Messi, Ronaldo and Lewandowski: Who is the best player in world right now?


Who is the best player in the world right now?

For more than a decade, that answer has either been Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

Since 2008, the two superstars have shared 11 of the last 12 Ballon d’Or awards with only Luka Modric breaking up the duopoly in 2018.

Even as Messi and Ronaldo reach the twilight of their career, they’re still considered the two best layers in world football.

While it’s quite difficult to judge how players are performing in different leagues around the world, Football Critic have come up with an algorithm to determine the most in-form player.

In fact, they compile a top 50 which is updated every Monday.

To calculate, they take a combination of:

  • Match ratings - an average of a player’s last 1800 minutes in competitive matches
  • Competition weighting - A bonus based on the quality of the competition
  • Performance bonus - An additional bonus based on the consistency of the player’s performance over the last 1800 minutes

So, are the 50 best players in the world right now?


Diogo Jota is hanging onto a place in the top 50 - although the Liverpool forward hasn’t played since the start of December due to a knee injury. It’s perhaps surprising to see Kevin De Bruyne down in 46th place, while teammate Phil Foden will surely rise up the leaderboard following his match-winning performance against Brighton on Wednesday.



Three Barcelona players feature with Ronald Koeman’s side starting to find form. Frankie de Jong may rise a few players after he scored against during their Spanish Super Cup clash against Real Sociedad. Chelsea centre-backs Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma are probably on their way down with the Blues having won once in their last six Premier League matches.



Bruno Fernandes finds himself down in 29th - something Manchester United fans certainly won’t agree with. Former Man Utd and Arsenal flop Henrikh Mkhitaryan is impressing for Roma this season, while 31-year-old pair Jordi Alba and Thomas Muller are still going strong for Barcelona and Bayern Munich respectively.



Talking of older players still going strong… Lars Stindl (32), Sergio Ramos (34), Karim Benzema (33), Mats Hummels (13) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (39) all make the top 20 thanks to their performances of late.



The 10 best players in the world right now…

As expected, it’s full of superstars but there are two surprise names in there. Iago Aspas (8th) was something of a laughing stock at Liverpool but he’s a hero at Celta Vigo. Then there’s Jack Grealish, who has been sensational for Aston Villa this season. He’s currently ranked as the 6th best player in the world above £108m-rated Mohamed Salah.

Only Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi are in better form than Grealish right now.

Messi claims top spot with four goals in his last two appearances, putting his slow start to the campaign well and truly behind him.

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