The top 25 players of 2019 have been ranked with the Ballon d'Or ceremony on the horizon

Aston Villa v Liverpool FC - Premier League

Goal.com has released their annual ranking of the top 25 players in 2019 and it makes for fascinating reading.


According to their website, the list is compiled using the following criteria:

"Chief editors and correspondents from Goal's 42 editions around the world cast their votes based on each candidate's consistency, big-game performances, footballing legacy and success at club and international level."

Virgil van Dijk and Lionel Messi have been going toe-to-toe for individual honours this season with Van Dijk winning the UEFA Player of the Year and Messi claiming FIFA's The Best award.

However, the biggest prize of them all - the Ballon d'Or - is yet to be decided and, while Goal's rankings have no bearing on that contest, they do suggest we could be in for an upset.


Many believe that Messi is a shoo-in for his sixth golden ball but the Argentinean might just be pipped to the post by Liverpool's towering defender.

In fact, Van Dijk was named above Messi in the Goal rankings and will be quietly confident of hearing his name ring out when they announce the winner of football's biggest individual prize in December.

Below is Goal.com's top 25:

25. Luis Suarez
24. Marco Reus
23. Andy Robertson
22. Dusan Tadic
21. Harry Kane 
20. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
19. Antoine Griezmann
18. Jadon Sancho 
17. Roberto Firmino
16. Robert Lewandowski
15. Trent Alexander-Arnold
14. Son-Heung Min
13. Sergio Aguero
12. Matthijs De Ligt
11. Eden Hazard

10. Kylian Mbappe 

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The French superstar really does have the world at his feet at the moment. It is perhaps a little surprising to see him ranked as low as 10th but you can be sure he will be up there challenging for the top spot for years to come.

9. Bernardo Silva 

Surely one of the most underrated players on the planet, Bernardo deserves to be much higher in this list. The Portuguese midfielder enjoyed a stellar 2019, winning 4 major trophies for club and country.

8. Frenkie De Jong

A breakthrough year for the Dutch midfield maestro, De Jong played a massive role in Ajax's incredible march to the Champions League semi-finals. He sealed a dream move to Barcelona in the summer where he is settling in well.

7. Alisson Becker

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

Alisson Becker's 2019 was simply ridiculous. He won the Premier League Golden Glove, the Champions League, and the Copa America. He even forced his way into the Ballon d'Or conversation which, for a goalkeeper, is an incredible achievement.

6. Raheem Sterling 

The England flyer has really come into his own of late and has been simply sublime under the tutelage of Pep Guardiola. A few more seasons at this level and he could be a genuine contender for the games biggest prizes.

5. Sadio Mane

Mane has been nothing short of talismanic for Liverpool in 2019. The Senegalese winger has been in the form of his life and is fully deserving of his place in the top five.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Fourth place is not something Cristiano Ronaldo will be terribly used to. It's not like he has had a bad year, it's just that the top three have been unstoppable. 

3. Mohamed Salah

Salah has often received criticism of late for his failure to recreate that sublime first season in a Liverpool shirt. However, all the stats and signs suggest that this is Salah's best year yet and a place amongst the best three players in the world is more than justified.

2. Lionel Messi

Messi has had one of the best years of his life but you simply can't ignore the fact that he has only won one major trophy. His failure with Argentina in the Copa America is another telling factor behind his second-place finish.

1. Virgil van Dijk

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

The Dutch powerhouse has revolutionised Liverpool since signing for the club in the final days of 2017.

He helped the Reds keep a clean sheet in the Champions League final while captaining the Dutch to the final of the UEFA Nations League. 

No attacker was able to dribble past him in a staggering 50 game stretch while he contributed severable valuable goals from set-pieces throughout the year.

Will it be enough to help him pip Messi to the Ballon d'Or on December 2nd? Only time will tell.

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