Top 100 footballers of 2019 have been ranked in order

Liverpool FC v RB Salzburg: Group E - UEFA Champions League

It’s been another eventful calendar year in the world of football.

We saw Manchester City and Liverpool’s title battle go right to the wire in the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp’s side beat Tottenham to win the Champions League, Brazil win the Copa America, Portugal lift the inaugural Nations League trophy, some shock managerial appointments (including Jose Mourinho replacing Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs) and so much more.

But who have been the best-performing players in the world over the course of 2019?

Well, the Guardian have published their top 100 in full after asking 239 judges from 63 countries to choose 40 names each from a longest of more than 300 players.

The No. 1 choice of each judge was awarded 40 points, No. 2 given 39 points, down to one point for their No. 40 choice. These votes were then added together to give a raw score and provide us with a top 100.

Let’s take a look…

100-80

100. Philippe Coutinho | Bayern Munich

99. Alexandre Lacazette | Arsenal

98. Samir Handanovic | Inter Milan

97. Santi Cazorla | Villarreal

96. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Unattached

Portland Timbers v Los Angeles Galaxy

95. Idrissa Gueye | Paris Saint-Germain

94. Fabio Quagliarella | Sampdoria

93. David de Gea | Manchester United

92. Everton | Gremio

91. Leroy Sane | Manchester City

90. Achraf Hakimi | Borussia Dortmund

89. Dele Alli | Tottenham

88. Hugo Lloris | Tottenham

87. Tammy Abraham | Chelsea

Chelsea FC v Lille OSC: Group H - UEFA Champions League

86. Kai Havertz | Bayer Leverkusen

85. Diego Godin | Inter Milan

84. Teemu Pukki | Norwich City

83. Jose Maria Gimenez | Atletico Madrid

82. Gerard Pique | Barcelona

81. Marco Verratti | Paris Saint-Germain

80. Marco Reus | Borussia Dortmund

Philippe Coutinho is rather fortunate to sneak into the top 100, although his form *has* picked up dramatically since joining Bayern on loan in the summer. He also won the Copa America.

Tammy Abraham is at 87 after enjoying a brilliant start to the current campaign with Chelsea, while Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki is three places higher after scoring goals consistently in both the Championship and the Premier League.

David de Gea at 93 - above Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who was fantastic at LA Galaxy last season - is a little generous.

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79-60

79. Sergio Busquets | Barcelona

78. Dries Mertens | Napoli

77. Arthur | Barcelona

76. Memphis Depay | Lyon

75. Gabriel Jesus | Manchester City

74. Jordan Henderson | Liverpool

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

73. Raphael Varane | Real Madrid

72. Marcus Rashford | Manchester United

71. Marquinhos | Paris Saint-Germain

70. Giorgio Chiellini | Juventus

69. Bruno Fernandes | Sporting

68. Thiago Silva | Paris Saint-Germain

67. Lucas Moura | Tottenham

Ajax v Tottenham Hotspur - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

66. Bruno Henrique | Flamengo

65. Jordi Alba | Barcelona

64. Duvan Zapata | Atalanta

63. Ciro Immobile | Lazio

62. Jorginho | Chelsea

61. Casemiro | Real Madrid

Jordan Henderson led by example as Liverpool won the Champions League last season, so the Reds’ captain can feel a little hard done by to see himself in 74th place behind the likes of Marcus Rashford and Marquinhos.

Jorginho, on the other hand, is surprisingly high up in 62nd position.

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60 - 40

60. Mauro Icardi | Paris Saint-Germain

59. Timo Werner | RB Leipzig

58. Fernandinho | Manchester City

57. Dani Alves | Sao Paulo FC

56. Edinson Cavani | Paris Saint-Germain

55. Paul Pogba | Manchester United

54. Aymeric Laporte | Manchester City

53. Erling Haaland | RB Salzburg

SSC Napoli v RB Salzburg: Group E - UEFA Champions League

52. Gabriel Barbosa | Flamengo

51. Romelu Lukaku | Inter Milan

50. Miralem Pjanic | Juventus

49. Riyad Mahrez | Manchester City

48. Jamie Vardy | Leicester City

47. Lautaro Martinez | Inter Milan

46. David Silva | Manchester City

45. Luka Modric | Real Madrid

44. Toni Kroos | Real Madrid

43. Georginio Wijnaldum | Liverpool

Liverpool v Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Semi Final: Second Leg

42. Paulo Dybala | Juventus

41. Christian Eriksen | Tottenham

We all love Dani Alves - but the 57th best player in the world for 2019? We’re not having that.

Paul Pogba in 55th position also feels overly generous, while his former Manchester United teammate Romelu Lukaku has done extremely well to finish another four places higher than that.

Luka Modric has been a brilliant footballer but he hasn’t enjoyed his best calendar year after winning the Ballon d’Or. He probably shouldn’t be in the top 50.

Leicester City’s prolific forward Jamie Vardy, though, should be even higher than 48th in this list, for our money.

Leicester City v Norwich City - Premier League

40 - 20

40. Ederson | Manchester City

39. Angel Di Maria | Paris Saint-Germain

38. Serge Gnabry | Bayern Munich

37. Joshua Kimmich | Bayern Munich

36. Sergio Ramos | Real Madrid

35. Joao Felix | Atletico Madrid

34. Fabinho | Liverpool

Liverpool FC v Leicester City - Premier League

33. Donny van der Beek | Ajax

32. Jadon Sancho | Borussia Dortmund

31. Neymar | Paris Saint-Germain

30. Kalidou Koulibaly | Napoli

29. Hakim Ziyech | Ajax

28. Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang | Arsenal

27. Dusan Tadic | Ajax

26. Luis Suarez | Barcelona

25. Antoine Griezmann | Barcelona

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24. Jan Oblak | Atletico Madrid

23. Andrew Robertson | Liverpool

22. N'Golo Kante | Chelsea

21. Marc-Andre ter Stegen | Barcelona

Just outside the top 20, we have the likes of Donny van der Beek, Dusan Tadic and Jan Oblak, who all deserve to be in their respective positions.

Joao Felix hasn’t set La Liga alight following his big-money move from Benfica, so 35th feels a little bit high.

On the other hand, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are all unfortunate to miss out on the top 20 because they’ve been brilliant in 2019.

Liverpool FC v Watford FC - Premier League

20 - 11

20. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid

19. Son Heung-min | Tottenham

18. Matthijs de Ligt | Juventus

Juventus v SPAL - Serie A

17. Trent Alexander-Arnold | Liverpool

16. Bernardo Silva | Manchester City

15. Harry Kane | Tottenham

14. Eden Hazard | Real Madrid

13. Sergio Aguero | Manchester City

12. Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

11. Roberto Firmino | Liverpool

You could argue that these players should be in a slightly different order - Trent Alexander-Arnold higher up the list, for example - but on the whole it seems pretty accurate.

Crystal Palace v Liverpool FC - Premier League

10-1

10. Frenkie de Jong | Barcelona

9. Alisson | Liverpool

8. Raheem Sterling | Manchester City

Manchester City v Aston Villa - Premier League

7. Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich

6. Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain

5. Mo Salah | Liverpool

4. Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus

3. Sadio Mane | Liverpool

2. Virgil van Dijk | Liverpool

1. Lionel Messi | Barcelona

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

So, in first place it’s the recently-crowned Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, followed by Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane.

Cristiano Ronaldo finishes outside the top three and, in our view, that’s only fair. Remember: fourth place means the Portuguese forward has still been excellent in 2019.

UC Sampdoria v Juventus - Serie A

It’s easy to think that Kylian Mbappe is a little high up in sixth position - but then you look at his goalscoring record (17 goals in 17 games this season, and 39 in 43 matches the season beforehand) and it’s tough to say he doesn’t deserve to be there.

Messi, though, is a worthy winner. Barcelona’s legendary forward continues to produce magic on a weekly basis and hopefully he’ll continue to do the same in 2020.

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