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 (50-41) below.
Marcelo’s career is certainly winding down. He’s had an injury-ridden 2019 and was even excluded from Brazil’s 2019 Copa America squad. Meanwhile at Real Madrid, French fullback Ferland Mendy has started to come more and more into the fold, as a return for Borussia Dortmund’s Achraf Hakimi looms likely in the near future. The Brazilian fullback has performed well in his 4 UEFA Champions League matches so far this campaign, assisting 3 goals. But he’s only started 6 matches for Los Blancos in La Liga, while being a regular in the Copa del Rey, rather than the other way around. At 31-years old Marcelo really should still be one of the best left-backs in the world. But unfortunately he hasn’t been given enough opportunities to prove it in 2019.
49. Dries Mertens
Napoli have not been great this season and Dries Mertens has been one of those who has suffered the most. Although he’s had a magnificent time in the UEFA Champions League this season, scoring 5 goals in 6 matches, he’s struggled to hit the same mark in Serie A. Only 4 goals and 2 assists in 16 matches has been abysmal for a Belgian international who scored 16 goals with 11 assists the season before in 35 matches. His poor form has allowed Arkadiusz Milik to come back into the fold and the Polish striker has gone on to score more goals in half the matches as Mertens. Fortunately for Mertens his form for Belgium has been much better and he’s contributed with his usual numbers of goals and assists in the many different competitions and matches that Belgium have played in this year.
48. Daniel Carvajal
On the other side of the Real Madrid defense, is Dani Carvajal who has finally surpassed his elder Marcelo on this list for the first time after a stunning season in 2019. Even despite competition from the young Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Carvajal has held down the right-back spot very firmly this year for both club and country. He’s started in 15 La Liga matches so far in 2019-20, assisting 4 goals, while creating nearly 2 chances per game for his teammates to score. The Spanish defender has also made 5 UEFA Champions League appearances and was a key part of Spain’s quest for Euro 2020 qualification. Unlike many who were part of the three successive UEFA Champions League triumphs, Dani Carvajal’s career has only gone up since 2017 as he continues to be one of the best right-backs on the planet.
When Fabinho first came to Liverpool, there were a few doubts that he would become a regular starter for a team so full of midfield talent. But Fabinho has since eased into Liverpool’s starting 11 and become an extremely key figure in Jurgen Klopp’s lineup. Acting as the pivot in front of the back four has been the perfect role for a man who has played in many different positions over the course of his career. The tall 26-year old has been a key part of both Liverpool’s attack and defense as they top the league. He’s completed 86% of his passes, despite being a very forward thinking passer, has completed 2.5 tackles per game and has chipped in with a goal and an assist in his 12 Premier League matches before getting injured. His role in helping Liverpool to a UEFA Champions League title this year also cannot be understated. He was immense for the Reds in his 11 appearances in the competition, as Liverpool lifted the trophy.
46. Gerard Pique
Almost becoming something of an underrated figure in today’s footballing world, Gerard Pique remains one of the best centre-backs around. He’s been so good for Barcelona the past two seasons alone that he’s probably been responsible for stunting Samuel Umtiti’s career…in part. Pique has featured in 17 La Liga matches, 4 UEFA Champions League matches and 5 Copa del Rey matches so far this campaign. He’s been his side’s standout defender through all of it, completing the most passes in the league, with the eighth highest passing percentage. Pique surely won’t be able to be Barcelona’s top defender for too much longer, but it has been truly special to watch the longevity of the Spaniard’s illustrious career and perhaps even more amazing how underrated he has always been due to the common assumption by many that he is actually overrated and as a result, underrating him.
45. Aymeric Laporte
Aymeric Laporte is probably the key reason why Manchester City won the title last year and probably the key reason why Manchester City won’t win the title this year. He was absolutely brilliant in the Premier League last season, scoring 3 goals with 3 assists and completing nearly 93% of his passes on the way to Manchester City’s title triumph. He started this Premier League campaign on the right note and his defensive numbers were even up from the season before…but then he got a horrible injury and City have not been the same ever since. Without him, City have been nowhere near as solid at the back, and that in and of itself proves just how great of a footballer the Frenchman is.
44. Raphael Varane
Speaking of French centre-backs, Raphael Varane was once hailed as the greatest in the world, particularly after France won the 2018 World Cup. He’s not had the absolute best of times since then and Real Madrid have underperformed massively. But Varane remains one of the top centre-backs around. With 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 aerial duels won per game and an 88% pass completion, it’s been a great start to the 2019-20 campaign for Varane in his 14 league matches so far. He’s also been a prominent figure for his side in the UEFA Champions League, while still holding down a spot in France’s back-line in their UEFA Nations League attempts and Euro 2020 qualification, in which he had a massive role as the captain of the team.
43. Georginio Wijnaldum
Georginio Wijnaldum has probably been one of the most underrated players in the world since his arrival to the Premier League. But nobody rates him higher than Jurgen Klopp, who has always had faith in the Dutchman and continued to have full trust in him despite signing a talented player like Naby Keita in the 2018 summer transfer window. With his box-to-box, fantastic on-the-ball ability and influence at all ends of the pitch, Wijnaldum has been a key man for Liverpool as they’ve turned into the best club around. He’s also been highly influential for the Dutch National Team, in their recent resurgence toward the top of the international scene. The 29-year old’s fitness is so incredible that he virtually seems to start every single match, regardless of what competition Liverpool are playing in. With a fantastic year in which he helped Liverpool to the UEFA Champions League title, nobody will be underrating Georginio Wijnaldum any more.
42. César Azpilicueta
Cesar Azpilicueta is probably one of the defenders of the decade in the Premier League. He’s been so solid for Chelsea and fulfilled so many different roles under so many different managers. This season has been no different for the Spanish defender as even despite Frank Lampard’s insistence on giving young players time, Azpilicueta has always been one of the first names on the team sheet. The 30-year old captain has played 16 Premier League matches this term, assisting 2 goals, as Chelsea sit fourth in the table. He’s also been massive for the Blues in their return to the UEFA Champions League, scoring 2 goals in 6 matches. Cesar Azpilicueta remains one of the best defenders in the world and with his fantastic overall play in 2019, he has truly cemented himself as one of the greatest players of the decade.
41. Sergio Ramos
Sergio Ramos is our final player of this section and despite being one of the most heavily despised, the Spanish centre-back still remains one of the best in his position. The 33-year old defender has featured in all 18 La Liga matches so far this campaign for Real, scoring 3 goals and completing 91% of his passes. He’s also been one of Los Blancos’ best players in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 2 goals in 4 matches, with 93% pass accuracy. Many who don’t like him often inflate his negative characteristics to make him out to be a terrible footballer too. In truth, he’s still one of the best around and will prove extremely difficult to replace when his career comes to a close.
So there it is! The Top 100 Footballers in the World (50-41). 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.
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