he then went on to play a significant role in Italy’s Euro 2016 campaign, as he played every minute of every game as Italy made it to the quarter finals. Leonardo Bonucci is one of the best centre backs in world football and for the first time ever is higher than both of his club and country centre-back partners, Chiellini and Barzagli. Formula Score: 86.01.
32. Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets had one of his best ever seasons as a professional footballer in 2015-16. The defensive midfielder was one of Barcelona’s standout players as they won La Liga and the Copa del Rey. Busquets assisted 4 goals, made 2.9 tackles per game and made 69.2 passes per game in 35 La Liga matches. He then was decent with Spain at Euro 2016, being the anchor to a decently well-oiled machine as Spain made it to the Round of 16. Busquets is an excellent footballer and probably the best true defensive midfielder in the world. Formula Score: 86.04.
31. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had his best season ever as a footballer in 2015-16, playing not only as one of Dortmund’s best players but also as one of the best players in the German Bundesliga. The Gabon striker scored 25 goals with 5 assists in just 29 matches to finish as the league’s second highest goal-scorer, behind only Robert Lewandowski. He was also clinical in 9 UEFA Europa League matches, scoring 8 goals and making the Squad of the Season as Dortmund were knocked out far too soon in the quarter finals. Aubmeyang also scored 3 goals in 4 DFB Pokal matches as Dortmund made it to the finals. In every single competition he played in Aubameyang was absolutely on top of his game scoring goals for fun. Now he’s attracted the interest of clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester City but wherever he ends up next season, as he develops his game as one of the best forwards in the world he is destined to continue to score goals. Formula Score: 86.10.
30. Ivan Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic continues to be one of the best midfielders in the world of football. He is so talented in both attack and defense and dominated games in the centre of midfield for Barcelona in 2015-16. The Croatian midfielder scored 7 goals with 2 assists in 36 La Liga matches from midfield to help Barcelona win La Liga. He also completed 88% of his passes, made 4 team of the week appearances and featured in 9 UEFA Champions League matches scoring 2 goals with 2 assists as Barcelona made it to the quarter finals. Then Rakitic had a good Euro 2016 campaign, featuring in 4 matches and scoring 1 goal as Croatia made it to the Round of 16. Ivan Rakitic is one of the world’s supreme central midfielders and is so good in all areas of the game. Formula Score: 86.10.
29. Marco Reus
Marco Reus had an excellent season with Borussia Dortmund in 2015-16 and even though his stats aren’t as spectacular as his normal high standards, he still made the Bundesliga Team of the Season. Marco Reus scored 12 goals with 3 assists in 26 Bundesliga matches to help Dortmund finish in second place in the table. He also netted 5 goals with 2 assists in 10 Europa League matches as Dortmund were knocked out in the quarter finals and he scored 2 goals with 1 assist in 4 matches to help Dortmund finish again as runners up in the DFB Pokal. Marco Reus had an excellent season, was very unlucky to miss Euro 2016 with injury and will be back stronger than ever next season. Formula Score: 86.55.
28. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos led Real Madrid to a second UEFA Champions League winning season in the past three years. The Spanish defender had another very good season, scoring 2 goals with 2 assists in 23 La Liga matches as Real Madrid finished in second place. He also completed 90% of his passes, made 3.3 interceptions per game and featured in 4 matches for Spain at Euro 2016. But his form in the UEFA Champions League was the most impressive thing about his game of all once again as Ramos featured in 10 matches, completed 89% of his passes and made 2.4 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game. He also became the the first defender to score in two different Champions League finals when he scored in the final match to help Real Madrid win the tournament. Sergio Ramos had an excellent season with Real Madrid and continues to be one of the best defenders in the world. Formula Score: 86.57.
27. Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez is one of the best attack-minded players in the world, but with a slightly injury plagued season, it wasn’t the Chilean attacker’s absolute best season as a footballer. Sanchez still managed to score 13 goals with 4 assists in 30 matches, but it was nowhere near as good as his 2014-15 campaign in which he netted 16 goals with 8 assists in 35 matches and made the PFA Team of the Year. Alexis Sanchez was very good in the UEFA Champions League though, scoring 3 goals with 5 assists in 7 matches, but he couldn’t help Arsenal make it past the Round of 16. The Arsenal attacker then had a very good Copa America campaign with Chile, scoring 3 goals with 2 assists and leading his nation to glory as he was named as the tournament’s best player. Alexis Sanchez had a very good 2015-16 season but it wasn’t his best and thus he fell slightly down the ranks. Formula Score: 86.59.
26. Thiago Silva
Ever since moving to Paris Saint Germain in 2012, Thiago Silva has consistently been the best defender in Ligue 1 and nothing changed in 2015-16. The Brazilian defender was excellent for PSG once again as they won the treble for the second consecutive season. Silva scored 1 goal with 1 assist in 30 matches from centre back, captaining PSG to a league title and to a season in which they only lost 2 games in the league! Silva also completed 94.6% of his passes, the highest percentage in the league, made 80.6 passes per game, the 3rd highest in the league, and made 3.1 interceptions per game, the 15th most in the league. Thiago Silva hasn’t had a bad season his entire career and is one of the most consistent defenders in the world. Not only is he a complete defender but he is also one of the very best leaders and defenders in the world of football. Formula Score: 86.61.
25. Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels has consistently been the best defender in the German Bundesliga for the past six years and he continued that trend fantastically well in 2016. Mats Hummels is a complete defender. He is so confident on the ball, is one of the best passers in the world, hardly ever mistimes a tackle, has better defensive awareness than any other defender in the world and always chips in with a few goals as well. The Borussia Dortmund centre-back had an excellent last season with his club, captaining them to a second place finish as he scored 2 goals and assisted 2 goals in 30 matches from central defense. Hummels also won 117 duels in the air over the course of the season, the 11th most in the league, made 78.9 passes per game, the 5th most in the league and made 60 tackles and 75 interceptions during the campaign. He also led Borussia Dortmund to another cup final loss to Bayern Munich and a quarter final finish in the UEFA Europa League. Mats Hummels is not only one of the best defenders in the world but also one of the most underrated players in the world. Formula Score: 86.65.
24. Arjen Robben
After having his best season ever as a footballer in 2014-15, Arjen Robben struggled to cope with recurring and various injuries over the course of the 2015-16 campaign and hardly kicked a ball. The Dutch winger has been consistently getting better and better as he’s aged but after an injury plagued season the future may not be as bright as the past. Arjen Robben featured in 15 Bundesliga matches in 2015-16 and wasn’t all that amazing in those 15 matches, scoring just 4 goals despite 3.5 shots per game and only adding 1 assist to that tally. Robben did however net 2 goals with 1 assist in 3 UEFA Champions League matches but couldn’t get a good run in the competition without getting injured. It wasn’t the best season for Arjen Robben by any means but luckily, he at least can blame it on struggling to ever play a match at full fitness and without being injured. Still though after doing very little at all to impress in 2015-16, Arjen Robben has fallen all the way from #3 last year, generously to #24 this year. Formula Score: 86.68.
23. Arturo Vidal
Arturo Vidal had an excellent first season with Bayern Munich. The ex-Juve defensive midfielder fit right into Pep Guardiola’s system and dominated games in the central of midfield for Bayern in all 3 of the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and the UEFA Champions League. Vidal scored 4 goals with 5 assists in 3o German Bundesliga matches from defensive and central midfield while also making 67.2 passes per game and completing 90% of his passes. Vidal also rocked the UEFA Champions League scoring 2 goals with 3 assists and completing 91% of his passes in 9 matches as Bayern Munich made it to the semi finals. Vidal also helped lead Bayern Munich to a DFB Pokal trophy as he feauted in 6 matches and scored 1 goal and helped lead Chile to Copa America triumph as he assisted 2 goals and score 2 himself, making the team of the tournament. It was an excellent season for Arturo Vidal as he was so key to Bayern Munich’s success in 2015-16 and continues to be one of the very best midfielders in the world. Formula Score: 86.71.
22. Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higauin had his best season ever as a footballer in 2015-16 and skyrocketed up the list as a result. The Argentinean striker scored a a stunning 36 goals in just 35 Serie A matches to win the golden boot by 17 goals and finish as Europe’s third highest goal scorer! Paulo Dybala finished as the runner up in Serie A with 19 goals, 17 less than Gonzalo Higauin! It wasn’t just in Serie A though, Higuain was clinical in every competition he played in, scoring 2 goals in 5 UEFA Europa League matches and 4 goals in 6 Copa America matches for his national side Argentina as they made it to the final. Gonzalo Higauin was extroadinary in 2015-16, completely shattering expectations and leading Napoli to a second place finish in the table. Formula Score: 86.75.
21. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema had another fantastic season with Real Madrid as he led the line and scored a bundle of goals to help win Los Blancos the UEFA Champions League and finish 2nd in La Liga. Karim Benzema stunned La Liga in 2015-16, scoring 24 goals with 7 assists in just 27 matches! He also netted 4 goals in 8 UEFA Champions League matches to help Real Madrid lift the trophy. It was an excellent season for Karim Benzema and France missed him desperately at Euro 2016, especially in the final against Portugal. Formula Score: 87.09.
20. Philipp Lahm
Philipp Lahm is still one of the best footballers in the world, but since retiring from international football after Germany won the 2014 World Cup, his career has started to slow down a little. Philipp Lahm has been referred to by Pep Guardiola as the most intelligent footballer in the world and showed his intelligence on the football pitch to great effect in 2015-16. The German defender scored 1 goal with 1 assist in 26 Bundesliga matches, completing 90.8% of his passes, making 76.5 passes per game and creating 49 chances. The Bayern Munich captain also featured in 6 DFB Pokal matches as Bayern lifted the trophy and all 12 of Bayern Munich’s UEFA Champions League matches as they made it to the semi finals. He wasn’t the best right back in the league this season but Philipp Lahm is still one of the very best defenders and players in world football and didn’t disappoint in 2015-16 by any means. Formula Score: 87.11.
19. Diego Godin
Diego Godin led Atletico Madrid to another incredible season under Diego Simeone. The Uruguayan defender was excellent in every single competition, was the best defender in La Liga and had a massive role to play in Atletico’s Champions League run as they nearly won the trophy and only lost on penalties. Godin featured in 31 La Liga matches, scoring and assisting a goal each, and making 3.3 interceptions per game with 3 aeriel duels won per game, the 10th most in the league. Godin also led the Spanish giants to a Champions League final as he played in 12 of their 13 matches, assisted 1 goal, made 2.8 tackles per game and made 3.2 interceptions per game, playing as Atletico Madrid’s best player in the tournament and making the Squad of the Season. Diego Godin is the best defender in the world. Formula Score: 87.54.
18. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
I know what you’re thinking. How on earth did Henrikh Mkhitaryan make the top twenty? Well, I’ll tell you. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the best player in the German Bundesliga, one of the best leagues in the world, in 2015-16 and it wasn’t even close. The Armenian midfielder scored or assisted in nearly every single one of Borussia Dortmund’s matches and was the liveliest player in every single game they played. He scored 11 goals with 15 assists in 31 Bundesliga games, leading the league in assists and leading Borussia Dortmund to a second place finish. He also created 84 chances, completed 81 dribbles and helped out in defense with 53 tackles during the league season to help earn him the Player of the Year Award in Germany. Mkhitaryan also scored 2 goals with 5 assists in the UEFA Europa League as Dortmund went out far too early and was the best player in the DFB Pokal, scoring 5 goals in 6 matches as Dortmund made it all the way to the final and lost on penalties. Not only is Henrikh Mkhitaryan one of the most underrated players in world football, he is also one of the best and he is likely to shine in the Premier League with Manchester United in 2016-17 just as much as he did in the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund. Formula Score: 87.60.
17. Paul Pogba
After not playing to his full ability at Euro 2016, there were questions asked around the world, particularly by snobby ex-English Premier League players about whether or not Paul Pogba really was good enough for his 100 million euro price tag. Some even called him the most overrated player in the world, completely forgetting that Andres Iniesta existed. These people must not have watched, or even followed Serie A online at all in 2015-16, as Paul Pogba was the best midfielder by a mile in the league and one of the very best players if not the best player in Serie A this season. Pogba scored a stunning 8 goals with 12 assists in 35 Serie A matches from playing primarily as a defensive midfielder. The French midfielder also helped Juventus win the Coppa Italia, featuring in 5 matches, scored a goal with 2 assists in 8 UEFA Champions League matches and really wasn’t that bad at all at Euro 2016. In fact, Paul Pogba was one of France’s most important players as they made it all the way to the final. The 6’3 midfielder scored one goal as he played in all 7 Euro 2016 matches, completed 89% of his passes, and made 2.4 tackles per game as France just came up short. Unlike Andres Iniesta, Paul Pogba deserved his selection for the 2015 FIFPRO World XI and 2015 UEFA Team of the Year and is likely to be a repeat player in the World XI again this year. Paul Pogba is an excellent midfielder and soon will be considered the very best in the world. Formula Score: 87.60.
16. Mesut Ozil
Despite tying the all-time Premier League record for assists in a single season with 19 in 2015-16, Mesut Ozil received nowhere near the attention he deserved. Instead, it was players like Dele Alli who were grabbing all the headlines. Mesut Ozil was brilliant in 2015-16, scoring 6 goals with 19 assists and creating 147 chances, the most in the league, as he was by far and away Arsenal’s best player, leading them to a second place finish in the table. Without Mesut Ozil, Arsenal would have been nowhere near second place in 2015-16. The fact that a player could play as well as Mesut Ozil did in 2015-16 and not make the Team of the Year and not be praised constantly for his work over the season and instead be criticized for being inconsistent and fading out in big games, is absurd. Mesut Ozil is one of the best footballers in the world and may just be the greatest play-maker in the modern game. Formula Score: 87.63.
15. Luka Modric
No other midfielder in current world football can dominate games in the centre of midfield like Luka Modric. Luka Modric is one of the best if not the best in so many areas of the game and is one of very few complete midfielders in the world at the moment. As he ages, he is becoming more and more like Xavi and Andres Iniesta, two players that have defined what it means to be a central midfielder in this era. 2015-16 was arguably Luka Modric’s best ever season as a footballer as he helped Real Madrid finish 2nd in the table and was one of their very best players in the UEFA Champions League. Modric featured in 44 matches between the UEFA Champions League and La Liga in 2015-16, scoring 3 goals with 5 assists from primarily playing as a defensive midfielder. He made 8 team of the week appearances, completed 91% of his passes and made 67.3 passes per game between the two competitions. The Croatian midfielder was then excellent at Euro 2016, scoring 1 goal, making 3.7 interceptions per game and completing 74.3 passes per game, while playing excellently well in 3 matches as Croatia went out far too early. Luka Modric is one of the most talented midfielders in the game and with him and Toni Kroos in the centre of midfield, Real Madrid’s dominance is likely to continue. Formula Score: 87.74.
14. Kevin de Bruyne
After a stunningly good season with Manchester City in 2015-16, Kevin de Bruyne is still a little underrated by the majority of the public but is building his reputation as one of the best midfielders and play-makers in the game. Kevin de Bruyne was fantastic in his first season in Manchester, even with his three month injury getting in his way a little bit. Between all competitions, the ex-Chelsea attacking midfielder made 18 Team of the Week appearances, more than Gareth Bale, Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and double the amount of Mesut Ozil. Kevin de Bruyne scored 7 goals with 9 assists in just 25 Premier League appearances, creating 80 chances for his teammates in the process. He also excelled in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 3 goals in 10 matches and pushing Manchester City towards a semi-final finish as they were only knocked out by the eventual winners Manchester City. De Bruyne also impressed in cup matches, scoring 5 goals in 5 Capital One Cup matches as City won the trophy and netted 1 goal in 1 FA Cup match. It was an incredible season for Kevin de Bruyne at Manchester City but it didn’t stop there! The 25-year old midfielder then commanded Belgium at Euro 2016, assisting 3 goals in 5 matches and creating 23 chances, the second most in the tournament, leading his nation to a quarter-final finish. Kevin de Bruyne is one of the very, very best midfielders and players in the world and anyone who thinks otherwise should really watch this man in action more. Formula Score: 88.06.
13. Angel di Maria
After a relatively poor one-off season in England with Manchester United, Angel di Maria is back to his best and flying at new heights with Ligue 1 club Paris Saint Germain. I know I’ve been saying this a lot, but Angel di Maria has never had a better season in his entire career than his 2015-16 campaign, including the season in which he won the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. The style of French football and the system at PSG turned out to suit him so well as he flourished at his new club, creating 99 chances, scoring 10 goals and assisting 18 goals in just 29 Ligue 1 matches as PSG won the title with flying colours and he was named to the Team of the Year. The Argentinean midfielder also scored 3 goals with 2 assists in 10 UEFA Champions League matches as PSG made it to the quarter finals and netted 2 goals in 4 Coupe de la Ligue matches as the French giants won that touranment as well. Angel di Maria had an unbelievable first season with Paris Saint Germain and fully deservers to be considered to be one of the best footballers in the world again. Formula Score: 88.09.
12. Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos was the best midfielder in the world in 2015-16 as he led Real Madrid to a UEFA Champions League title and a second-place finish in La Liga. The German midfielder scored 1 goal and assisted 10 in 32 matches, assisting more goals in the league than any other central midfielder. Kroos also feautred in 12 of Real Madrid’s 13 UEFA Champions League matches, assisting 1 goal and dominating the midfield with Luka Modric as Real Madrid lifted the trophy. The 26-year old midfielder was then excellent at Euro 2016, playing as Germany’s best player all the way to the semi finals, playing in 6 matches, assisting 1 goal and making more passes per game, with 107 than any other player in the tournament. In all competitions in 2015-16, Kroos completed 94% of his passes and made 81 passes per game, dominating the middle of the field in all of Real Madrid and Germany’s games. Toni Kroos is the best midfielder in the world and had an incredible 2015-16 campaign. Formula Score: 88.21.
11. Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero always knows where the back of the net is. Ever since arriving at Manchester City in 2011, he has been one of the Premier League’s deadliest goal scorers. Even despite spending over two months out injured in 2015-16, Sergio Aguero still managed to end the season as the joint-second highest scorer in the league, with 24 goals, only 1 less than Golden Boot winner Harry Kane. The Argentinean striker also scored 2 goals in 4 Capital One Cup matches as City won the trophy and netted 1 goal in 1 FA Cup match as the blue side of Manchester crashed out early. Sergio Aguero is one of the deadliest goal scorers and one of the best forwards on the planet. He never stops scoring goals and by the time he retires, he could have racked up enough goals to be one of the Premier League’s all-time greatest strikers. Formula Score: 88.27.
10. Manuel Neuer
It wasn’t the best season ever for Manuel Neuer, but he is still considered by all to be the best goalkeeper in the world. With a defense as good as Bayern Munich’s, Manuel Neuer actually had very little to do in 2015-16 but when he was called upon, he still rarely ever made a mistake. Manuel Neuer featured in all 34 Bundesliga matches conceding just 16 goals, keeping 20 clean sheets and making 41 saves in the league. He also played in 11 UEFA Champions League matches, kept 4 clean sheets and then played decently well in Euro 2016 with his national side, helping Germany make the semi finals. It wasn’t Manuel Neuer’s best ever season but it certainly was still good enough to maintain his reputation as one of the best footballers on the planet and the best goalkeeper in the world. Formula Score: 88.28.
9. Thomas Muller
Apart from having a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, Thomas Muller had yet another amazing 2015-16 season and showed everyone in the world once again why he is one of the best footballing talents in not only Germany but in the whole world. Thomas Muller scored 20 goals with 5 assists in just 31 Bundesliga matches to finish as the league’s third highest scorer behind only Lewandowski and Aubameyang. The versatile German attacker also scored 4 goals in 5 DFB Pokal matches as Bayern lifted the trophy and netted a stunning tally of 8 goals with 2 assists in just 12 matches playing the majority of his games as an attacking midfielder. Thomas Muller is one of the deadliest goalscorers and best all-round footballers in the world and a disappointing Euro 2016 campaign does nothing to change any of that. Formula Score: 88.67.
8. Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann was possibly the player of the season in 2015-16. He led Atletico Madrid to a third place finish in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League final, and was France’s best player at Euro 2016 leading his nation all the way to the final as well. It must have been so hard for Antoine Griezmann to be a losing finalist in both of his big tournaments in 2015-16 but he should still walk away with his held high after having a remarkable campaign. The French forward scored 22 goals with 5 assists in 38 La Liga matches to finish as the league’s sixth highest scorer, only behind Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez, Neymar and Benzema. He also scored 3 goals in 3 Copa del Rey matches and was the best player at Euro 2016, stunning fans around the world with 6 goals in 7 matches to lead France to the final. His form in the UEFA Champions League was the brightest spot of all in his 2015-16 season as he scored 7 goals with 1 assist and played remarkably well in 13 matches, again leading his team all the way to the final. Antoine Griezmann is one of the best players in the world at the moment and being at the age of only 25, if this year isn’t his for the taking he could still one day win the Ballon d’Or. Formula Score: 88.67.
7. Robert Lewandowski
On his day, there is no footballer in the world who can lead the line and score goals like Robert Lewandowski. Borussia Dortmund changed him into one of the deadliest goal-scorers on the planet and ever since moving to Bayern Munich in 2014 he has continued his fine form in front of the net. After scoring 17 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches in his first season with die Roten, Lewandowski topped that by netting 30 goals in 32 Bundesliga matches to finish as the league’s highest scorer by 5 goals! The Polish striker also had 2 assists, 4.8 shots per game and led Bayern Munich to a fourth straight title. The 27-year old also bagged 9 goals in 11 UEFA Champions League matches as Bayern made it to the semi-finals and scored 3 goals in 3 DFB Pokal matches as Bayern lifted the trophy. When he is in full-flow there is arguably no other centre forward who is as clinical and as talented as Robert Lewandowski. Formula Score: 88.90.
6. Gareth Bale
Very few players are as consistently amazing as Gareth Bale. Gareth Bale was fantastic for both club and country in 2015-16 and was the standout player of the Euro 2016 Group Stages. Bale was one of Real Madrid’s key players in their 2015-16 UEFA Champions League win. He scored 19 goals with 10 assists in just 23 La Liga matches and assisted 2 goals in 8 UEFA Champions League matches as Real Madrid won the trophy. Then Bale dominated Euro 2016 by scoring 3 goals in 6 matches and lead Wales all the way to a surprise semi-final finish. Gareth Bale was amazing in 2015-16 and with his rise in form he may soon be considered one of the top five players in the world. Formula Score: 89.25.
5. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Only Luis Suarez scored more goals in Europe’s top five leagues than Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2015-16. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was on fire in the French league every single game he played in, netting 38 goals in just 31 Ligue 1 matches to finish as the league’s player of the season, top goal scorer and probably all-time greatest ever player. Seriously it’s quite possible that no one has ever had a better season in Ligue 1 than Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2015-16. No one has ever scored more goals in a single Ligue 1 season than he did this season after all. But it doesn’t stop there, the man often deemed to be “selfish” and “arrogant” also added 13 assists, the second highest tally in the league. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 34 years old yet he’s still one of the most lethal goalscorers on the planet and not only that, did so well in 2015-16, scoring more goals in a single-season than he ever has before, that he was Jose Mourinho’s primary target as the new Manchester United boss. For a 35 year old to be the primary target of one of the best footballing clubs in history is just remarkable. The Swedish striker also scored 5 goals with 3 assists in 10 UEFA Champions League matches and notched 9 goals in 7 Coupe de France matches, more than any other player, as PSG won the trophy. It was a stunning season from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, possibly the best of his incredibly impressive career as PSG dominated French football once again. It will be incredibly interesting to see how he does at Manchester United next season. Formula Score: 90.08.
With Lionel Messi out injured for a couple of months in 2015-16, Neymar took control of Barcelona’s front-line three and played better than he ever has before. The Brazilian forward bagged 24 goals with 12 assists in 34 La Liga matches, making the LFP Team of the Year and leading Barcelona to their second-consecutive Liga BBVA title. Neymar also created the most chances, with 102 and had the most successful dribbles in the league with 143! The ex-Santos player also scored 3 goals with 4 assists in 9 UEFA Champions League matches and didn’t disappoint in the Copa del Rey either, scoring 4 goals in 5 games as Barcelona won that tournament as well. It was an incredible season for Neymar Jr., and at the age of only 24, he will almost certainly be a future Ballon d’Or winner. Formula Score: 91.33.
3. Luis Suarez
Nobody in European football scored more goals than Luis Suarez in 2015-16. His stunning tally of 40 goals in 35 La Liga matches not only won him the European Golden Shoe, but also staked his name as one of the top three players in all of world football. Suarez’s 16 assists in the Spanish league was also the joint-highest in the league, tying with his teammate Lionel Messi for the lead. But it wasn’t just La Liga, the Uruguayan striker was also clinical in every other competition he played in, scoring 5 goals in 2 FIFA Club World Cup matches, 8 goals with 3 assists in 9 UEFA Champions League games, and 5 goals in 4 Copa del Rey matches as Barca won the trophy. Luis Suarez had his best season of his career in 2015-16 and was arguably better than any other player in all of world football this season. But despite his incredible efforts, he still can’t top the two players below. Formula Score: 91.38.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo not only won the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16 with Real Madrid but also his first ever international tournament with Portugal as Ronaldo led his nation to Euro 2016 glory. Ronaldo had another incredible 2015-16 season and was the figurehead of Zinedine Zidane’s first ever season in charge of Real Madrid. The Portguese forward scored 35 goals with 11 assists in 36 La Liga matches helping Real Madrid finish as surprise-second place finishers after a shaky start to the campaign. But where Ronaldo really showed his class in 2015-16 was in the UEFA Champions League as he scored a stunning 16 goals to lead the tournament in goals by quite some margin and do more than just help Real Madrid lift the trophy. Ronaldo then rocked Euro 2016, leading Portugal all the way to their first ever international tournament with 3 goals and 2 assists in 7 matches. It was an incredibly stunning season by the Portuguese forward and after winning the UEFA Champions League and Euro 2016 in the same season, he’s likely already won the 2016 Ballon d’Or. Still though, one man will forever be better than Ronaldo and once again classed his way to the number one spot on this list yet again. Formula Score: 92.66.
1. Lionel Messi
Who else could it be? Lionel Messi has been number one on our list for five straight years. No one has knocked him off the number one spot since we started this list back in 2011-12 and 2015-16 was no different as Lionel Messi was yet again the best footballer in the world despite missing a month with injury. The Argentine forward scored 26 goals with a stunning 16 assists in just 33 La Liga matches. He also completed 3.5 dribbles per game, had 4.8 shots per game and created 2.2 chances per game. Messi also scored 6 goals in 7 UEFA Champions League matches and scored 5 goals in 5 Copa del Rey matches to help Barca win the trophy. Then he was amazing once again at the Copa America, scoring the second most amount of goals at the tournament, with 5, and achieving the most amount of assists with 4 as Argentina made it to the final. Lionel Messi is not only the best footballer in the world for 2015-16 but he’s possibly the best footballer ever. It’s possible that his reign at the number one spot on The Mastermind’s end of season top 100 list will never end until he retires. Lionel Messi is what every young footballer aspires to be like and he is the greatest footballer in the world. Formula Score: 92.77.
So there it is, the Top 100 Footballers in the World list for the 2015-16 season! It’s been a blast compiling this list over the course of the season and hopefully The Guardian takes a look at it for advice on how to improve their annual list.
For more information on who ranks where in the top 200-100, comment below.
For more information on why a player is ranked higher than another or on details on how exactly the formula score works, comment below as well.
This has been one of the all-time greatest crops of players for this season’s Top 100 Footballers in the World list and next season could be even better. Stay tuned and be sure to be back here in 1 year’s time for the Top 100 Footballers in the World list after the 2016-17 season ends with the Confederations Cup.