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 start of the list (10-1) below.
PSG have not been the same side without Neymar when he’s been missing this year. They look so much more fruitful whenever he’s available and the Brazilian’s record in front of goal has always been spectacular in Ligue 1, including in 2019. The 27-year old Brazilian has scored 8 goals with 4 assists in 10 league matches this season, along with 1 goal and 2 assists in 2 UEFA Champions League matches, proving that every single game he plays, he scores or assists a goal. Unfortunately, Neymar missed the Copa America triumph for Brazil and much of the early months of 2019 for PSG through injury.
9. Raheem Sterling
Raheem Sterling has recently and rapidly developed into one of the very, very best players in the world in what is now his fourth season under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City. The 25-year old has been magnificent in 2019-20 so far, scoring 11 goals in his 19 league matches so far and leading the charge for the Citizens, even when his team are not playing well at all. The goal-scoring winger has also found the back of the net five times with two assists in his six UEFA Champions League matches so far this campaign. Meanwhile, he’s played a massive role for England, scoring 8 goals in 9 matches this season. 2018-19 was arguably his best season ever, and he even managed to win the Football Writers Association Player of the Year Award and PFA Young Player of the Year (despite being 24). It’s more than just about the goals with Raheem Sterling, he’s become the complete player for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola, and now one of the top ten best players in the world.
8. Kylian Mbappe-Lottin
A FIFPRO World XI member, Kylian Mbappe remains one of the best centre-forwards on the planet, living up to all the hype he created as a 17-year old, now at the age of 21. Mbappe has scored 11 goals with 3 assists in his 12 Ligue 1 matches so far this campaign, missing some of the season through injury. He’s also performed extremely well in the UEFA Champions League, scoring 5 goals with 3 assists in 5 matches. 3 goals in 6 matches for France this year seems tame in comparison, but Mbappe has devoted much of his effort this year to PSG, who he won a Ligue 1 title for while scoring more goals than anyone else in Ligue 1, 33 goals with 7 assists in only 29 league matches. A big fish in a small pond, it will be very interesting to see if the French forward soon makes a move to an even bigger club than PSG. For now, he remains happy in Paris, banging in the goals for fun on a weekly basis.
7. Kevin de Bruyne
Last season would have been the most frustrating of times for Kevin de Bruyne. The Belgian spent the majority of the season out injured, playing less than 1,000 minutes and scoring and assisting only 2 goals each. This season he’s been right back into the thick of it, scoring 7 goals with 12 assists in 19 matches. He’s been City’s most consistent performer and his dynamism and creativity in the attacking third have proven to be unstoppable at times, even in a Manchester City side that haven’t looked as fruitful as seasons past. Only Dimitri Payet has created more chances in Europe’s top five leagues this season and only Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic has completed more crosses. Such a talent he is, De Bruyne could virtually play anywhere on the pitch and perform just as well. He’s benefited this season as a right-central midfielder and with City’s desire to get him on the ball at every opportunity possible.
6. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah might not ever score as many goals again as he did in his first season at Liverpool, but he remains such an essential component to Liverpool’s success. The Egyptian winger has scored 9 goals with 4 assists in 16 Premier League matches so far in 2019-20, in addition to 4 goals with 2 assists in 6 UEFA Champions League matches. Last season he won the Golden Boot alongside his teammate Sadio Mane, scoring 22 goals with 8 assists in 38 matches. He also managed 5 goals with 2 assists in the Champions League last year as Liverpool lifted the trophy. Mohamed Salah’s career has taken off since his arrival at Liverpool and he remains one of the best players in the world for the third year in a row.
5. Sadio Mane
One of the top surprises of 2019 has been Sadio Mane’s rise to the top of the footballing world. He is now considered by many to be Liverpool’s key member of their illustrious front-three and even won a Golden Boot last year alongside Mo Salah, scoring 22 goals in 36 Premier League matches last term. Mane has also started this season brightly and has arguably been the top player in the league, scoring 10 goals with 6 assists in 18 Premier League matches. The Senegalese striker was also a top performer for his national team throughout the year, scoring 4 goals in 11 matches, including 3 in the African Cup of Nations. After a stunning year, Sadio Mane has to now be considered one of the top players in the world.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is now 34-years old, but remains one of the best players on the planet, even if no longer the second best player in the world. His first season at Juventus was a major success, scoring 21 goals with 8 assists in 31 matches, and winning the Player of the Season award as Juve lifted the trophy. This season 10 goals in 14 Serie A matches has been okay for the Portuguese forward, although not his usual extreme 50-goal a season heights. Ronaldo has been brilliant for Portugal this year however, scoring 14 goals in his 10 appearances as Portugal won the UEFA Nations League. Serie A’s Footballer of the Year remains one of the five best players in the world, but no longer as the second best.
3. Robert Lewandowski
No player has scored more goals in 2019 than Robert Lewandowski, and as we write that sentence it almost seems fitting to finish it off with a ‘well, duh!’ It’s amazing that he’s even had Timo Werner right there with him to contend with, otherwise he’d be in a league of his own in the Bundesliga scoring charts. Lewandowski has scored more than double the goals of the second highest Bundesliga player on this list (Marco Reus), with 19 goals in 17 Bundesliga matches so far in 2019-20. Lewandowski has truly been in the form of his life in 2019-20, scoring a stunning 10 goals in 5 UEFA Champions League matches so far and 6 goals in 10 matches for his national team in 2019.
2. Virgil Van Dijk
The best defender in world football, Virgil Van Dijk became the first defender since Vincent Kompany to win the PFA Player of the Year award in 2019. The runner-up for the Ballon d’Or behind our number 1 as well, Virgil Van Dijk has been magnificent in 2019 for both Liverpool and the Netherlands and even won the UEFA Men’s Best Player award for 2018-19. The Dutch defender has also been brilliant to start this 2019-20 campaign, as Liverpool remain undefeated. Van Dijk has scored 3 goals in his 19 matches so far, winning more than 5 duels in the air per game and completing 88% of his passes. Virgil Van Dijk had a wonderful 2019 and firmly established himself as the untouchable player in terms of best defenders in the world.
1. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi continues to be the best footballer on the planet, and again remains at the top of our list, proving impossible to dethrone yet again. The 32-year old had a rough go of it at the 2019 Copa America but other than that has achieved widescale success yet again in every competition he’s played in. Messi has scored 13 goals with 6 assists in only 13 La Liga matches so far this campaign, along with 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 UEFA Champions League matches. Last season was also another special one for the special Argentinean, scoring 36 goals with 13 assists in 34 La Liga matches. The best footballer on the planet and possibly the best of all time. Lionel Messi is truly something special.
So there it is! The Top 100 Footballers in the World (10-1). 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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