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.
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Let’s take a look…
100. Philippe Coutinho | Bayern Munich
99. Alexandre Lacazette | Arsenal
98. Samir Handanovic | Inter Milan
97. Santi Cazorla | Villarreal
96. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | Unattached
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
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.
79. Sergio Busquets | Barcelona
78. Dries Mertens | Napoli
77. Arthur | Barcelona
76. Memphis Depay | Lyon
75. Gabriel Jesus | Manchester City
74. Jordan Henderson | Liverpool
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
20 - 11
20. Karim Benzema | Real Madrid
19. Son Heung-min | Tottenham
18. Matthijs de Ligt | Juventus
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
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.
10. Frenkie de Jong | Barcelona
9. Alisson | Liverpool
8. Raheem Sterling | Manchester City
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
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.
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.News Now - Sport News