Top 10 Best Players in the World 2021
Top 10 Best Players in the World 2021: Who are the top best football players in the world right now, according to FIFA rankings? A subject that will never be satisfactorily resolved and will never even come close to ending in an agreement, but one that continues to occupy the conversational space of pubs and football terraces (well, group chats and Zoom calls for now).
A new generation of younger stars is clawing their way into the limelight, but the old guard isn’t ready to give up the fight just yet.
In order to establish the criteria for our ranking, we choose our top 10 players in the world based on their own talent and achievements throughout the course of the last few years, rather than a brief burst of form or a single setback after a decade of success
Here we go: The Top 10 Best Players in the World 2021
10. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool’s goal-scoring wonder, is slightly ahead of Mane in the standings – but just a little. When it comes to individual performances, the Egyptian may not have had the best year of his career in 2020, but when it comes to trophies and team cohesion at Liverpool, there is no one else that manager Jurgen Klopp would look to for inspiration first and foremost. Salah is critical to Liverpool’s success, and there is hope that the attacker will be able to represent Egypt at a World Cup in 2022 if the country manages to qualify.
For the time being, the emphasis is on winning another Premier League title, and Salah has proven to be the team player capable of doing it.
9. Neymar (PSG)
Despite the fact that the French top league is often regarded as being a level below that of Brazilian superstar Neymar, his ultimate objective of delivering a Champions League title to Paris Saint-Germain has yet to be achieved. Even though Neymar has been a sensation since his youth, the global superstar has never been able to dethrone world-class players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi from their positions as the Best Players in the World.
As a result of his ineffective performances at the international level in recent years, Neymar has seen his position in these rankings decline. Despite this, Neymar’s increasing maturity has aided his link-up play with his teammates, and at the age of 28, he is still at the pinnacle of his abilities.
8. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern)
Three of the top ten footballers in the world currently compete in the Bundesliga, which is a testament to how good the Bundesliga is at the moment. During his time with Bayern Munich, Joshua Kimmich has developed into the team’s go-to midfielder, with the versatile Germany international capable of both protecting the defense and driving the team forward.
In the Bayern midfield, Kimmich’s influence is undeniable, and he is one of the first names on manager Hans-Dieter Flick’s squad sheet. We should see more of the 25-year-old in the Euros this summer, and don’t be surprised if Kimmich is hoisting the Champions League trophy for the second time in as many years soon after that.
7. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Virgil van Dijk would not have been able to help Liverpool win the Premier League in 2020 if it had not been for his efforts. It is not only the performances of the Dutch defender that propel Liverpool forward, but it is also his impact off the field that has lifted standards around the club for many years now.
Van Dijk has played a key role in every step forward that Liverpool have taken under Jurgen Klopp since the centre-back joined the club from Southampton in the summer of 2018. The Dutch hope that the 29-year-old will be in good enough shape to play at Euro 2020 after he has achieved success in both the domestic and European leagues.
6. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
It may not be long until Kylian Mbappe overcomes the fading stars of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on this list of the world’s top footballers – but for the time being, the Frenchman is ranked just below those two footballing legends. Why? For those in charge at Paris Saint-Germain, the Champions League represents the difference between being a great team and becoming a superstar.
Even though Mbappe had a fantastic season in 2020, his team’s quest for Champions League success against Bayern Munich fell short in the final. The Frenchman has had a strong start to the new season, scoring 17 goals for both club and nation in the first half of the 2020/21 campaign.
And the summer of 2019 could be just as successful for Mbappe as the previous year, when he assisted France in winning the World Cup. The French national team is one of the favorites to win Euro 2020, while Paris Saint-Germain will be vying for their first ever Champions League title. When you consider that Mbappe is presently scoring for pleasure, there isn’t much reason to believe that he won’t be holding at least one major trophy by the end of 2021.
5. Erling Haaland (Dortmund)
Rarely has a footballer made such an impact on the European club scene as Norway’s Erling Haaland. One could argue that the forward is still too young to be called one of the world’s top footballers at the age of just 20 years old, but that is not the case. However, just seeing 90 minutes of Haaland in a Dortmund shirt will convince you that this is not the case.
Haaland’s goal-scoring form has been outstanding. A goal was scored every 55 minutes and 54 seconds on average during a period in 2020 when he was at his best. RB Salzburg in Austria’s top division, and Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga, as if nothing had happened.
When in possession, Haaland is practically invincible, much as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Wayne Rooney, and Eden Hazard were when they were younger. Don’t be shocked if he rises even further up the rankings by 2022.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
When Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus, the goal was very clear: win the Champions League. The veteran, who will turn 37 in February, is already in his third season in Italy and has yet to produce. No one can dispute Ronaldo’s extraordinary ability, and the Portuguese forward may possibly go down in history as the best player to ever play the game of football.
However, his wings have been clipped as of 2021. Ronaldo’s Juventus are struggling in Serie A, and Portugal haven’t been playing their best football either. In a crucial development, Juventus was eliminated from the 2020 Champions League at the last-16 stage, after having reached the quarter-finals the year before.
This year, Cristiano Ronaldo is slipping down the list of the world’s top footballers. The Italian giant is unafraid to dominate the bulk of Serie A games, and he can easily rule the majority of the competition. However, his only actual worth to Juve is in Europe, and it is here that the former Manchester United superstar must perform to the best of his ability.
3. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Kevin De Bruyne is the most technically skilled player in the Premier League, and there isn’t another like him. The sharp-eyed playmaker possesses both the strength and the intellect to dominate games both at home and abroad.
Manchester City would be a completely different team without De Bruyne. He is the most prolific assist provider in the Premier League, with City scoring a goal assisted by the Belgian once every two games. In addition to the fact that De Bruyne has an entourage of standout players surrounding him, the 29-year-old has also excelled for Belgium in international competition.
He might very well be the star of the show at Euro 2020 in the summer, with Belgium hoping to go one step further than their World Cup semi-final exit in Russia. This might be the year in which De Bruyne surpasses Cristiano Ronaldo as the best player on the planet.
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
It is unclear where Lionel Messi will be playing by the end of 2021, but there is little doubt that the Barcelona superstar’s career is on the decline, albeit in a subtle way. The Barcelona star, who has been ranked number one on numerous ‘greatest footballers in the world’ lists for much of the past decade, has dropped to number two on this list.
Messi, while no other player has the ability to alter a game quite like him, does not wield the same amount of power on the football field as he once did. After scoring more than 30 goals in La Liga for the previous three seasons, Messi has failed to lead Barcelona to its first Champions League triumph since 2015. His impact has also been insufficient in leading the club to its first Champions League triumph since 2015.
Messi will be 34 in the summer and may be released from his contract at the Nou Camp. However, he has a number of domestic and European honours to contend for before then – and there is still no player in the world who is quite as captivating as the little Argentine. However, even he would concede that he is no longer the top dog.
1. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Robert Lewandowski cannot be counted among the world’s top footballers since he has consistently been ranked below the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in numerous “best footballers in the world” polls. Lewandowski is one of the most experienced goal scorers you’ll ever witness, having developed his abilities to adapt to different styles of play over the years.
When faced with a one-on-one situation, the Poland international has a dead-eye for goal, and his statistics are really outstanding. Lewandowski scored 45 goals in his professional career in 2020, making it the fourth year in a row that he has exceeded the 40-goal mark.
More to the point, he has been nominated European Footballer of the Year as well as FIFA’s player of the year, but he was controversially denied the Ballon d’Or in 2020 after the event was suspended owing to COVID-19.
The year 2021 appears to be another banner one for the forward, with Bayern flying high in the Bundesliga, reaching the knockout stages of the Champions League, and Poland a strong outside contender to win Euro 2020 in the summer of that year.
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