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 (20-11) below.
20. Bernardo Silva
Bernardo Silva has certainly set the world on fire this year, not only for Manchester City but also for Portugal. He’s won the Premier League and contributed so massively to all of City’s success, but he was also integral for Portugal in their UEFA Nations A League triumph, as they secured qualification for Euro 2020. He was so good that he was even named Player of the Tournament for the UEFA Nations League. After his stunning 2018-19 campaign for City in which he scored 7 goals and accumulated 7 assists, Bernardo was even regarded as a contender for Player of the Season in Europe. He’s carried his fantastic play for City into 2019-20, scoring 5 goals with 4 assists in 18 Premier League matches so far, even earning a selection to the IFFHS Bext XI of 2019. Bernardo Silva’s game is still developing, but he has firmly established himself as one of the best midfielders in the world in 2019.
19. Jan Oblak
Speaking of best of the best, Jan Oblak topped this list last year as far as goalkeepers go and this time comes up as second best in 2019. The Atletico keeper has been integral to their success over the years and has had more great performances in 2019, even despite Atletico’s relative lack of success in 2019. The Slovenian goalkeeper has featured in 6 Champions League matches and 18 La Liga matches, keeping a stunning 13 clean sheets between the two competitions so far. He also always seems to come up with some of the best saves you’ll ever see, at exactly the right moments for Atletico. Without Oblak, Atletico’s stellar and stern defense that concedes so few goals, would not be the same.
18. Marco Reus
For my money, the most underrated player in the world this year. Marco Reus has been exceptional for club and country throughout 2019 and whenever he’s been missing both his club and country look nowhere near the same side. Reus has been the key figure for Dortmund throughout the year, leading the side to a near title win at the end of 2018-19 and now leading their charge toward the title again in 2019-20. The Dortmund man scored an incredible 17 goals with 8 assists in only 27 Bundesliga matches last campaign, in what might have been his best ever season as a footballer. This season he’s been brilliant yet again, scoring 9 goals with 3 assists in his 16 matches so far as Dortmund sit second in the table. Without him, Borussia Dortmund are never the same side and he will go down as one of the Bundesliga’s greatest ever players when his time is finally up. Fortunately for Dortmund fans around the world, Marco Reus still has many more years left to go in his career.
17. Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez is another player that has become underrated in 2019, which has been a bit confusing given how solid of a record he has had in La Liga in particular. Suarez has scored 10 goals with 6 assists in his 16 La Liga matches so far this term, adding on to his 21 goals with 6 assists in 33 league matches last season. The most obvious reason for many thinking this year has not been so great for Suarez is the fact that he only managed 1 goal in 10 UEFA Champions League matches last campaign. His overall play, particularly his link-up play with Messi was still at its best, but the Uruguayan was certainly not at his best in front of goal. Only scoring 1 goal really was not able to meet the standard that Suarez has set for himself throughout his career. However, he’s fared better this season, already with 3 goals and 2 assists in 5 UCL matches, as Barcelona topped what many considered the Group of Death.
16. Alisson Becker
Alisson Becker is the best goalkeeper on the planet, hands down. Even IFFHS and FIFPRO couldn’t overlook the Brazilian on their La Liga-centric lists this year as he sealed the spot as the best goalkeeper in the world on every list imaginable. Between Copa America, Premier League and UEFA Champions League matches so far in 2019-20, Alisson has kept 13 clean sheets, including 6 in his last 7 matches to end off the year. Much of the credit has deservedly gone to Virgil Van Dijk for repairing Liverpool’s defense to such a great extent, but Alisson deserves so much credit as well as he has completely transformed their ability to keep clean sheets. He’s not just the best goalkeeper of 2019, but possibly Liverpool’s best ever goalkeeper.
15. Roberto Firmino
Roberto Firmino is so good, that many consider him to be the key man of Liverpool’s front-three, even ahead of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane. The Liverpool man always comes up big in big games and was essential this year to all of their success in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and most recently the Club World Cup, to which he was the player of the tournament without question. The 28-year old has scored 6 goals with 4 assists in 19 Premier League matches so far this term, but his overall play is just so much more important than his goals and assists. He brings the best out of Mane and Salah, constantly coming deep to receive the ball and freeing up the space in behind for the pacey wingers. His performances in the Copa America were also truly special, scoring 2 goals with 3 assists in 6 matches and holding his own in the Brazil lineup for the first time, starting all 6 matches. In total, Firmino has scored 5 goals in 15 matches for his national team this year, on top of all his fantastic exploits for Liverpool that will certainly be remembered for years to come.
14. Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero is another Manchester City player who will go down as one of the Premier League’s players of the decade. It’s crazy to think the Argentinean is only 31-years old, when he’s been at the top of his game for City for the best part of a decade now. Aguero has continued on his fine form into 2019-20, scoring 10 goals in 15 matches as City sit third in the table. He’s also netted 2 goals in 3 Champions League matches and had a decent Copa America, scoring twice in his six matches. Sergio Aguero should soon be edged out of Manchester City’s starting 11 in place of Gabriel Jesus, but for now continues to hold his own in the lineup, keeping the young Brazilian out of the side more often than anyone would have thought when Jesus first arrived at the club.
13. Harry Kane
Harry Kane continues to be one of the deadliest goal-scorers on the planet, even in a Tottenham team that have struggled for large portions of 2019. The Spurs man has scored 11 goals with 2 assists so far in 19 Premier League matches this campaign, adding on to his 6 goals in 5 UEFA Champions League matches. He’s also been so significant for England, linking up brilliantly with Sterling and Sancho as part of that front-three, scoring a remarkable 12 goals in 10 games this calendar year. Very few players are better than Harry Kane at scoring goals and if England are going to have any shot at Euro 2020, he is going to need to perform to the same extreme heights that he managed two years ago at the 2018 World Cup.
12. Trent Alexander-Arnold
The best right-back, the best fullback for that matter on the planet. And he’s only just turned 21-years old. Premier League fans were recently asked to name their Premier League Team of the Decade and remarkably (probably wrongly), Alexander-Arnold actually made the cut, ahead of Chelsea’s illustrious captain Cesar Azpilicueta. But Alexander-Arnold hasn’t just been the best right-back in the world in 2019, he’s also been one of the very best players and so far is on pace to be a PFA Player of the Year nominee if he continues on at this rate. The Liverpool fullback has scored 2 goals with 8 assists in 19 matches so far this campaign, as Liverpool can no longer afford to leave him out. Sometimes there were questions about his defensive abilities in seasons past, but he’s cleaned up that side of his game completely, as he continues to create 3 chances per game at the other end with his David Beckham-like delivery. Alexander-Arnold also scored 1 goal with 12 assists last campaign in 29 Premier League matches, making the PFA Team of the Year and breaking all kinds of assist records for defenders, alongside his fullback partner Andrew Robertson. With his stunning form this season for both club and country, Trent Alexander-Arnold certainly now deserves his place among the best of the best in the world.
11. Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard craved a move to Real Madrid throughout his career and in 2019 the Belgian wing wizard finally got his dream move to the Spanish club. Although he’s performed well for his new club, he hasn’t hit his usual numbers of goals and assists. Hazard has only scored 1 goal with 1 assist since his arrival at Los Blancos, and he’s only even played in 8 La Liga matches for his new club. More impressively, he’s completed 4.4 take on’s per game and won nearly 4 fouls per game, proving he’s at least still got some of the characteristics that made Real Madrid want to buy him in the first place. Also impressively, Hazard has scored 5 goals in his 8 appearances for Belgium this year. But his best bits of 2019 undoubtedly came at the twilight of his Chelsea career, as he capped off a brilliant decade in the Premier League with his best ever season, scoring 16 goals with 15 assists in his final 37 PL matches. He also helped Chelsea to some silverware, with 2 goals and 2 assists in 8 UEFA Europa League matches. Eden Hazard remains one of the best wingers in the world, but will need to step up his game in La Liga moving forward to continue that reputation.
So there it is! The Top 100 Footballers in the World (20-1). 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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