Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar: The 50 best footballers have been named and ranked

Is Lionel Messi still the best footballer in the world?

Who is the best footballer in the world?

For the best part of a decade, the answer to that question was either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.

The superstar pair have dominated the sport’s modern era, winning a combined total of 11 Ballon d’Or awards (Messi 6, Ronaldo 5).

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However, both Messi and Ronaldo are now well into their 30s and as such, their places at the very top of player rankings are now under threat – despite the fact they’re both still dropping world-class performances at the very highest level on a regular basis. 

FourFourTwo have named who they believe are the 50 best footballers on the planet right now and neither Messi or Ronaldo sit top of the pile.

Let’s take a look at who takes spot instead…

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50. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan)

49. John Stones (Manchester City)

48. Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain)

47. Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

46. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)

45. Jack Grealish (Aston Villa)

44. Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain)

43. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

42. Achraf Hakimi (Inter Milan)

41. Paul Pogba (Manchester United)

Pogba in action


40. Mason Mount (Chelsea)

39. Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

38. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

37. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)

36. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid)

35. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona)

34. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

33. Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)

32. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)

31. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

Alexander-Arnold in action


30. Phil Foden (Manchester City)

29. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

28. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City)

27. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)

26. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

25. Heung-min Son (Tottenham)

24. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)

23. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

22. Joao Cancelo (Manchester City)

21. Ederson (Manchester City)

Ederson with the PL trophy


20. Ilkay Gundogan (Manchester City)

19. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)

18. Ruben Dias (Manchester City)

17. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City)

16. Leon Goretzka (Bayern Munich)

15. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

14. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)

13. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

12. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

11. Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)

Muller in action


10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

9. Romelu Lukaku (Inter Milan)

8. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

7. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)

6. Harry Kane (Tottenham)

5. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)

4. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain)

3. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

De Bruyne with his PL medal

Ronaldo has to make do with a 10th-place finish, with Messi in second behind the recently crowned 2020/21 PFA Players’ Player of the Year, De Bruyne.

Overall, the ranking of all 50 players is pretty solid, although Kante finishing 27th after his heroics in the Champions League final will ruffle a few feathers.

But football is all about opinion at the end of the day and while the Frenchman has been outstanding of late, the 2020/21 campaign as a whole was far from his best.

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