Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Mo Salah: Who has been the best footballer in 2020?


It's probably a stretch to say anyone has enjoyed 2020, but Cristiano Ronaldo has been in sensational form for Juventus. 

The Portuguese has already scored 40 goals in all competitions since the turn of the year, and that's just for the Bianconeri. 

Age really is just a number for the 35-year-old who is now joint top-scorer (10) in Serie A this season, a position which curiously, he shares with another veteran striker in AC Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 

FIFA have clearly been impressed as the Juventus superstar is up for their annual 'Best Men's Player' award alongside Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski.

To be frank, Ronaldo's goal tally speaks for itself when ranking him among the best performers of 2020, but a Carteret Analytics study, brought to our attention by The Sun, would suggest differently. 

They have broken down the 15 players who have performed best this calendar year and crucially, they look at "how each player in world football has helped their team win matches". Ronaldo has failed to make the top 10, but he does rank 11th. 

But before we get into baseless allegations of selfishness, Ronaldo may have fewer assists at Juventus, but that's partly because his teammates often fail to get on the end of his crosses. 

At any rate, let's take a look at the top 15. 

15. Paulo Dybala (Juventus) 

14. Neymar (PSG)

13. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich) 

12. Thiago Alcantara (Liverpool) 

11. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) 

10. Timo Werner (Chelsea) 


9. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

8. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 

7. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) 


6. Mo Salah (Liverpool) 

5. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) 

4. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) 


3. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) 

2. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) 

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)


If there's one man who will be grinning from ear to ear at that list (aside from Messi himself), it'll be Jurgen Klopp. 

Liverpool have no fewer than four players feature in the list, Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk being rewarded for their title-winning campaign. Midfielder Thiago Alcantara has also made the shortlist after lifting an extraordinary treble with Bayern Munich. 

It's no surprise to see Tottenham striker Harry Kane so high up, either. This season, Kane has arguably been the standout player in English football and has provided 12 assists in addition to his 10 goals. 

It makes for fascinating reading, even if Ronaldo can feel himself hard-done-by. 

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