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 (30-21) below.
30. Serge Gnabry
Serge Gnabry has been arguably Bayern Munich’s best player this year, and has firmly established himself as a key player and starter for his club in a post Arjen Robben/Franck Ribery world. He’s been unstoppable in every competition he’s played in this year, scoring 4 goals in 5 UEFA Champions League and 6 goals with 6 assists in 15 Bundesliga matches so far this season. Even more remarkably, he’s been an essential component of Joachim Low’s German side, scoring 9 goals in 8 appearances as Germany eased into Euro 2020 qualification. 24-years old now, it is nice to see Serge Gnabry coming relatively out of the blue to establish himself as one of the best wingers on the planet, when many thought he couldn’t do it.
29. Antoine Griezmann
French forward Antoine Griezmann stayed at Atletico Madrid for a little longer than anyone really expected him to, but as far his development as a footballer, Atletico was the perfect club for the counter attacking style of his game. He blends in so well for Didier Deschamps’ France, but Atletico was the perfect place for him to shine as a second striker or false nine. Griezmann scored 15 goals and 9 assists in 37 La Liga matches in his final season at Atletico and finally he made his move to Barcelona in the summer. Griezmann’s form hasn’t been brilliant for Barcelona but he has established himself as a regular in the side even despite Ousmane Dembele to contend with and not really being a natural left winger either. The 28-year old has scored 7 goals with 4 assists in 17 La Liga matches so far this season and although he hasn’t hit the same mark in the UEFA Champions League he’s been solid for France, scoring 4 goals in 11 matches.
28. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
One of the deadliest goal scorers of the decade, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang has been just about the only thing worth watching at Arsenal this year. Even when the rest of his squad performs horribly, Aubameyang always finds a way to score goals. The common thought when the Gabon striker was at Borussia Dortmund was that he didn’t even have to play well, he would still always find a way to score goals. But he does so much for his team that goes unnoticed and his leadership was for so long an underrated aspect of his game that has now gone noticed at Arsenal. Only Jamie Vardy has scored more goals than the Gabon striker this year, with 13 goals in 20 Premier League matches in 2019-20 and a golden boot to match at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, scoring 22 goals with 5 assists in 36 Premier League matches. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang will always find a way to score goals and he continues to be Arsenal’s best hope toward better times in the future.
27. Joshua Kimmich
The only player capable of competing with Trent Alexander-Arnold for best right-back in the world, Joshua Kimmich is a global superstar. He was dubbed early on in his career as the next Philipp Lahm, and has certainly fulfilled that promise. But he’s arguably been even more versatile than Lahm and he’s been crucial for Bayern as both a defensive midfielder and right-back this season, just as Lahm was at the end of his career. The 24 year old German has scored 1 goal with 3 assists in 17 Bundesliga matches this season and no player has created more chances than him in the Bundesliga. That is something very rarely seen from a ‘number 6’ or right-back. Kimmich has also played in 10 matches for Germany this year, firmly establishing himself as one of the key figures in Die Mannschaft’s roster.
26. N’Golo Kante
Our final defensive midfielder on the list, N’Golo Kante has held down the position of best defensive midfielder in the world for another year, after performing exceptionally well as a ‘number 8’ for both Maurizio Sarri and now Frank Lampard. The Chelsea man’s goal-scoring numbers have vastly improved in the past two years and Maurizio Sarri deserves a whole lot of credit for bringing out more in the Frenchman’s attacking side of the game. He’s scored 3 goals this season in his 13 Premier League matches, completing over 2 tackles and 2 interceptions per game, while even getting in on the act at the other end to create more chances per game this season than ever before. The Frenchman’s game has certainly evolved over the past few years and while many criticized Maurizio Sarri for evolving his game for the better, we can’t help but recognize how much of a complete player N’Golo Kante has now become, as he remains the best defensive midfielder on the planet.
25. Andrew Robertson
2019 was the year that Andrew Robertson established himself as the best left-back in the world. For a former Hull City player whose move to Liverpool came almost as a bit of a surprise, Robertson’s rise to stardom has been stunning to watch. He’s been three times as good as his predecessor Alberto Moreno, and has made the left-back spot his own in a way where no one at Liverpool ever has before. Robertson assisted 11 goals in 36 Premier League matches last season, and assisted 2 goals in 12 UEFA Champions League matches as the Reds lifted the trophy. Such a key member of Liverpool’s squad, Robertson has continued on his fantastic performances in 2019-20, scoring 1 goal with 5 assists in 19 Premier League matches so far. The best left-back on the planet without a doubt, Andrew Robertson has also established himself as one of the very best players on the planet in 2019.
24. Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho has been Borussia Dortmund’s key performer this year, and it’s amazing to think he’s established himself as one of the world’s best players at the age of 19; especially when last year was his first full season for the first team at BVB. The British winger scored 12 goals with 14 assists in 34 Bundesliga matches last season, playing in every match and assisting more goals than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues…while playing almost the entire season as an 18-years old. This season Sancho has been even more incredible, again leading the charge for Dortmund toward the top of the table, with 9 goals and 9 assists in 15 Bundesliga matches and 2 goals with 2 assists in 6 UEFA Champions League matches. Only legendary German play-maker Thomas Muller has assisted more Bundesliga goals this season, and nobody has assisted more over the course of 2019. Jadon Sancho is an absolutely brilliant player, and 2019 was a fantastic year for him as he quickly established himself as one of the world’s best.
23. Toni Kroos
Like Luka Modric, Toni Kroos’ career has been on a bit of a decline lately as Real Madrid have struggled to hit the same high notes that they managed in 2017. But this season the German has fared fairly well. Kroos has played 16 La Liga matches so far this term, scoring 2 goals with 2 assists, and completing 93% of his passes. Meanwhile in the UEFA Champions League he’s been one of the top performers of the Group Stages so far, creating 4.4 chances per game (the most in the tournament so far), completing nearly 3 tackles per game and completing the second most amount of passes per game. He’s also remained a key part of Germany’s quests in 2019, scoring 3 goals in 4 matches for his national side this year. Toni Kroos remains one of the top central midfielders in the world and one of the top performers for one of the best clubs in the world.
22. Marc Andre ter Stegen
Marc-Andre ter-Stegen is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, without question. His form for Barcelona has been exceptional since his breakthrough at the club in 2016 and he’s carried on for the club in the perfect manner that they could have hoped for after Victor Valdes’ retirement. Since 2016-17, no one else has managed to get in between the posts even semi-regularly for Barca, as the German goalkeeper has always been on top of his game. Between La Liga and UEFA Champions League matches so far in 2019-20, ter Stegen has featured in 23 matches, keeping 7 clean sheets and even assisting 2 goals. Any time the opposition seem to be getting the advantage over Barcelona’s defense they still seem to have a massively hard time bulging the back of the net, because of ter Stegen’s prowess in goal.
21. David Silva
A magician, wizard and sorcerer wrapped up all in one, David Silva has been for many, the greatest player of the decade in the Premier League. The 33-year old has continued on his fantastic exploits in 2019-20, stepping up now as City captain in the absence of Vincent Kompany. He’s scored 3 goals with 6 assists in 15 Premier League matches, absolutely mesmerizing his opponents and dazzling his way around the league in what could be his final season. But as Silva’s career winds down, he’s started to fall out of favour for City, particularly in the UEFA Champions League where he’s only featured in 2 matches. He’s also retired from the Spanish national team, as Spain head into Euro 2020 David-Silva-less for the first time in a while at a major tournament. Still one of the best players in the Premier League without a doubt, David Silva could also be the greatest Premier League player of the decade.
So there it is! The Top 100 Footballers in the World (30-21). 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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