- Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar Jr all make the top 10 in this list of the most dominant soccer players in world football.
- The ranking considers recent form from six of the sport’s biggest leagues, including the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and MLS.
- Keep scrolling to find out who the current number one player in world soccer is.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar Jr have all begun the 2018-2019 world soccer season in fine fashion, but who has performed the best?
Business Insider studied data from soccer statistics website Whoscored.com to deliver a power ranking of the most dominant 27 players in the sport right now.
Whoscored.com configures its player rankings based on position-specific metrics that include blocks, interceptions, and tackles for defenders, total passes and pass completion for midfielders, and goal creation, shots on goal, and goals for attackers. With this in mind, each athlete in this ranking has been given a score for form, with the 27th best player averaging 7.46/10.
The ranking only considers recent performances, and therefore credits a consistent ability to continually dominate regardless of which league the player competes in.
Who are the most dominant footballers in world soccer right now? Keep scrolling to find out – and check back to see how the ranking changes.
=T26: DC United striker Wayne Rooney — 7.46.
Who is he: He’s Wayne Rooney, how could you forget his name?
Why is he here: Rooney swapped life at Everton FC for a career swansong in the MLS and single-handedly rescued DC United from the bottom of the league into the playoffs. His impact cannot be underestimated.
=T26: Atlanta United striker Josef Martínez — 7.46.
Who is he: Josef Martínez is a Venezuelan goal machine.
Why is he here: Martínez is the only player in the entire MLS to have outscored Zlatan Ibrahimović this season, and he did so with ease, breaking the MLS scoring record. Martínez has scored 33 goals in total, with five assists to boot, and will likely be Atlanta United’s key man in the team’s quest for the MLS Cup.
=T24: FC Barcelona and Uruguay striker Luis Suárez — 7.47.
Who is he: A tenacious striker, Luis Suárez is the type of player who will not rest until he’s scored a goal by nutmegging the keeper.
Why is he here: Suárez is the best FC Barcelona forward not named Lionel Messi. He already has nine goals and four assists from 11 starts (that’s a goal scored or created every 77 minutes), and his best game of the season was his remarkable three-goal display in the 5-1 battering of Real Madrid in October’s El Clásico.
=T24: Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Harry Kane — 7.47.
Who is he: Harry Kane is one of the best captains in world soccer. He is calm under pressure, but unleashes a torrent of passion when he scores. And he scores a lot.
Why is he here: An expert finisher, Kane began the season slowly – perhaps because of 2018 FIFA World Cup burnout – but continues to be Tottenham Hotspur’s most reliable asset. In the UEFA Champions League, he has scored four times including both goals in a crucial 2-1 win over PSV Eindhoven on November 6.
23: FC Barcelona and Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho — 7.48.
Who is he: He is the classic Brazilian “number 10” – the creator, and scorer, of crucial goals.
Why is he here: Philippe Coutinho is a player for the big occasion, particularly in the UEFA Champions League. His role in the 1-1 draw at Inter on November 6 was remarkable because he battered the Inter goal with eight shots, and provided the crucial assist that meant his team left Milan with a European point.
=T21: AS Roma and Bosnia striker Edin Džeko — 7.5.
Who is he: Edin Džeko is a striker with a commanding presence in the penalty box thanks to his 6-foot-4 frame, his strength, and his aerial ability.
Why is he here: Džeko may have only scored twice in the current Serie A campaign, but the 32-year-old has been unstoppable for AS Roma in the Champions League (scoring five goals from four games) and for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League B (scoring three goals from four games).
=T21: Olympique Lyonnais and Netherlands forward Memphis Depay — 7.5.
Who is he: Memphis Depay is a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque player who flopped at Manchester United, but has rebuilt his career – in style – at Lyon.
Why is he here: With five goals and five assists from 10 starts in Ligue 1 this season, there are few players outside of Paris Saint-Germain who have been on as good a run as Depay. He was responsible for all four goals in his team’s 4-2 win at Guingamp on November 10 and Whoscored.com graded his performance a perfect 10.
=T19: Saint-Etienne defender Mathieu Debuchy — 7.53.
Who is he: Mathieu Debuchy is a Saint-Etienne right back who has had an incredible start to the current season, after underwhelming at Arsenal FC.
Why is he here: Debuchy has shown a natural ability to interrupt oppostion attacks in Ligue 1 this season. His tackling, intercepting, and blocking has been on point, and he has also chipped in with two goals and two assists.
=T19: Toronto FC forward Sebastian Giovinco — 7.53.
Who is he: Sebastian Giovinco is a quick dribbler with great ball skills.
Why is he here: Giovinco has been the MVP at Toronto FC for many a season, and the 2018 campaign was no different as he netted 13 times, providing an additional seven assists in 26 starts.
18: Vancouver Whitecaps winger Alphonso Davies — 7.54
Who is he: Alphonso Davies is an 18-year-old wunderkind making a name for himself as the top talent at the Vancouver Whitecaps. He secured a record-breaking transfer to Bayern Munich earlier in the year, and will play for his new team after the winter break.
Why is he here: Davies is a promising player with an exciting future as he scored eight goals and provided nine assists from 27 starts in the MLS, despite playing most of the season as a 17-year-old. He is a boy amongst men, but has been holding his own.
17: Borussia Mönchengladbach and Belgium winger Thorgan Hazard — 7.57.
Who is he: Thorgan Hazard is the younger brother of Chelsea FC forward Eden Hazard, but is fast becoming a big-name player in his own right.
Why is he here: Hazard has proven to be an effective forward on the left or right side of the central striker at Borussia Mönchengladbach, scoring seven goals and providing four assists in 11 Bundesliga starts. He is an effective crosser of the football, can play an excellent defence-splitting through ball, and often makes a game-changing play.
16: AC Milan and Spain forward Suso — 7.58.
Who is he: Suso is a heavily-tattooed Spaniard who used his heartbreak over struggling at Liverpool FC to become a runaway success at AC Milan.
Why is he here: Suso is Milan’s most effective player in Serie A, contributing four goals and eight assists to his team’s cause in the Italian league.
15: Paris Saint-Germain and Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani — 7.59.
Who is he: Edinson Cavani is the unsung hero in an awe-inspiring three-pronged attack at Paris Saint-Germain, playing alongside Kylian Mbappé and Neymar Jr.
Why is he here: Because he scores goals, what else? Cavani has scored eight Ligue 1 goals for PSG so far this season, including a superb hat-trick in his team’s tonking 4-0 rout over AS Monaco on November 11.
14: Lille and Ivory Coast forward Nicolas Pépé — 7.6.
Who is he: Nicolas Pépé is a prolific winger who has been lighting up Ligue 1 of late.
Why is he here: Pépé has scored eight goals and created five assists for Lille so far this season. His rise to prominence in France’s top division has attracted the attention of Arsenal FC and Bayern Munich, so he could be set for a mid-season transfer.
13: Eintracht Frankfurt forward Sébastien Haller — 7.61.
Who is he: Sébastien Haller is a goal-scoring forward who has come of age in Germany’s Bundesliga.
Why is he here: Haller had been a player reliable for scoring one goal every two games in the three seasons leading up to the 2018-2019 campaign, but he has improved his hit rate dramatically and is currently the joint second top scorer in the entire Bundesliga with eight goals and five assists for Frankfurt.
12: Manchester City and Spain midfielder David Silva — 7.66.
Who is he: David Silva is the man who made goal creation an art-form at the reigning Premier League champion Manchester City.
Why is he here: Silva rises to the biggest of occasions and even though he is a majestic player with the ball at his feet in the Premier League, he is equally as devastating in the UEFA Champions League, where he already has three goals from four appearances so far this season.
=T9: Montreal Impact winger Ignacio Piatti — 7.7.
Who is he: Ignacio Piatti is one of the most gifted dribblers in the entire MLS.
Why is he here: Piatti has been Montreal Impact’s best player throughout the MLS season, tallying 11 assists and scoring 16 goals.
=T9: Seattle Sounders and Uruguay midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro — 7.7.
Who is he: Nicolás Lodeiro is a pass master who can ping balls to teammates from all angles for fun.
Why is he here: Lodeiro averaged 68 passes per game, produced 102 clear-cut goalscoring opportunities, provided 12 assists, and scored nine goals in the MLS this year. Lodeiro, the architect for many Seattle Sounders attacks, is his team’s best player – and one of the most dominant performers in the United States.
=T9: Paris Saint-Germain and France forward Kylian Mbappé — 7.7.
Who is he: Kylian Mbappé is an electric-paced forward who has created a buzz in world soccer because of his extraordinary talent, at what is still a young age.
Why is he here: Mbappé is bamboozling opponents in Ligue 1 as the 19-year-old has been responsible for creating or scoring one goal for every 46 minutes he has been on the pitch so far this season. He is already one of the biggest stars in the sport, and is years removed from his prime age as a soccer player.
=T7: Nimes midfielder Téji Savanier — 7.71.
Who is he: Téji Savanier, 26, is a set-piece specialist in the heart of the Nimes midfield.
Why is he here: Savanier had been unheralded in France’s second division before the 2018-2019 season. But after promotion into Ligue 1, he’s playing like he’s been at that level all his life.
=T7: Los Angeles FC and Mexico midfielder Carlos Vela — 7.71.
Who is he: Carlos Vela is a creative forward who has made an instant impact since joining Los Angeles FC in 2018.
Why is he here: Vela provided an assist in his very first match for LA FC in March, scored his first goal a week later, and became the first goalscorer in the very first “El Tráfico” derby against local rivals LA Galaxy. One of the best players competing in the USA, Vela was named in the MLS Best XI of 2018 this month.
6: Juventus FC and Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo — 7.73.
Who is he: One of the biggest names in the sport’s history, Cristiano Ronaldo – a human highlight-reel – is still going strong, aged 33.
Why is he here: The soccer veteran left Real Madrid in a shock summer transfer to join Serie A team Juventus FC in Italy. He struggled at the start of the season but has scored five goals and added one assist in his last five outings in the Italian division.
5: Atlanta United and Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almirón — 7.75.
Who is he: Miguel Almirón’s performances in Atlanta United’s midfield have been so impressive that he has become a transfer target for Premier League team Arsenal FC,according to Sky Sports.
Why is he here: Almirón, 25, has consistently been excellent in the MLS with 13 goals and 11 assists from a number of positions in midfield and attack. With Almirón in the team, Atlanta United has a strong chance for MLS Cup success.
4: LA Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimović — 7.84.
Who is he: He is Zlatan.
Why is he here: Ibrahimović has struck 22 times in 24 starts in the MLS, for the LA Galaxy. And some of those goals have been thumped in with as much power as a concussive karate kick. Kaboom.
3: Chelsea and Belgium forward Eden Hazard — 7.84.
Who is he: Eden Hazard has been Chelsea’s main man for six years, is the Premier League’s best player, and if his 2018 FIFA World Cup performances for Belgium are anything to go by, is an attacker who is only getting better with age.
Why is he here: The 27-year-old was one of the best players at the World Cup and maintained that elite form as the club season kicked off. Hazard has scored or created one goal for every 71 minutes he has been on a Premier League pitch this season. Impressive.
2: Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar Jr. — 8.42.
Who is he: Neymar is one of soccer’s most polarising characters. Global audiences can often be left captivated when he performs on the grandest of stages, but his tendancy to dive has riled many people – including a British politician, who called him a “clown” in the summer.
Why is he here: Neymar is responsible for scoring or creating a goal once for every 65 minutes he has been on the pitch in Ligue 1, and he is just as prolific in the UEFA Champions League – a competition he will be hoping to win this season with PSG.
1: FC Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi — 8.52.
Who is he: Lionel Messi plays soccer like he has the ball glued to his boots. He perfected the art of dribbling at pace to beguile his opponents before scoring with grace. Messi is a class act.
Why is he here: It may seem hard to trump nine goals and five assists from 10 appearances in Spain’s La Liga, but the 31-year-old has dominated in the UEFA Champions League with back-to-back 10/10 performances ranked by Whoscored.com. Messi is, like he tends to always be, unstoppable.
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