2020 was a strange year for everyone in the world, not just footballers. But the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we haven’t gotten as much football as we might have done otherwise. That said, there were still plenty of matches played across the year, and some surprise performers and performances along the way. As always, TheMastermindSite.com will now count down the top 100 male footballers in the world for the year. This list takes into account a player’s form in 2020 as its primary mechanism, with reputation, difficulty of league, club and national team success each playing a secondary role. So with that in mind, here is TheMastermindSite’s Top 100 Male Footballers in the World for 2020 (60-41).
60. SERGIO REGUILONEmbed from Getty Images
Sergio Reguilon has done wonders to even be this high on the list, and yet somehow it still feels a bit harsh considering what he’s achieved in 2020. Reguilon made one of the smartest moves of his life by moving to Sevilla on loan for the 2019-20 season, and was absolutely exceptional in their UEFA Europa League winning campaign. Further, in his 31 La Liga matches, he scored 2 goals with 4 assists, aiding in their stellar 4th place finish on 70 points. Since his loan move ended with Sevilla, he’s been brought into one of the best squads Jose Mourinho has assembled, nailing down the left-back spot right away with his incredible performance against Manchester United in a 6-1 win in his first game. Since then Reguilon’s been a revelation for Spurs and one of their key men leading the title charge. He’s also started to nail down the left-back position for Spain, a position normally occupied by Barca’s Jordi Alba, assisting 2 goals in his latest 3 UEFA Nations League matches. On top of all that, Sergio Reguilon is still only 23 years old. The sky really could be the limit for the Spanish fullback if he continues on at this rate, and might just end up back at one of football’s biggest clubs some day very soon.
59. DAvid silvaEmbed from Getty Images
David Silva might have left Manchester City, but his career is certainly not over yet. Silva’s been fantastic for Real Sociedad, as they topped the table for large parts of 2020-21 so far. The Spaniard’s final season for Manchester City was also of the highest quality, scoring 6 goals with 10 assists in 27 Premier League matches, earning himself a selection to the PFA Team of the Year as a sendoff. Although he is undoubtedly on the decline, David Silva is still one of the very best footballers on the planet.
58. marc-andre ter stegenEmbed from Getty Images
Few Barcelona players deserve to be high on a list of top footballers for 2020, but ter Stegen is perhaps one of the few that can be faulted the least. Ter Stegen made 36 appearances for his club side as Barca finished 2nd in La Liga at the end of the 2019-20 season. The German’s continued to be a regular for his struggling national side and has helped aid Barcelona’s chances in 2020-21. It is hard to quantify just how good goalkeepers are in numbers, but ter Stegen has saved Barcelona from a lot worse hardships than they might have had this year.
57. achraf hakimiEmbed from Getty Images
Achraf Hakimi had the season of his life in 2019-20, scoring 9 goals with 10 assists as a 21-year old at Borussia Dortmund between Bundesliga and Champions League matches. He featured in all but one of the Bundesliga fixtures last season, playing mostly at right wing-back. The dynamic speedster then made a luxurious move to Inter Milan (oddly enough) and has started life with Antonio Conte’s side well, scoring 3 goals with 2 assists in 12 matches so far. Long-term, Hakimi could prove to be one of the very best signings of 2020, as his career can only go up from here. Once perhaps more, Borussia Dortmund simply don’t look the same side without him.
56. dries mertensEmbed from Getty Images
Another older player to continue positive form in 2020, Dries Mertens has once again been exceptional for both club and country. 2020 was the year Mertens became Napoli’s all-time top scorer, and if he continues on at this rate he might just become the club’s top assist-maker as well. The 33-year old forward has also shifted positions to more of a natural ‘number 10’ slot, scoring 4 goals with 6 assists in 11 Serie A matches so far, playing in behind the powerful Victor Osimhen. His form for Belgium in 2020 was also exceptional, scoring 3 goals in 4 UEFA Nations League matches alone. Despite his incredible overall performances for club and country, not many people would have Dries Mertens this high still. This makes him one of the most underrated players on the planet.
55. benjamin pavardEmbed from Getty Images
Absolutely crucial for Bayern Munich wherever he plays, Benjamin Pavard is one of the most stable players Hansi Flick has in his Champions League winning roster. The 24-year old plays with the experience of someone five years older and always steps it up for his club and country in big games. He’s arguably not even best at right back, but he plays there for both club and country, crucially allowing Kimmich to play in midfield. Last season, the Frenchman also chipped in with 4 goals and 4 assists in 32 Bundesliga appearances, a highly commendable tally for a defender not necessarily known for that side of his game.
54. keylor navasEmbed from Getty Images
Has any goalkeeper made more UEFA Champions League final appearances than Keylor Navas? He must be up there. Navas was fantastic again for PSG, helping lead their charge toward the 2019-20 Champions League final. PSG’s form was remarkable in the competition, and Navas was at the heart of it. Since 2020-21 kicked off, the Costa Rican has kept great form in his 10 Ligue 1 matches so far this campaign, contributing to PSG’s impressive tally of 10 goals conceded in 15 games. He might be 34-years old now, but Navas deserves his rightful place as one of the best goalkeepers in the world today, and in the past decade.
53. leon goretzkaEmbed from Getty Images
With Joshua Kimmich’s move to midfield, Leon Goretzka struggled to get as much game time as he would have liked in 2019-20. Despite that, he was still a regular, consistent performer for both Bayern Munich and his national team – Germany. The 25-year old made 8 appearances in their run to lifting the UEFA Champions League trophy, and scored 6 goals with 5 assists from central midfield in only 24 Bundesliga appearances last campaign. Now with Thiago Alcantara out of the picture and Joshua Kimmich injured, Leon Goretzka should be set to blossom under Hansi Flick in 2020-21. His impact in the UEFA Champions League has already been felt, with 2 goals and 1 assist in 4 matches so far.
52. marcus rashfordEmbed from Getty Images
Marcus Rashford was a massive reason why Manchester United even qualified for this season’s UEFA Champions League, finishing third in 2019-20. His form throughout 2020 was massive for United, particularly in helping secure that 3rd place finish. It is very possible that he might never achieve such heights as 17 goals and 7 assists in a Premier League season ever again. But then, he carried his form over to 2020-21, and nearly kept them in the competition with his incredible performances against the likes of PSG and Leipzig. 6 goals in 6 UEFA Champions League matches is Lewandowski levels of good. In fact, he sits at the very top of the scoring charts for his efforts in the group stages, alongside the likes of Neymar and Erling Haaland. If it hadn’t been for the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford would unquestionably be Manchester United’s best player in 2020.
51. luka modricEmbed from Getty Images
Evidently, Luka Modric has not been up to his usual heights since the 2018 World Cup, the year in which he won the Ballon d’Or. But Real Madrid won the La Liga title last year, with Modric still a regular in the side at 34 years old. The Croatian midfielder scored 3 goals with 7 assists in 33 matches last term. In 2020-21, he’s been irreplaceable in the side, featuring in all 13 matches so far. Another older player that you can’t help but be in awe of, Luka Modric continues to contribute massively to Real Madrid’s success.
50. thibaut courtoisEmbed from Getty Images
A player who once looked done and dusted, Thibaut Courtois has been revitalized by Zinedine Zidane, when many thought he would lose his place to Keylor Navas. Courtois was essential to Madrid’s La Liga title win in 2019-20, and continues to lead their fight toward the top of the table in 2020-21. Impressively, Real only conceded 25 goals in 38 matches last season. Courtois featured in 34 of those matches, while continuing to nail down the starting birth for his native Belgium in the process.
49. kalidou koulibalyEmbed from Getty Images
Since he still hasn’t made his big money move to one of Europe’s absolute elite, Kalidou Koulibaly probably deserves recognition as one of Napoli’s greatest ever defenders. The Senegalese international has been immaculate for his club and country since the start of the decade, and remains an absolute stalwart at the back for Gli Azzurri. He only featured in 25 Serie A matches last campaign, partially aiding in his lower score than previous years. But if Koulibaly were playing for Liverpool, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich right now, it is unquestionable that he would probably be thought of as one of the twenty-thirty best footballers in the world.
48. JAMIE VARDYEmbed from Getty Images
Why is Jamie Vardy so underrated? Is it because he doesn’t play for one of Europe’s elite? Is it because he doesn’t play international football? It’s ludicrous to think that many people wouldn’t have Jamie Vardy this high, when he won the Golden Boot in the Premier League last season and helped Leicester scrape to a fifth place finish. The 33-year old scored 23 goals with 5 assists in 35 Premier League matches last term, beating Aubameyang, Mane, Kane, Ings, etc., to the Golden Boot. This season he’s carried on his spectacular form and might just win the award again. Vardy’s scored 10 goals in just 12 matches, adding another 2 goals in 2 UEFA Europa League matches. The British striker simply cannot stop scoring, and has so many features to his overall play that make Leicester City such an effective side. For all of that, he rightfully deserves to be considered one of the top fifty footballers in the world.
47. timo wernerEmbed from Getty Images
It hasn’t been the absolute dream start that Timo Werner would have hoped for with his move to Chelsea, but the German has still fared very well in London so far. Werner scored an insane tally of 28 goals and 8 assists in 34 Bundesliga matches last season for Leipzig, and added another 4 goals in 5 UEFA Nations League matches with Germany. Since moving to Stamford Bridge, Werner’s overall play has been very good and he’s linked up nicely with his teammates, even if 4 goals and 3 assists is a lower tally than what he would have wanted after 13 Premier League games. When he gets going again, Timo Werner will unquestionably be one of the deadliest goal-scorers on the planet.
46. kingsley comanEmbed from Getty Images
Scoring in a UEFA Champions League final is always an honour, but Coman’s achieved even greater heights since that fantastic moment at the end of the 2019-20 season. Sure, that’s the moment he’ll look back on and remember, but the 24-year old has arguably been one of Bayern’s three best players in 2020-21. If you’re talking about 2019-20, he was great, but he would be nowhere near that. He’d hardly be in their best eleven when talking about 2019-20. But this season’s been another story and another level for Coman, scoring 2 goals with 7 assists in just 9 Bundesliga matches. Compared to just 4 goals and 3 assists in 24 Bundesliga matches last term, the improvement in Coman’s play is evident. The Frenchman’s also netted 3 goals with 2 assists in 4 UEFA Champions League matches, contributing massively to Bayern’s impressive form in both competitions to this point, and also improving on his 3 goals with 1 assist in last season’s competition. Many would have worried Leroy Sane was going to replace Coman in Bayern’s 11, but that has been far from the truth. Instead, Coman’s kicked on and been even better than Serge Gnabry, leading the league in assists along the way.
45. georginio wijnaldumEmbed from Getty Images
Highly influential in Liverpool’s title winning season, Georginio Wijnaldum has not been able to carry over his stellar form into 2020-21 to the same extent. The Dutchman featured in 37 of Liverpool’s 38 games to win the Premier League, plus 8 of their UEFA Champions League matches, scoring 6 goals between two competitions. He had a nice role to play for his national team throughout the year as well, operating in a few different positions to score 3 goals in 6 matches. But 2020-21 has seen the decline of quite a few Liverpool players, including Wijnaldum who’s been up-staged by the younger Curtis Jones in recent weeks. The Dutchman would probably be worse off if he had moved to Barcelona, so at least he’s got that going for him. But although it was a great year for Wijnaldum, it wasn’t his very best.
44. lautaro martinezEmbed from Getty Images
For much of 2020, Lautaro Martinez was Inter Milan’s best player, leading them toward the UEFA Europa League final and top four in Serie A. The Argentine striker achieved his highest goal tally of 14 goals in 35 Serie A matches last season, and has carried on his form to 2020-21. This season Martinez hasn’t been as good as Lukaku, but he’s still been a positive influence on the Inter side, scoring 5 goals with 2 assists in 12 Serie A matches. An incredibly dynamic, creative and influential player for club and country, Martinez remains only 23-years old.
43. marquinhosEmbed from Getty Images
Marquinhos was exceptional for club and country in 2020, helping PSG reach the Champions League final. The versatile Brazilian played as a centre-back and defensive midfielder equally well in his team’s rise to success, featuring in all 11 Champions League matches and 19 Ligue 1 games. He’s continued on his positive form in 2020-21, while carrying more of the weight as a leader and captain of the group due to the departure of Thiago Silva. For a player to be so versatile and so good at two different positions for a Champions League winning side deserves its place on this list in and of itself.
42. alphonso daviesEmbed from Getty Images
Alphonso Davies wasn’t even meant to play left-back when he arrived at Bayern Munich from Vancouver Whitecaps, but since then he’s developed into one of the best left-backs in the world. The speedy youngster had a remarkable 2019-20 season, scoring 3 goals with 5 assists in 29 Bundesliga matches as a defender. His numbers in both tackles and take-on’s were also immensely impressive, and he added 3 assists to Bayern’s UEFA Champions League winning campaign across his 8 matches. What has been slightly ignored though for those singing his praise in 2020, is that he has completely lost his place in 2020-21 to World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez. The Canadian international has featured in less than half of the Bundesliga games, and barely at all in this season’s UEFA Champions League. Making the FIFPRO World XI as a 20-year old is incredibly impressive, but perhaps it was more out of the hype of being young, Canadian and winning the UEFA Champions League that earned him a place in the side ahead of Liverpool’s Andy Robertson, than the year that he had. That said, Davies still had a remarkable 2020, and the sky really is the limit for what is probably already Canada’s greatest ever male player.
41. jack grealishEmbed from Getty Images
It would be hard to find a player who has performed better than Jack Grealish in the 2020-21 season. Maybe Heung-Min Son. Maybe Harry Kane? But Grealish definitely deserves to be in the conversation, for his stellar play leading Aston Villa to better times. His club were nearly relegated in 2019-20, yet he has completely lifted them out of any danger so far in 2020-21. The club captain’s scored 5 goals and 5 assists from 11 matches thus far, forming a great relationship with the likes of Ross Barkley and Ollie Watkins. When looking deeper, Grealish is in the top five for shots, take-on’s, chances created, and the undeniable leader in fouls won (4.8 per game!). The wing wizard is also the only reason Villa are even in the Premier League this season at all, as they would have been relegated without his 8 goals and 6 assists last campaign. Jack Grealish’s influence on Villa is absolutely undeniable, and he’s looked like England’s best player this year as well when given the chance. Being the captain of such a big club at such a young age, we can’t forget that Grealish is still only 25-years old and could become so much better with the amount of work he puts into his training regiment at the moment.
How would they line up?
So there it is! The Top 100 Male Footballers in the World (60-41). Who do you think should be ranked higher or lower? Be sure to share your thoughts on Twitter @mastermindsite or in the comments below and check back soon for 40-21! Thanks for reading and see you soon!