It’s almost the end of the year, so it’s only fitting that we count down the top 100 footballers of 2019. Check out the next section of the list (80-71) below.
80. Jose Gimenez
No Diego Godin by his side anymore, but Jose Gimenez has continued to perform for Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Gimenez was one of the top defenders at the 2019 Copa America as he featured in 4 matches with Uruguay and proved many times to be an unmovable rock at the back for his country. Unfortunately Gimenez can’t seem to stay fit long enough to make a bigger impact at Atletico Madrid. He featured in only 21 La Liga matches in 2018-19, and has only made 10 league appearances in the league so far this campaign. Whenever he plays his influence is certainly noticed and Atletico do not look the same team without his experience and leadership at the back.
79. Mauro Icardi
Mauro Icardi started the year as a bit of an outcast at Inter Milan. Eventually he went from being captain of the club to a complete non-factor, and was quickly replaced by his national team compatriot Lautaro Martinez. With a swift loan move to PSG, Icardi has regained confidence and form to score 9 goals with 2 assists in only 11 Ligue 1 matches so far. He’s been Thomas Tuchel’s preferred choice at centre-forward, highlighted further by his 5 goals in 6 UEFA Champions League matches so far this year. If only he had been able to carry on his PSG form throughout the year with Inter Milan, Icardi would still be one of the top fifty players on the planet.
78. Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku also started the year as an outcast at Manchester United as new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferred youngsters like Rashford and Anthony Martial. Since moving to Inter Milan as a partial Mauro Icardi replacement, Romelu Lukaku has been absolutely on fire, forming a formidable partnership with Lautaro Martinez in Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 system. The Belgian striker has scored a remarkable 12 goals in 17 matches so far this season, to which only Ciro Immobile has more. Lukaku has also been on fire for his national team in the UEFA Nations League, scoring 4 goals in 2 Nations League matches and 7 goals in 5 matches total this year. His overall play has far succeeded his ability to score goals, but with Inter Milan he’s become one of the greatest goal-scoring players around again after a tough start to the year at Manchester United.
77. Lorenzo Insigne
Lorenzo Insigne has been consistently one of the best play-making midfielders in the world for the past five or so years. However, the Italian midfielder has not had the best of times in 2019, and Napoli as a whole have struggled to hit the same high notes they’ve managed in seasons past. Perhaps Insigne’s struggles have coincided with Napoli’s change in formation from 4-3-3 under Maurizio Sarri to 4-4-2 under Carlo Ancelotti. Insigne has been forced into a role either as a deeper left-midfielder or a striker, neither of which suit the Italian midfielder like his role on the left wing under Sarri. With only 3 goals and 4 assists in 16 league matches so far, Insigne might now be on the decline. Hopefully new manager Gennaro Gattuso can restore Insigne as one of the best midfielders in the world again in 2020.
76. Diego Godin
At the age of 33, Diego Godin has seamlessly made a move to Inter Milan and continued to perform aptly for a team that sit second in the table with a real shot at stealing the league title away from Juventus this year. Godin has been a bit of an understated component of Conte’s 3-5-2 system, featuring in 11 matches and performing well even against some of the most powerful wingers in the league. He might be on the decline, signalled by his move away from Atletico by itself, but he continues to be a crucial player for Conte, keeping the likes of Ranocchia and Bastoni out of the team in the process. Godin also performed well for Atletico Madrid in his final season with the club, featuring in 30 matches and scoring 3 goals.
Rodrigo had one fantastic season at Villarreal before sealing a move to Atletico Madrid. At Atletico, the Spaniard became the best defensive midfielder in the league and with over 3 tackles per game, caught the eye of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Now in his first full season in the Premier League, Rodrigo has shepherd Fernandinho to a centre-back role, while holding his own in Manchester City’s midfield. He’s been preferred to both Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho, who would easily slot in at any other club in the league, featuring in 16 league matches so far this season with 2 goals and 1 assist. In that time Rodrigo has also completed nearly 92% of his passes and received constant praise from his manager for his ability in transitional moments. Being that he is only 23-years old, Rodrigo has a fantastic career still ahead of him as he continues to establish himself as one of the most dominating defensive midfielders in the world.
74. Kyle Walker
Kyle Walker’s career has truely transformed since moving to Manchester City from Tottenham Hotspur in 2017. He’s developed into more than just a fullback who can get up and down the right flank, but also one of the best passers in the league and someone the Sky Blues try to get on the ball as much as possible in central areas. This season hasn’t been Walker’s best, but he’s still been of massive importance to City as they try to hunt down Liverpool for the league title. In 15 matches so far this campaign, Walker has also beaten his previous tally for goals and assists this season in comparison to last, this time with 1 goal and 2 assists so far. He’s also remained a key component of England’s national team as they head in to Euro 2020 next summer.
73. Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford has had a roller coaster of a 2019. The highest highs have been very high and the lowest lows have been very low. But all things considered it has been a good year for the Manchester United man, who at times has needed to be the Red Devils’ best player. That is a lot of weight on the shoulders of a man who is still only 22-years old. But Rashford has handled the pressure really well all things considered, and has bounced back from a bit of a rough patch, scoring 10 goals with 4 assists in 18 matches this Premier League campaign. Miraculously, only four players have scored more goals so far this season in the league and his tally of 10 is even higher than Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Sadio Mane (9 each). The Manchester United man has also performed well for England this year, scoring 4 goals in 7 matches. Although this year won’t be the best of his career, the future certainly looks bright for a man who should become one of England’s greatest ever goal-scorers.
72. Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller is still one of the best players in the world, despite no longer receiving the recognition for it. He’s continued his ‘raumdauter’ role, sometimes playing as a ‘number 10’ and other times playing as a winger. This has made it extremely hard for a talented player like Philippe Coutinho to make a regular run in the side. What has been amazing to watch with Thomas Muller in this so-called decline of his career, is that his goal-scoring numbers have gone way down, but his play-making prowess has gone way up. No player has assisted more goals in the Bundesliga this season than Thomas Muller’s 11. His return of 6 goals and 9 assists in 32 Bundesliga matches last term wasn’t up to par with the German’s own high-standard, but he’s still managed to be such a crucial figure for Bayern Munich and act as their primary source for creating chances.
71. Ciro Immobile
Football is obviously more than just about scoring goals. But scoring goals is how you ultimately win football matches, and few are better at the art than Ciro Immobile, who has been doing it for the best part of the past decade. With a remarkable 17 goals and 3 assists in only 16 Serie A matches so far this campaign, Immobile’s goal-scoring and overall play have just been simply unreal. He even earned his own Tactical Analysis on our website back in November. The Lazio man has also transferred his goal scoring over to the Europa League with 2 goals in 3 matches, and for Italy on the way to Euro 2020 qualifying, with 3 goals in 4 matches. If he was playing for a club like Barcelona or Bayern Munich and scoring goals for fun like he does at Lazio, Ciro Immobile would undoubtedly be known as one of the greatest goal-scorers on the planet. It is really a mystery why Ciro Immobile has not garnered more attention and recognition as one of the world’s greatest strikers.
So there it is! The Top 100 Footballers in the World (80-71). Be sure to check out the rest of the list in the upcoming days before the new year. Thanks for reading and see you soon.