Mbappe, Messi or Ronaldo: Who is the best player in the world right now?

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Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick against Barcelona on Tuesday sparked a debate.

Is the Frenchman now the best player in the world?

We’ve had more than a decade arguing whether Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo was the best but now there’s a new kid on the block.

Let’s not get it twisted, Messi and Ronaldo are the two greatest players to have ever played the game. But as they enter their mid-thirties, they’re certainly not at the peak of their powers any longer.

So, has Mbappe passed them on their way down?

Well, we decided to rank some of the best players in the world right now from ’Trash’ to ‘Best in the world’.

We’re sure our choices won’t divide opinion or cause any outrage…

Trash

  • Gareth Bale
  • Eden Hazard
  • Willian
  • Harry Maguire
  • Donny van de Beek
  • Kepa Arrizabalaga

We’ll be honest, we feel bad for putting anyone in the ‘Trash’ category considering they’re all far better than we’ll ever be.

But Bale is wasting his career away on the bench at Tottenham, Hazard has struggled at Real Madrid, Willian has been awful at Arsenal, Maguire has often been caught out at Manchester United, Van de Beek isn’t getting a look in at Old Trafford and Kepa is just Kepa…

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Overrated

  • Paul Pogba
  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka
  • Nicolas Pepe
  • Frenkie de Jong
  • Gabriel Jesus
  • Kai Havertz
  • Ousmane Dembele
  • Anthony Martial
  • Thiago
  • Timo Werner
  • Kyle Walker
  • Vinicius Junior

We’re fully aware that this is going to upset plenty of people. Before we start explaining ourselves, we must say that calling these players ‘overrated’ it doesn’t mean they’re not good. They’re all fantastic players but perhaps people think they’re slightly better than they are.

Manchester United trio, Pogba, Wan-Bissaka and Martial all feature due to their inconsistencies.

The Premier League’s other inclusions are Pepe, Jesus, Havertz, Thiago, Werner and Walker. All good players on their day but have often failed to live up to the hype.

Barcelona’s De Jong - perhaps harshly - and Dembele are in the ‘overrated’ category alongside Real Madrid’s Vinicius.

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Past it

  • Gerard Pique
  • Philippe Coutinho
  • Diego Costa
  • David de Gea
  • Antoine Griezmann
  • Sergio Aguero
  • Marcelo
  • Sergio Ramos
  • Marco Reus
  • Sergio Busquets

All world-class players once upon a time - and some of them still are. But we’re saying that their past their best and not as incredible as earlier in their career.

The fact Barcelona have four players in this list - Pique, Coutinho, Griezmann and Busquets - perhaps says a lot. Marcelo and Ramos are included from Real Madrid.

Former - and current - Atletico Madrid stars feature in the form of Costa, De Gea and Aguero.

Meanwhile, Reus isn’t the player he once was at Borrusia Dortmund.

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Very good

  • Marco Verratti
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
  • Bernardo Silva
  • Edinson Cavani
  • Kingsley Coman
  • Matthijs de Ligt
  • Memphis Depay
  • Serge Gnabry
  • Jack Grealish
  • Jamie Vardy
  • Raheem Sterling
  • Trent Alexander-Arnold
  • Leroy Sane
  • Ilkay Gundogan
  • Casemiro
  • Paulo Dybala
  • Gonzalo Higuain
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic
  • Riyad Mahrez
  • Ciro Immobile
  • Toni Kroos
  • N’Golo Kante
  • Romelu Lukaku
  • Marcus Rashford
  • Luka Modric
  • Son Heung-Min
  • Lorenzo Insigne
  • Kalidou Koulibaly
  • Lautaro Martinez
  • Mauro Icardi
  • Andy Robertson

Conclusion - there are a lot of very good footballers.

These players are one step away from being world-class and are some of the best in Europe. Some are on their way down - Ibrahimovic, Modric and Cavani - while some look set to only get better - Alexander-Arnold, Rashford and Martinez.

The Premier League has 13 representatives in this category with Gundogan perhaps the one player who might feel he deserves an upgrade due to his recent form.

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Future superstar

  • Phil Foden
  • Bukayo Saka
  • Jadon Sancho
  • Mason Greenwood
  • Alphonso Davies
  • Ansu Fati
  • Joao Felix
  • Gabriel Martinelli

The future of football right here.

In truth, the likes of Foden and Sancho may already be considered world-class. They certain looked destined for the very top.

Arsenal duo Saka and Martinelli have shown glimpses of brilliance, while Greenwood has all the ability to make it.

Davies is already a Champions League winner and one of the best left-backs in world football, while Fati and Felix are showing their potential in Spain.

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World-class

  • Robert Lewandowski
  • Neymar
  • Bruno Fernandes
  • Alisson
  • Karim Benzema
  • Kevin De Bruyne
  • Ederson
  • Sadio Mane
  • Harry Kane
  • Virgil van Dijk
  • Erling Haaland
  • Mohamed Salah
  • Joshua Kimmich
  • Manuel Neuer
  • Luis Suarez
  • Jan Oblak
  • Marc-Andrr ter Stegen

We didn’t want to throw about the world-class tag whilst doing this ranking so we’ve reserved it for only the very best.

Looking down the list, there can’t be too many arguments.

Alisson’s recent form may have been called into question but we’ve backed him alongside Ederson, Neuer, Oblak and Ter Stegen as the five world-class goalkeepers.

Benzema and Suarez are 33 and 34 respectively but they’re still scoring enough goals to be considered world-class.

And we declared that although Haaland is still only 20 and could’ve been placed in the ‘Future superstar’ category, we believe he’s world-class already.

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No longer the best

  • Lionel Messi
  • Cristiano Ronaldo

We witnessed the changing of the guard on Tuesday night. Messi and Ronaldo are the two greatest players to have ever played the game but even their biggest fans must admit that at 33 and 36 respectively, they’re no longer at the peak of their powers.

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Best in the world

  • Kylian Mbappe

There’s no denying it any longer. Mbappe is 22-years-old and the best player in the world. He’s scored 142 goals in 225 matches during his career and is already a World Cup winner. He really could achieve anything in his career.

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Final rankings

So, we’re going with it - Mbappe is now the best player in the world.

Look, we appreciate that it may be viewed as very reactionary after his incredible hat-trick against Barcelona. But we really do think that’s the case.

Ask yourself, if you were a manager and wanted to sign one player for the rest of the season, would you pick Mbappe, Messi or Ronaldo?

It’s the start of a new era and Mbappe gets our vote.

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