Predicting The Top 100 Footballers In The World 2016-17

Ah predictions. Every single year I, like so many others make predictions going into the new season feeling so merry about my predictions only for the season to begin and have so many things go the exact opposite as I had planned. Come the end of the season I’ll probably look back on several of these predictions that make so much sense right now and think “what was I thinking?”. However, predicting the Top 100 Footballers in the World list is an annual tradition of mine and this year, it’s getting published on The Mastermind. Before getting to the full list, here are some noteworthy players worth talking about going into the 2016-17 season.

Biggest and Notable Risers Inside The Top 200

G. Cahill

Gary Cahill struggled as did every other Chelsea player in 2016-17 but with Antonio Conte coming in as the new manager, Gary Cahill could flourish in a 3-5-2 formation and be Chelsea’s most important defender in 2016-17. He’s a very good defender and Conte could turn him back into one of the best defenders in the league.

Granit Xhaka T100

Granit Xhaka was one of the best midfielders in the German Bundesliga last season and was fantastic for Switzerland at Euro 2016. But, that wasn’t enough to earn him a spot on the top 100 last year. This year though at one of the best clubs in the world in Arsenal, he could be set to shine and make the list for the very first time.

Axel Witsel t100
Axel Witsel had a fantastic Euro 2016 campaign where he finally started to deserve the credit as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world that he deserves. Now after a move to Juventus, he could be in for an amazing season in which his reputation really reaches new heights.
Eric Dier t100
Eric Dier was so good in 2015-16 that Bayern Munich tried to sign him in the summer. The English midfielder wasn’t even a midfielder until Pochettino stuck him there last season and now he seriously could be the next Xabi Alonso and climb all the way on to the Top 100 this season.
Serge Aurier

Serge Aurier was all but set to make the Top 100 last year BUT THEN he went on a rampage on social media, criticizing his teammates and manager only to be suspended by his club! Now though with a new manager coming in and a changed attitude, Serge Aurier should be set for a fantastic 2016-17 season both defensively and offensively.

William Carvalho

William Carvalho had an excellent Euro 2016 campaign with Portugal to help his nation win the tournament, he’s been a staple for Sporting Lisbon over the past few years and now this season, especially if he gets a big move away it could be the season he really earns himself the reputation as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.

Mario Gotze

After a tough time at Bayern Munich, Mario Gotze could be set for a return to the Top 100 after his move back to Borussia Dortmund. The German attacker is likely to start and star for his old club in 2016-17 and could become one of the brightest stars in the league again.


Andre SchurrleWhen Andre Schurrle was playing for Bayer Leverkusen, he was lighting up the German Bundesliga and was considered to be one of the best wingers in the world. But after disappointing spells at Chelsea and Wolfsburg, the German attacker fell all the way off our top 200 altogether. Now after a move back to Borussia Dortmund, Schurrle could be set to make it back inside the top 100 again.
Mauro Icardi

Mauro Icardi could be set for a big money move away in 2016-17 or he could be set to captain Inter Milan to their best finish in the Serie A table in several years. Either way, Icardi is prepared to rise fantastically and score plenty more goals.


The Brazilian midfielder looks set to be a staple of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side and looks prepared to fill a number of different roles for the Spnaish coach this season. Fernandinho could be set for a massive rise in 2016-17.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard struggled in 2015-16 playing through a hip injury and not scoring a single goal in the league until April 26th, 2016. However, under the influence of Antonio Conte, Eden Hazard should be set for a top ten finish and to be named the Premier League’s best player again in 2016-17.

Franck Ribery'

Franck Ribery suffered through an injury ridden season in 2015-16 but now that he’s fit again and now that Carlo Ancelotti has come in as manager Ribery could be set for a good 2016-17 season and regain his place inside the starting XI. He’ll still need to keep Douglas Costa out of the side, but either way he’ll probably still play well enough to earn a spot in the top 60.

Set For A Massive Fall 

Santi Cazorla

Santiago Cazorla spent a lot of 2015-16 out injured but still did enough to secure a spot in the Top 100 thanks to his form in previous years. However, with the arrival of Granit Xhaka at Arsenal and the rise in form of Francis Coquelin, Santi Cazorla will not be a guaranteed starter for Arsene Wenger’s side and could fall catastrophically down the list as a result.

Juan Mata

Juan Mata was solid in his time at Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal and as a result managed to stay inside the top 100. However after the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Manchester United, Mata’s position in the team looks in doubt, especially with Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining the side as well so he’s destined for a massive fall down the list.

Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure faded away at the end of the 2015-16 campaign and after the arrival of Ilkay Gundogan, the Ivorian looks even more unlikley to secure a starting place in Guardiola’s XI.

Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger’s move to Manchester Unietd was supposed to be a good one, but after spending most of the season out injured and the new manager coming in, he’s likely to be sold and/or not play an awful lot in 2016-17.

Andres Iniesta

In previous seasons Andres Iniesta has been hovering around the 50-60 places but has secured a spot inside the top 50 after a good end to the season. However with no Euro 2016 to save him this season and the added competition for places in Barcelona’s side, Andres Iniesta is certain to fall.

Wayne Rooney

After a difficult season in 2015-16, Wayne Rooney could be set for an even tougher 2016-17 season despite Jose Mourinho coming in. Rooney might not start as much as he has in previous years and might not be nearly as important as he has been in recent years for United either. As a result he could fall seriously down the list.

Below are my predictions for the full list (only the top 110 is posted). The number to the left corresponds to where I predict they will rank in 2016-17 while the number on the right corresponds to where they ranked in 2015-16.

Honourable Mentions

110. Fernandinho (164)

109. Aritz Aduriz (96)

108. Claudio Marchisio (102)

107. Anthony Martial (132)

106. Nolito (95)

105. Karim Bellarabi (103)

104. William Carvalho (140)

103. Jonas (101)

102. Sebastian Giovinco (107)

101. Mauro Icardi (130)

Top 100

100. Andre Schurrle (N/A)

99. Eric Dier (197)

98. Christian Eriksen (110)

97. Thiago Alcantara (105)

96. David Luiz (94)

95. Petr Cech (92)

94. Cesar Azpilicueta (121)

93. Juanfran (97)

92. Serge Aurier (124)

91. Hulk (76)

90. Mario Gomez (91)

89. Keylor Navas (99)

88. Wayne Rooney (71)

87. Andrea Barzagli (87)

86. Grzegorz Krychowiak (90)

85. Daniel Carvajal (114)

84. Aaron Ramsey (75)

83. Axel Witsel (126)

82. Mario Gotze (106)

81. Romelu Lukaku (81)

80. Nemanja Matic (118)

79. Toby Alderweireld (80)

78. Diego Costa (66)

77. Hugo Lloris (73)

76. Filipe Luis (79)

75. Alexandre Lacazette (89)

74. Radja Nainggolan (77)

73. Jordi Alba (78)

72. Marek Hamsik (69)

71. Olivier Giroud (83)

70. Laurent Koscielny (72)

69. Andres Iniesta (43)

68. Dani Alves (61)

67. Willian (64)

66. Jamie Vardy (58)

65. Pepe (67)

64. Xabi Alonso (57)

63. Philippe Coutinho (63)

62. Jan Oblak (98)

61. Gabi Fernandez (68)

60. Franck Ribery (82)

59. Marco Verratti (74)

58. Douglas Costa (37)

57. Harry Kane (53)

56. Cesc Fabregas (56)

55. Vincent Kompany (60)

54. James Rodriguez (38)

53. Blaise Matuidi (48)

52. Ilkay Gundogan (54)

51. Gerard Pique (45)

50. Javier Mascherano (42)

49. Thibaut Courtois (62)

48. Dimitri Payet (55)

47. Edinson Cavani (41)

46. N’Golo Kante (59)

45. Paulo Dybala (51)

44. Riyad Mahrez (49)

43. Marcelo (50)

42. Miralem Pjanic (47)

41. Gianluigi Buffon (39) 

40. Koke (35)

39. Jerome Boateng (44)

38. David Silva (46)

37. Giorgio Chiellini (36)

36. David De Gea (34)

35. Ivan Rakitic (30)

34. Sergio Busquets (32)

33. Leonardo Bonucci (33)

32. Sergio Ramos (28)

31. Arjen Robben (24)

30. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31)

29. Marco Reus (29)

28. Mats Hummels (25)

27. Thiago Silva (26)

26. David Alaba (40)

25. Paul Pogba (17)

24. Arturo Vidal (23)

23. Philipp Lahm (20)

22. Karim Benzema (21)

21. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (5)

20. Gonzalo Higuain (22)

19. Alexis Sanchez (27)

18. Diego Godin (19)

17. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (18)

16. Angel di Maria (13)

15. Mesut Ozil (16)

14. Kevin de Bruyne (14)

13. Luka Modric (15)

12. Manuel Neuer (10)

11. Toni Kroos (12)

10. Sergio Aguero (11)

9. Eden Hazard (52)

8. Thomas Muller (9)

7. Antoine Griezmann (8)

6. Robert Lewandowski (7)

5. Gareth Bale (6)

4. Neymar (4)

3. Luis Suarez (3)

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (2)

1. Lionel Messi (1)

These predicted places will have no impact on the official Top 100 list itself and may be subject to change before the Premier League season begins on August 13th.

So there it is, the Predicted list for the Top 100 Footballers in the World 2016-17. It will probably be horribly inaccurate, but it was still a blast doing it. Make sure to tune in a year’s time for the actual list AND check out Top 100 Footballers in the World 2015-16 if you haven’t already below.

Who do you think is set to shine or decline in 2016-17? Comment below to tell me your thoughts!

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