Ranked! The world's top 100 players in 2022
Ranked! The world’s top 100 players in 2022. © Provided by Actiongamesnow

Footballers are gifted with skill, agility, and strategy. The annual top 100 football player poll excites and divides fans, pundits, and experts. These players, from diverse teams and nations, excel at goal-scoring, defence, and playmaking. The top 100 list represents the sport’s diversity and dynamic nature, from seasoned veterans who have regularly played at the highest level to rising stars who are making their mark globally. This list honours these individuals’ outstanding achievements to football, which have shaped matches, inspired spectators, and left an indelible impression.

100. Jan Oblak

100. Jan Oblak

Atletico Madrid isn’t as good as they used to be, but Jan Oblak is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The Slovenian goalkeeper is still only 29, but he could retire as one of the best of his generation. He is already one of the most respected footballers in the history of both his club and his country.

99. Granit Xhaka

99. Granit Xhaka

Granit Xhaka’s redemption has been talked about a lot, but the Arsenal midfielder’s great season has only shown us things about him that we already knew. This season, he has been one of the best players in the Premier League because of his strong leadership, rocket shot (called the “Xhakaboom”), and sharp left foot. Gooners have loved this renaissance.

98. Frenkie de Jong

98. Frenkie de Jong

You don’t go after the best people in the world for no reason. Frenkie de Jong first came to attention for his technical skill and ability to dance through opponents. He still has both of these qualities in spades, even though Barcelona fell out of favour while he was there. At his best, the Dutchman is a beautiful player to watch, and he could still be one of the best players in the world in the future.

97. Kai Havertz

97. Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz has so much more to give. Chelsea fans will always love him for that goal, but he has so much more to give. We still don’t know if he’s a forward, an attacking midfielder, or a winger. However, his close control and tall stature make him hard to defend against when he’s at his best. He’ll only get better and better.

96. Marco Reus

96. Marco Reus

Marco Reus, who is now 33, turned down all the big teams to play for Dortmund. He has grown old at BVB in a way that few stars do. By avoiding bigger boys, he has made a name for himself as one of the smartest and most mesmerising attackers of his time. He is still dangerous, fun to watch, and loved by fans. Not just the ones in black and yellow.

95. Fabinho

95. Fabinho

At Monaco, he was one of two midfielders, and he sometimes played right back when the need arose. He has grown at Liverpool to become one of the best lone defensive midfielders of the last 10 years. Even now, Fabinho is still the glue that holds most of Liverpool’s great games together.

94. James Maddison

94. James Maddison

Few people have more right to be in the World Cup. This season, James Maddison has turned into a god for Leicester City. He has become a production machine that has moved the Foxes up the table and cut through Premier League defenders like they were training cones. He’s been great all season and is one of the best players in the world when it comes to making plays.

93. Joao Felix

93. Joao Felix

Joao Felix has so much talent, but Atletico Madrid doesn’t really use it to its fullest. The Portuguese player might seem low on this list for a player who cost more than £100 million, but Felix is only 23 years old and still has the whole world at his feet. He is still waiting for a season like Vinicius Junior’s last year, when he had a lot of great games.

92. Darwin Nunez

92. Darwin Nunez

Darwin Nunez is one of the most different strikers in the league, and it takes him a while to find his place at Liverpool. He’s so strong that sometimes it seems like he can’t control it. He’s a flat-track bully who can destroy smaller teams, but sometimes even experienced defenders can’t handle the way he moves. As he learns more about English football, he will only get bigger.

91. Theo Hernandez

91. Theo Hernandez

After being sent to Italy, many Real Madrid stars have disappeared without a trace, but Theo Hernandez has quietly become one of the best left backs in the world at AC Milan. The Frenchman is good in both directions. He was a big part of Milan’s Scudetto win last season, and he’s still only 25 years old, so he has room to grow.

90. Jack Grealish

The record signing for Manchester City, who paid £100 million for him, hasn’t done as well at the Etihad as many people thought he would, in part because of tactical problems. Because Pep Guardiola doesn’t have a reliable left-footed left back, he often puts Joao Cancelo in Grealish’s spot. This leaves the No. 10 a bit without a place in Guardiola’s team.

Still, there’s no denying how smart he is. It’s mesmerising to watch how he can move full-backs out of position, drift, make plays, and combine. Grealish has the trait that Guardiola was looking for to win knockout games, and he is still one of City’s most dangerous players.

89. Paul Pogba

89. Paul Pogba

He’s not hard to forget. Paul Pogba has had a rough year with injuries, leaving Manchester United, and getting criticised in England, but he is still a very good player. Pogba made a home on the left side of the field when he was in his groove, where he played for fun and showed why he was once a record signing. He will also be missed in Qatar by France.

88. Antony

88. Antony

Even though the price tag is heavy on his shoulders, Antony still has the confidence of a street player and dances through back fours as if they aren’t there. So far, he’s been a hit in English football, where he’s shown a fierce finish and good one-on-one skills. It’s easy to see why Erik ten Hag wanted him.

87. Eduardo Camavinga

87. Eduardo Camavinga

He’s not just the next big thing; he helped Real Madrid win the European Championship by changing the outcome of several games. Eduardo Camavinga made a big splash for Rennes against PSG when he was only 16. We all knew he would need some time to get better, but he’s doing well.

The Frenchman is lively in the middle of the field for Real, and he looks incredibly confident for only being 20 years old. He could stay in this job for the next ten years.

86. Cristian Romero

86. Cristian Romero

Since Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld left, Tottenham’s defence has looked tired, but bringing in Cristian “Cuti” Romero has been the best move they could have made. The Argentine, who doesn’t get scared of anything and has a wicked pass and hawk-like awareness, has been a huge hit and is still one to watch.

85. Raphael Varane

85. Raphael Varane

Raphael Varane was always a classy player for Real Madrid. At Manchester United, he’s become one of the first names on the team sheet when he’s healthy.

The defender has won almost everything there is to win in his sport, and he has stepped up at Old Trafford to take a leadership role at the back, even alongside captain Harry Maguire. Sergio Ramos and Lisandro Martinez make a great team, and Martinez has shown that he is a good player on his own and not just a passenger next to Ramos for all those years.

84. Ousmane Dembele

84. Ousmane Dembele

At one point, it seemed impossible that he would stay at Barcelona after his contract ended, but Ousmane Dembele has found himself again in 2022. No one is like this guy when he’s on the move. He’s unpredictable, can beat his opponent from the inside or the outside, and is just as dangerous when shooting or making something. He’s at his best again.

83. N’Golo Kante

83. N'Golo Kante

One of the worst things about football is that N’Golo Kante keeps getting hurt. Few players can win the ball, play at a hundred miles per hour, and master the midfield with such childlike joy. He just needs to get back soon. Chelsea isn’t the same without Kante playing at full speed.

82. Aymeric Laporte

82. Aymeric Laporte

Aymeric Laporte is one of the most stylish defenders in English football. He was born to play football for Pep Guardiola. Even though his team has the ball most of the time, the Spain international is still one of the best defenders in the world because of how strong he is, how quick he is, and how smart he is.

81. Ansu Fati

81. Ansu Fati

Ansu Fati is not scared of anything, not the hopes and dreams of Barcelona, not even the No. 10 shirt on his back. Why would he do that? At full speed, the 20-year-old can’t be stopped.

Fati feels like he was made in a La Masia lab experiment. He is fast, strong, able to play on both feet, and has a low centre of gravity, so he can dart between opponents to make plays and score. He is also very versatile: we still don’t know where he plays best or what he’ll become… but it’s so exciting to watch to see what happens.

80. Richarlison

80. Richarlison

What’s Richarlison like? Well, good enough to join a team with three of the best forwards on the planet and more than hold his own in the frontline.

Richy is everything you’d expect from a Brazilian forward and more. He is very skilled and has a mean streak that helps him get to every ball first. He’s a great asset for any manager, whether they were fighting to stay in the league last year or are in the Champions League this year.

79. Milan Skriniar

79. Milan Skriniar

Milan Skriniar is one of the best defenders in Serie A and has been for a very long time. He has a great feel for the game and has been the rock around which many managers have built their teams. Rightly so, he is now one of the best center-backs in the Champions League.

78. Diogo Jota

78. Diogo Jota

The person who broke up the famous trio of Salah, Mané, and Firmino was always going to be unique. Diogo Jota is more than that. He is brilliant from the front (or left), has great instincts, and can link up with other players or score on his own. It’s too bad that he has spent so much of 2022 in the hospital.

77. Aurelien Tchouameni

77. Aurelien Tchouameni

When Aurelien Tchouameni broke through at Monaco as one of the best prospects in the world at his position, it was clear that he would go all the way to the top.

It didn’t take long for Real Madrid to call. The Frenchman is now a full international player, and at such a young age, he is one of the most complete and skilled defensive midfielders in the world. His star will only keep rising.

76. Leon Goretzka

76. Leon Goretzka

If FFT didn’t want to fight with any of these players, Leon Goretzka might be at the top of this list. The big German is the scariest midfielder in the world. He is the pitbull of Bayern, and he can play a little bit, too. Goretzka is both strong and smart. He is smart, technical, and can control space as well as any of Germany’s best.

75. Mount Mason

75. Mount Mason

Mason Mount is a lightning rod for fans’ anger, and we’re just going to say it: that’s a hugely unfair thing to do. It’s easy to pick on the Chelsea star when his team is losing or doesn’t have enough of the ball.

But this player is the one that all of his managers have built their teams around. Not only does he have the best work ethic, the best football IQ, and the best pressing, but he is also a creative spark and has great movement. He’s never a passenger, and those boo boys are starting to underestimate him.

74. Fikayo Tomori

Fikayo Tomori not being on the England World Cup team has nothing to do with him. He’s been left behind because of his lack of experience. Still, it won’t be long before he’s the best at that, having led AC Milan to a Scudetto and become one of the best center-backs in Europe this year.

Tomori is quick, strong, smart, and a leader. If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll be the best for another 10 years.

73. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

73. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

English clubs are always looking at Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, and it’s easy to see why. SMS is a complete midfielder who is both strong and creative. For years now, he has been near the top of the Serie A assist charts.

72. Trent Alexander-Arnold

72. Trent Alexander-Arnold

He can fight back. To get to his level, you have to be able to.

Also, what Trent has to offer is unique. He is a playmaker from right back and has one of the best passes in the world, whether it’s from a dead ball or while the ball is in play. He makes Liverpool go. Some people think he’s had a bad 2022, but he won two cups and may have been the best player in both finals. His expectations are just way too high.

71. Eder Militao

71. Eder Militao

Eder Militao has been the centre back from one era to the next. He has seen the end of Ramos and Varane and the start of Alaba and Rudiger. The Brazilian is a great defender in his own right. He is tough, quick, and has great awareness. He will only get better, too.

70. Lisandro Martinez

70. Lisandro Martinez

The best defender who can play with the ball on Earth? Manchester United fans were worried that Lisandro Martinez would leave the team short at the back, but the 5’9″ Argentine has more than made up for his height.

He breaks lines when he passes with his eyes closed and has been a huge help in building up Erik ten Hag. When you add in his South American-styled aggression, there was no way he wouldn’t do well in English football.

69. Martin Odegaard

69. Martin Odegaard

Martin Odegaard was originally brought in on loan to give the team some much-needed creativity. Now, he plays like Mikel Arteta: he’s quick, smart, and aggressive when he doesn’t have the ball. The Norwegian was a great addition to the team, and he is now the captain, putting him at the top of the Christmas tree. I can’t believe he only cost £30m.

68. Leroy Sané

68. Leroy Sané

The German player who is the least German? Leroy Sané likes to run past players instead of passing around them. He also likes to catch balls behind the defence instead of being smart in front of it.

Still, when he’s going full speed, he’s very dangerous, as his Champions League opponents have learned this season. He can play on either wing or cut through the middle.

67. Andrew Robertson

67. Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson is now a legend at his club on Merseyside. The fact that he is still as reliable as ever shows how hard he works every week. His great left foot and incredible stamina make Liverpool a threat from the left side of the field.

66. Raheem Sterling

66. Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling’s career at Chelsea has gotten off to an odd start, but few English players have his weight these days. The forward from Brent is one of England’s big-game stars right now, and he proudly wears the number 10 on his shirt. He can play with his feet or from behind. He’s as good as he’s ever been, and it’s scary that he might not even be at his best yet.

65. Nuno Mendes

65. Nuno Mendes

Nuno Mendes is one of the best players PSG has signed in recent years. He is set to become the next best left back in the world. He bombs down his side, and he and Achraf Hakimi make a great pair. He is also good at defence.

64. Christian Eriksen

64. Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen must have wondered what the hell he was getting himself into when, two weeks into his new job with Manchester United, he was losing 4-0 to his old team and getting booed by the Brentford fans.

He didn’t need to worry so much. The Great Dane is always moving to a deeper berth to stop Erik ten Hag’s traffic and show his class. He’s been great again this season.

63. Alphonso Davies

63. Alphonso Davies

Because he was so fast, his Bayern teammates called him “Roadrunner.” He holds the record for the fastest speed ever reached in the German top league, which was over 36 km/h. Mind you, he’s not just a sprinter. Davies is a strong defender, a great dribbler, and his country’s leader.

If Canada wants to have a good World Cup, a lot will depend on how well their speed merchant can attack.

62. Dusan Vlahovic

62. Dusan Vlahovic

Before he moved from Fiorentina to Juventus in January, he was the most talked-about player in the news. It was easy to understand why he was so popular. Vlahovic is strong, fast, and dangerous, and he has kept scoring goals at a high rate in Turin. Even though he is only 22, the Serbian has a chance to become a legend in Serie A.

61. Lucas Hernandez

61. Lucas Hernandez

Few defenders in the world of football are as aggressive as the Bayern Munich and France center-back. Hernandez is at his best when he’s the bad guy in a defensive pair, rushing and tripping up the other team’s strikers before stealing the ball. In the last few months, he hasn’t had many chances to play for his club team. However, he is confident that he will get back into the starting lineup after the World Cup.

60.Victor Osimhen

60.Victor Osimhen

This season, Napoli is on a roll, and they have a lot to thank their Nigerian goal-scoring machine for. Osimhen has been scoring goals at a rate that would make El Diego proud. His speed and movement make it hard for defenders to keep up with him. There is a lot of talk that the 23-year-old forward will move to the Premier League next summer.

59. Ronald Araujo

59. Ronald Araujo

Because he hurt himself earlier in the season while playing for Barcelona, the Uruguayan will be sad to miss the World Cup in Qatar. Also, it’s a big loss. The defender is fast, strong, and very good with the ball when he has it. The 23-year-old is a great prospect and could become a great player at Camp Nou. He can both stop the other team’s attacks and start his own.

58. Matthijs de Ligt

58. Matthijs de Ligt

The Dutchman’s crown may have fallen since he led a young Ajax team to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018-2019, but it’s easy to forget that Matthijs De Ligt is only 23 years old. At Juventus, he found it hard to play defence like he did when he was young, but now that he’s at Bayern, he’ll have time to develop the leadership skills that came so easily to him as a teenager.

57. Serge Gnabry

57. Serge Gnabry

The young player who used to play for Arsenal and West Brom has become a strong, technically perfect winger at Bayern. He is a great dribbler and scorer, but he is also a leader on and off the field. His comments about things like human rights and fan culture show how good of a person he is, even though he is a great footballer.

56. James Reece

56. James Reece

The Englishman’s 2022–23 season was ruined by injuries, and he also missed out on a spot in Qatar. It’s a huge shame, because he can help Chelsea and England on both ends. James is quickly becoming one of the best fullbacks in Europe, but he still has a long way to go before he is at his best as a defender. The ceiling is indeed very high.

55. William Saliba

55. William Saliba

After spending another season in the wilderness, not many Arsenal fans had high hopes for their own loan ranger this season. But the 21-year-old defender has become one of the Gunners’ many success stories so far this season. The Frenchman is fast, strong, good with the ball, and has a good sense of strategy. His partnership with Gabriel Magalhaes has the potential to be one of the best in club history.

54. Gianluigi Donnarumma

54. Gianluigi Donnarumma

Now that Donnarumma is the undisputed No. 1 at PSG, he is showing why he is thought to be the best goalkeeper of his generation. His dominant play at Euro 2020 was a big reason why Italy won, and he’ll be more disappointed than anyone else that he won’t get to try for the world title in Qatar. The gloveman is only 23 years old, but it already looks like he will be one of the best goalkeepers of all time.

53. Achraf Hakimi

53. Achraf Hakimi

During his loan with Borussia Dortmund in 2020/21, the world took notice of the Moroccan’s blistering speed and impressive end product. Then Inter bought him, and he helped them win their first Serie A title in over a decade. Now that he’s at PSG, Hakimi’s star keeps going up because he’s always one of the best players on a team with superstars.

52. Thiago Alcantara

52. Thiago Alcantara

Thiago wasn’t picked for Luis Enrique’s World Cup team, which surprised a lot of people. However, it wasn’t because he wasn’t as good as the other players, but because there were a lot of young players coming up. He is still one of the most talented and fun to watch deep-lying playmakers in the world. Jurgen Klopp has often gone for more hard-working midfielders, so the fact that he’s added such a smooth technician to his trio shows how highly he is regarded by all coaches.

51. Gabriel Jesus

51. Gabriel Jesus

Every week, it looks like it was a bad idea for Man City to sell the hard-working Brazilian to Arsenal. This season, Jesus has been a miracle as Sergio Aguero’s backup at the Etihad. He finally got the responsibility he had long wanted in North London, and he has been just as good as Aguero.

He’s a reliable goal scorer, but it’s his movement and smart pressing that have made the biggest difference in Arsenal’s rise to the top of the Premier League. Mikel Arteta’s midfielders, especially Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli, and Granit Xhaka, do well around the No. 9 because of how well he links up with them. A great striker with modern skills who could be the missing piece for Arsenal.

50. Lautaro Martinez

50. Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez has become one of the best strikers in the world since he moved to Inter Milan from Racing in 2018. The Argentine is fast, direct, and a deadly finisher, as shown by the fact that he has scored a lot of goals again this season. Martinez is also very versatile. He can play as part of a front two, which he does a lot at Inter, alone, which is how he usually plays for his country, or even from the wing.

49. Christopher Nkunku

49. Christopher Nkunku

The reigning Player of the Year in the Bundesliga picked up right where he left off this season, scoring 17 goals for RB Leipzig before the World Cup stopped play. The 25-year-old forward is a powerhouse both when he has the ball and when he doesn’t. He is fast, direct, and dangerous, and he will do anything to get the ball back for his team. He’s the dream of a modern manager, and he’s just getting into his prime.

48. Marco Verratti

48. Marco Verratti

Few things in life are as certain as death, taxes, and Marco Verratti keeping things moving in the middle of the field. The 30-year-old is very good with the ball, never makes a mistake in his position, and is now a leader for both his club and his country. He dropped a few spots on this list because Italy didn’t make it to Qatar, but it looks like the pace-setter will have another great season at least in Paris.

47. Casemiro

47. Casemiro

When Man United spent £55 million on a 30-year-old player who was no longer a starter for Real Madrid, people looked at them funny. But the five-time winner of the Champions League has fit right into the middle of the Red Devils’ team, working as hard as two players and showing his skill when he has the ball. His knowledge of where to play could be the start of the next great era at Old Trafford.

46. Gavi

46. Gavi

Some people, especially in England and North-Rhine Westphalia, rolled their eyes when the 19-year-old playmaker won the 2022 Golden Boy award. Still, it was just a reward for how well he has done for club and country this year. Gavi’s quick feet and calmness when he has the ball show that he was raised at La Masia, and few people would bet against him becoming a legend in Catalonia.

45. Kieran Trippier

45. Kieran Trippier

Trippier is dangerous from set pieces, has the creativity to break down defences, and, thanks to Diego Simeone’s school of deep blocks in La Liga, has become one of the most well-rounded defenders in the league. The wingers on the other team rarely get by him, but when he sends a cross into the box, strikers often score.

44. Cristiano Ronaldo

44. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo hasn’t been doing much on the field this season, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a good player.

The fact that the Portuguese forward scored 18 league goals and was named to the Premier League Team of the Season shows that he is still a good player, even though he is past his best, which is something he seems to have trouble accepting. Even though he is 37 years old and just scored his 700th goal for his club, you can’t really blame him.

43. Gabriel Martinelli

43. Gabriel Martinelli

Arsenal’s patience with Martinelli’s development is really starting to pay off now that he is becoming a sharp, determined, and dribbling goalscorer. The Brazilian has shown flashes of his talent in past seasons, but never consistently.

But Martinelli has been one of the best players in the Premier League so far in 2022/23. He has been so good that he has earned a spot-on Brazil’s World Cup team.

42. Dejan Kulusevski

The Swede is just great at everything he does. He doesn’t need a winger or midfielder to cross over to him to link up with them. He’s strong, quick, and creative enough to free up Kane and Son next to him.

Since he came to English football, he’s been almost perfect, and Tottenham’s team misses him a lot when he’s not there.

41. Luis Diaz

41. Luis Diaz

Injury has slowed down the Colombian’s progress at Liverpool in recent months. Considering how quickly he has risen since joining the club in January, who knows how well he could be playing by now? The winger beats full-backs easily with his quick acceleration, smooth dribbling, and smart one-twos. Often, the only way to stop him is to foul him. He’s also slowly adding goals to his game. If he keeps going the way he is, he might be impossible to stop.

40. Antonio Rudiger

40. Antonio Rudiger

There aren’t many centre backs in the world that players would rather play against than Rudiger. The German is a stopper who is lightning fast and has a great feel for the game. He always makes the perfect tackle at the right time. But he is also good at attacking, as he loves to carry the ball forward with a lot of force and pass it to the other side of the field.

39. Bruno Fernandes

39. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno isn’t afraid to take chances, and his sharp passes and long shots can make fans mad when they don’t work, but they’re amazing when they do.

Each season, Fernandes scores and helps out a lot of goals, and he works hard and wants to win more than anyone else. His fierce competitiveness can get out of hand, but when he uses it in the right way, he is hard to stop.

38. Son Heung-min

38. Son Heung-min

Son won the golden boot at the end of the 2021/22 Premier League season. Only Mo Salah scored as many goals as Son did during the season. The South Korean has been struggling for a few months to keep up with the high standards he set for himself, but his quality is still clear.

37. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

37. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Kvaratskhelia was an unknown Georgian player at the start of 2022. He was going back to his home country to play for Dinamo Batumi. Now, though, his blistering performances for Napoli are tearing up Serie A and the Champions League.

Kvaratskhelia is a long-legged winger who likes to go straight at his opponents. He is also smart and knows when to change the pace of the game.

36. Thomas Müller

36. Thomas Müller

Muller has been at Bayern Munich and on Germany’s national team for so long because he is one of the most reliable players in the world. The forward always finds space in the area of the field where the ball will land because of how well he positions himself.

When you add in how well he works with other people and how hard he works, it’s easy to see why Bayern players love having him on their team.

35. Jamal Musiala

35. Jamal Musiala

Musiala is still a teenager, but he has been great for Bayern Munich this season, solidifying his spot in both the Bavarian club’s starting lineup and Germany’s World Cup team.

His crazy runs, easy way of dribbling the ball, and physicality and awareness are all great, and even though he is still a teenager, it is clear that he is a player who is sure of their great skills. This young person has a lot of potential.

34. Phil Foden

Foden seems to have everything he needs to go all the way to the top. He is a versatile forward who can score goals or pass through the defence. His first touch is always good and done on purpose, and he moves so well for someone who is only 22 years old.

When he steps up consistently on the big stage, the Manchester City star will be scarily good.

33. Declan Rice

33. Declan Rice

West Ham’s rise over the past few years has gone hand in hand with Rice’s rise to become one of the best all-around midfielders in Europe. He’s a great ball-winner and a good passer, and he’s starting to have an effect on games in the last third. He’s everything you want in a football player.

Still only 23, the English player could be very good once he has gained more experience.

32. Bruno Guimaraes

32. Bruno Guimaraes

Guimaraes has helped Newcastle do well since he moved there from Lyon in January.

So far this season, the Brazilian has been one of the key players for Eddie Howe’s team. His performances in the middle of the field have been impressive, as he controls games and breaks up play with what seems like little effort. Getting picked for Brazil’s World Cup team along with a lot of talented players shows how good he is.

31. Ilkay Gundogan

31. Ilkay Gundogan

Gundogan has always been a classy playmaker, and that hasn’t changed. However, in the last few years, he has added the ability to score goals to his game, which has helped him reach new heights.

The German and Kevin De Bruyne work well together in Manchester City’s midfield. His runs into the box are perfectly timed, and his improved composure in the penalty area has taken his game to a whole new level. Now, he is also one of the first players listed for his national team.

30. Rodri

30. Rodri

Rodri looked a little confused when he arrived in English football and was told he had to replace Fernandinho, which was not a great job.

Rodri has become one of the best deep-lying playmakers in the world after realising he couldn’t just do the Brazilian’s job. He has mastered Guardiolaball and is in charge of the traffic for the champions. He is easy to control when he has the ball and works hard when he doesn’t. The best thing you can say about him is that sometimes it looks like Pep himself has made a copy of him.

29. Bukayo Saka

29. Bukayo Saka

Saka is so well known for his work with Arsenal and England that it’s hard to believe he just turned 21. He is without a doubt one of the most interesting English people to come along this century.

The versatile winger has been a big part of Arsenal’s fast start to the 2021/22 season. He has consistently set up goals for Mikel Arteta’s team and also scored himself.

Saka is an all-star player, but he also has a lot of character. Since he missed the winning penalty in the final of Euro 2020 and got a lot of bad comments online, he’s only gotten better and better.

28. Pedri

28. Pedri

The fact that Pedri has been compared to legends like Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi shows how much potential he has.

Even though he’s only 20, he’s already done a lot to reach that potential. He is one of the first names on the Barca teamsheet, and he is well on his way to becoming a legend like Messi or Ronaldo.

Pedri is a versatile player who is just as important in the midfield or further up the field. He is one of the best hopes for Spanish football and its latest golden generation.

27. Marquinhos

27. Marquinhos

Marquinhos is one of the best center-backs in the world, and he is getting into his best years at the age of 28. Few people are better at their job than the captain of PSG.

The Brazilian, who can also play at right back or in midfield, made a strong team with his countryman Thiago Silva in Paris. Since Thiago Silva left, the Brazilian has gone from being an apprentice to a master.

Marquinhos isn’t very tall for a centre back, but that doesn’t matter when you can read the game as well as he can. A very good operator.

26. Federico Valverde

Federico Valverde had one of the hardest jobs in football when he tried to get one of Modric, Kroos, or Casemiro out of his spot in the Real Madrid midfield.

But the fact that he changed to become the right winger in Carlo Ancelotti’s system shows that he is a good person. Valverde is a hard-tackling midfielder who has shown the energy and work ethic to help in all areas of the field. This has paid off, as Los Blancos have beaten everyone in their way in 2022. A proof that you can do many things.

25. Jude Bellingham

25. Jude Bellingham

Bellingham is the best young player on this list, and it’s because the Borussia Dortmund and England star plays like he’s much older than 19.

When he first started playing for his hometown team, Birmingham City, it was clear that Bellingham was going to be something very special, and that’s exactly what’s happened: he’s already become one of the best midfielders in the world.

In October of this year, he became the youngest captain in the history of the Bundesliga when he wore the armband in the absence of senior players Marco Reus and Mats Hummels. It would not be at all surprising to see him lead his country in the future. The word for it is “prodigious.”

24. Ruben Dias

24. Ruben Dias

In 2020/21, Dias’s first season with Manchester City, he won the prestigious Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Football of the Year award. He was the first defender to do so in the Premier League era, and the first since 1989.

That should be enough to show you that the Portuguese enforcer is a world-class worker. City gave up fewer goals than any other team in the 2020–21 and 2021–22 seasons, and their solid center-back rock was a big part of that.

Dias is a great fit for Pep Guardiola’s team and a tough opponent for the rest of the league because he is a great defender and a great passer (and Europe).

23. Toni Kroos

23. Toni Kroos

Kroos was a big reason why Germany won the 2014 World Cup. The playmaker had more assists than anyone else at that tournament, establishing himself as one of the best creative midfielders in the world.

He also moved from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid that summer. With Real Madrid, he has won 17 trophies, including the Champions League four times.

Kroos stopped playing for Germany at the international level last year. He had 109 caps, which was the ninth-most of any German player ever, but at age 32, he should still be a master of midfield for a good while longer.

22. Ederson

22. Ederson

Ederson’s calmness under pressure is almost scary (remember how casually the Manchester City goalkeeper passed the ball off the line after tripping against Liverpool last season?), but it’s one of the things that makes him one of the best goalkeepers in the game today.

The Brazilian is often called an outfield player in goalkeeping gloves, and some of his passes make you think he wouldn’t look out of place in the middle of the field. Pep Guardiola also says he’s not a bad penalty taker.

He wouldn’t be one of the best goalkeepers in the world if he couldn’t keep the ball out of the net better than most, so it goes without saying that he does that, too.

21. Joao Cancelo

Cancelo has become as important to Pep Guardiola’s team as any other player. He is a fantasy football manager’s dream.

Last season, the Portuguese fullback set up 10 goals for his teammates and scored three himself. So far this season, he has five assists and two goals.

Cancelo was a key player in City’s win of the Premier League, and he has also become a key player for his country. He started in the World Cup play-off win over North Macedonia and scored two goals for his country during the recent Nations League campaign.

20. Manuel Neuer

20. Manuel Neuer

Neuer is arguably the best goalkeeper of the modern era, and maybe even of all time. During his long and successful career, he has changed what it means to be a “sweeper-keeper,” and he shows no sign of slowing down even as he approaches his 37th birthday.

Neuer is without a doubt one of the best goalkeepers in the world. His unique speed, athleticism, and ability to understand the game well allow him to control much more than just the area right in front of his goal. He’s important for both starting attacks and stopping them.

The Bayern Munich and Germany captain has had a very successful career for both club and country. He has won 10 Bundesliga titles, two Champions Leagues, and the World Cup, among many other individual awards.

19. Rafael Leao

19. Rafael Leao

Leao was involved in no less than 19 goals during AC Milan’s scudetto-winning season in 2021/22. He is an all-around offensive threat who has become one of the most sought-after players in Europe.

Mbappe, a Portuguese player, was named Serie A’s Most Valuable Player last season for his goals and creativity. The 23-year-old also tied for 14th place in the Ballon d’Or rankings (six places ahead of legendary compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo).

Milan manager Stefano Pioli compared Leao to Thierry Henry because of how fast he is and how well he can dribble. This makes him a very exciting player to watch, and he’s just getting started.

18. Joshua Kimmich

18. Joshua Kimmich
Joshua Kimmich.

When you think of Kimmich, one of the first words that comes to mind is “versatile.” This is because he can switch between different midfield roles and right back without missing a beat.

Even though a lot of players are flexible, not many use their flexibility as well as the man who has been one of the most important players for Bayern Munich and Germany for the past five years or so.

Pep Guardiola, who used to be Kimmich’s coach at Bayern, said that he “has everything a player needs,” including some great goals. He is, in short, one of the best midfielders in the world.

17. Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois.

Thibaut Courtois has played 12 games as a goalkeeper in the La Liga 2022/2023 season. He has given up 14 goals and kept one clean sheet. That means that every 77 minutes, his team gives up a goal when Courtois is in goal. The number of goals Thibaut Courtois lets in every 90 minutes is 1.17.

16. Bernardo Silva

16. Bernardo Silva
Bernardo Silva

Last season, City’s midfield ace was a big reason why they won the Premier League title. He scored eight goals and set up four others as Pep Guardiola’s team beat Liverpool by one point.

Silva scored one goal and set up another in their two-leg Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid, but that wasn’t enough to stop the eventual winners from moving on.

Silva showed his intelligence and versatility on the field by playing in different positions in midfield and attack. He was named to the PFA Team of the Year and has already set up five goals and scored twice in the Premier League this season, which is more than he did all of last year.

15. Virgil van Dijk

15. Virgil van Dijk

Like many of his Liverpool teammates, Van Dijk has had a rough start to the season, but he is still one of the best at his position in the world.

Last season, the center-back was the key to Liverpool’s success on all four fronts. He played 51 times in all competitions and was named to the PFA Team of the Year and the Champions League Team of the Season as the Reds won every competition they entered.

Van Dijk won the League Cup and the FA Cup at the end of the season, but Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid and finished second in the Premier League, one point behind Man City.

14. David Alaba

David Alaba plays defence for Bayern Munich, which is a German football team. He is the 9th best player on his team right now, and is one of the players who has been on the first team the longest. He was born in a small town in Austria called Bogen on November 3, 1994. He was named after David Alaba Sr., who as a young man drove a truck and did manual labour before becoming an entrepreneur and software developer in the late 1980s. After playing for SV Bogen, he joined Bayern Munich when he was 6 years old. He played for their youth teams until 2014, when Pep Guardiola put him on the first team. Alaba has played for Austria at every level, from the U-15s to the U-20s.

David Alaba is a versatile defender who can play in a number of different defensive positions. His strength is his speed and his ability to beat attackers in air battles.

13. Luka Modric

13. Luka Modric

So accurate and reliable is Modric’s passing, so the story goes, that airports have tried to hire him as radar. But the best football player Croatia has ever had is so much more than that.

The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner is like Pirlo in the middle of the field, and he never looks the least bit nervous when he has the ball, which he keeps and moves with metronomic consistency.

At 37, Modric is still a key player for Real Madrid and Croatia. He has won the Champions League five times and won the Golden Ball after leading his country (for which he has a record number of caps) to their first-ever World Cup final in 2018.

12. Alisson

12. Alisson

Alisson is the best goalkeeper in the world right now, according to FFT. The number one for Liverpool and Brazil is great at everything you’d want a guard to be good at in the 21st century.

The 30-year-old is as calm as a cucumber under pressure. He is the master of the one-on-one and has always made enough worldie saves to fill multiple YouTube compilations with questionable music.

And then there’s how he passes the ball. We could give a lot of examples, but Mo Salah’s winning goal against Manchester City earlier this season, which Alisson set up, is a great example of how good he is with the ball at his feet.

11. Sadio Mane

11. Sadio Mane
.

Since Mane left in the summer, Liverpool has been having a hard time, and it’s not a coincidence. During his six years at Anfield, the Senegalese speed demon set the bar for how crazy and intense forward play should be.

But Liverpool’s loss has been Bayern Munich’s gain: the 2018–19 Premier League Golden Boot winner has kept scoring goals under Julian Nagelsmann, another coach who loves gegenpressing.

Mane has had a great year as a whole. He scored the winning penalty in the shootout against Egypt in the final, which helped Senegal win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time.

10. Vinicius Junior

10. Vinicius Junior
Vinicius Junior.

Real Madrid’s Brazilian star had a breakout season in 2021–22. He was a key part of the team’s incredible run to win both the Champions League and La Liga.

Last season, the 22-year-old scored 22 goals in all competitions, but his close-range goal against Liverpool in the Champions League final was his best.

He was named the young player of the season for the tournament, and his good play got him into the Brazil team. He will be part of Tite’s attack in Qatar, which is full of stars.

9. Harry Kane

9. Harry Kane

The drama with Man City over Kane’s transfer last summer seems like a long time ago now. In 2021/22, Kane put the past behind him by scoring 27 goals in all competitions and helping Spurs qualify for the Champions League.

The England captain’s relationship with Son Heung-min kept getting stronger. When Kane set up Son’s goal against Leeds in February, it was the 37th time they had worked together, making them the most productive pair in the history of the Premier League.

The 29-year-old has been a reliable threat for Antonio Conte this season. He has already scored 11 goals in the league, which is second only to Erling Haaland. With his goal against Wolves in August, Kane became the player with the most goals (185) for a single club in the Premier League.

8. Mohamed Salah

Number 08, Mohamed Salah.

Okay, we’ll say it: Salah’s season so far hasn’t been anything to write home about. The Egyptian winger is one of a few Reds players who have been struggling with their form, but his year as a whole has been very good.

Salah led Egypt to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations at the beginning of the year, but Senegal, led by Sadio Mane, beat them on penalties. Senegal did the same thing in the World Cup play-off the next month.

The 30-year-old came back from the disappointment to win his third Premier League golden boot. He shared it with Tottenham’s Heung-min Son, who also scored 23 goals, because they both had the same number of goals.

Salah also had the most assists in the league with 13. Since signing a new three-year contract with Liverpool in the summer, he has scored 14 goals in 20 games, including a hat-trick against Rangers in the Champions League that took only six minutes.

7. Neymar

Numberr 07, Neymar.

Neymar is a player who is known for his creativity, ability to dribble, and ability to shoot. This season, Neymar has also shown that he can be helpful by giving out an average of 12 assists.

Neymar has also had 12 assists in club competitions this season. He has played 2239 minutes, and 18 of those games have been in the first line. In club games, Neymar takes about 0.75 shots on goal per game. Last season, he scored 15 goals in 33 club games, for an average of 0.45 goals per game.

6. Robert Lewandowski

Number 06, Robert Lewandowski

At Barcelona, things are hard, but not for Lewa. The Polish striker has made the move from the Bundesliga to La Liga look easy, and he has helped Catalonia feel better during a tough time.

Lewandowski scored an incredible 50 goals in all competitions for Bayern last season. He won the Bundesliga top scorer award for the fifth year in a row and the European Golden Shoe for the second year in a row. He also helped the German giants win the title.

He moved to Barcelona in the summer, and even though he couldn’t keep them from getting knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage, the Pole has started the season with 18 goals in 18 games, which is a stunning performance.

5. Lionel Messi

Number 05, Lionel Messi

Messi set ridiculously high standards at Barcelona, so his first season with PSG was a bit of a letdown.

Even so, the legend from Argentina still had a disappointing year: He won the Ligue 1 championship, scored 11 goals and had 15 assists, and led his country to a perfect record in World Cup qualifying while he was captain. Not bad at all.

Messi has been back to something close to his best this season in Paris. He has already scored more goals (12) than he did all of last season, and he only needs one more assist to match his total from last year. The 35-year-old is in scary-good shape just in time for the World Cup 2022.

4. Kylian Mbappe

Number 04, Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe’s rapid rise to become the best player in the world continued in 2022, when he was still only 23 (!). He scored more goals, won more trophies, and had more jaw-dropping moments for the highlight reel.

He finished the 2021–22 season as Ligue 1’s top scorer for the fourth time, with 28 goals, after a back-and-forth with Real Madrid over a transfer. In the end, Mbappe signed a lucrative new deal with PSG, ending the transfer saga.

Since then, there have been rumours about his happiness and future in Paris, but it hasn’t hurt his performance. The France striker has already scored 18 goals this season, including seven in six Champions’ League group games. He also has four goals in his last six games for Les Bleus.

3. Kevin De Bruyne

Number 03, Kevin De Bruyne

Regular viewers of the Premier League almost take De Bruyne’s consistent high level of play for granted at this point, but the Belgian is anything but normal in the way he makes things happen.

Last season, the playmaker was named the Premier League player of the year after scoring 19 goals and setting up 14 more. So far this season, he has scored three goals and set up 13 more in all competitions.

In May, when the Belgian star scored four goals in 24 minutes against Wolves, including a hat-trick with his “weaker” left foot, the rest of the football world stopped to admire his skill.

2. Karim Benzema

Number 02, Karim Benzema

Benzema’s incredible play for Real Madrid in the second half of last season earned him the Ballon d’Or. He is the oldest winner of the award since Stanley Matthews in 1954.

The striker has gotten better with age, like a fine French wine, and his amazing performances in Europe helped Real Madrid win yet another Champions League title.

He scored a hat-trick in 17 minutes against PSG, another hat-trick against Chelsea, the game-winning goal in extra time in the second leg with Chelsea, and a goal in the amazing comeback against Manchester City on the way to the top prize and La Liga’s top scorer title for the first time.

1. Erling Haaland

Number 01, Erling Haaland

How to begin? He’s the hardest striker to stop in years.

Even though Haaland had a quiet end to last season at Dortmund, he has more than made up for it with his huge impact at Manchester City.

The first player in the history of the Premier League to score hat-tricks in three straight home games. The first player in Champions League history to score 25 goals in his first 20 games.

At the time this was written, Pep Guardiola’s team had scored 23 goals in 17 games, and Norway had scored six goals in six Nations League games. Haaland isn’t a football player; he’s a natural force, and no one knows how to stop him.

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