The best player in the world right now is…?
Lionel Messi? Cristiano Ronaldo? Robert Lewandowski?
In a normal world, it’s Lewandowski who would be getting ready to collect the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
The Bayern Munich striker was far and away the best player in 2019/20, netting 55 goals in just 47 appearances in all competitions and firing the German club to a treble.
He’s picked up where he left off last season with 13 goals to his name already in 2020/21.
Messi and Ronaldo may have been knocked off their perch but they’re continuing to play at an elite level.
But it wasn’t a surprise that Lewandowski came out on top in Goal’s annual list of the best players in world football right now.
Their editors and correspondents crowned the Polish striker the No.1 player in the game, with Kevin De Bruyne in second and Messi in third.
Fans vote for the world's best player
Goal also carried out a fan vote, with 26,000 fans from 176 different countries taking part in an online poll to crown the ‘people’s champion’.
Here’s how the top 10 looked.
10. Peter Gulacsi | RB Leipzig
Gulacsi was included as an option fans could vote for, and Goal’s Hungarian audience clearly came out in force to get the RB Leipzig goalkeeper in the top 10.
9. Thiago Alcantara | Liverpool
Thiago was instrumental in Bayern Munich’s treble triumph and Liverpool got an incredible deal when they signed Thiago for just £20 million in the summer.
8. Manuel Neuer | Bayern Munich
After a disappointing 2018/19 - by his standards - Neuer bounced back last season with a fine year.
He had a save percentage of 74.8%, according to FBref.com, and made some great stops in the Champions League final win against Paris Saint-Germain.
7. Sadio Mane | Liverpool
Mane was electrifying last season, scoring 18 goals as Liverpool sealed their first title in 30 years.
He can now be considered a world-class player who is bound to add more trophies to his collection in the coming years.
6. Neymar | Paris Saint-Germain
The Brazilian forward came so close to achieving his goal of winning the Champions League without Messi.
Neymar had an injury-hit season but it was evident when he played that he remains a world-class talent.
5. Kylian Mbappe | Paris Saint-Germain
With 30 goals in 37 appearances, Mbappe reaffirmed his status as one of the brightest young talents in the world for PSG last season.
He couldn’t get it done in the Champions League final but it was still a great season for the 21-year-old, who can be considered a future Ballon d’Or winner.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo | Juventus
Ronaldo is 35 years old now but you wouldn’t know it.
He’s still prolific in front of goal, scoring 31 goals in 33 Serie A games for Juventus in 2019/20.
The Portuguese forward continues to defy father time.
3. Kevin De Bruyne | Manchester City
The best midfielder in the world.
De Bruyne’s performances for Man City in 2019/20, in which he tied Thierry Henry for most assists in a single Premier League season, were outstanding, marking him out as the most influential player in England’s top flight.
2. Lionel Messi | Barcelona
We might look back on these years of Messi’s career with a tinge of sadness.
The great Argentinian has been let down by Barcelona, who have invested poorly and failed to surround him with a supporting cast that can compete for the Champions League.
The 33-year-old tried his hardest to carry Barça to glory last season with 31 goals in all competitions.
It will be another challenging this season, but if anyone can do it then it’s Messi.
1. Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich
It was always going to take something special to knock Messi off his perch and Lewandowski has delivered over the past year.
His numbers since the start of last season have been utterly ridiculous; he deserved the Ballon d’Or this year, there’s no doubt about it.
Still, Lewandowski’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed and football fans around the world voted him the best player in the planet right now.
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