The top 10 football players in the world for 2022, as compiled by us.
Who is the world’s finest football player? The question’s brilliance is the endless discussion it will spark among your friends, with no clear winner.
While the next generation of megastars compete for position, the Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo war seems to have entered modern football mythology, leaving us no closer to a solution.
Our list is the result of a number of considerations. We have considered recent performance, but in many situations, exceptionally strong or weak 2021/22 seasons have been disregarded to prevent players with a lengthy history of outstanding performances from being dropped at the first chance.
Trophies, league power, raw statistics, intangible magic, and a variety of other factors have combined to construct our criteria for the list, and we are certain that you will completely disagree with it.
We have left off defensive colossi Rben Dias and Virgil van Dijk, Manchester United’s creative titan Bruno Fernandes, and PSG superstar Neymar from our rankings to further whet your appetite and show the absolute strength of the top 10.
Here is RadioTimes.com’s list of the top 10 football players in the world as of 2022.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd)
Ronaldo, who spent more than a decade consistently ranking in the top two, is one of the major movers on this list.
Though it has been a difficult start to the new season, it is safe to conclude that his finest days are behind him as he enters the final gambits of his career. Nevertheless, there is no shame in that and he still remains a devastating tool in United’s inventory.
9. Sadio Mane (Bayern Munich)
Given the present conflict at the Reds, Mane’s influence at Liverpool is developing long after his departure. Despite some of the fiery young talent on Merseyside, his absence feels quite noticeable.
The Senegalese winger, who scored 16 Premier League goals last season, has made a strong debut in the Bundesliga with three straight goals to establish himself at his new team, where he is unquestionably the standout player.
8. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
After nearly 20 years in the game, Benzema has made a roaring comeback and is currently enjoying an Indian summer.
Madrid has recently preferred big-money Galactico-style players over the Real Madrid star, but they always come back to the dependable Frenchman who had one of his best seasons of his career in 2021–2022.
He has produced four consecutive 20-goal seasons prior to this one, along with a stack of assists that are evidence of his work rate, altruism, and importance in determining Madrid’s success, so he hasn’t merely made our list based on his 27 goals in 32 La Liga games last season.
7. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Football snobs might consider Salah’s direct running to be crude, but there’s no questioning his effectiveness.
There are few players in the world who are better at picking up the ball out wide and driving across – or into – the box at pace. He may not have the all-around game that many players above him in this list have developed.
He is the Egyptian king, the talisman, and the symbol of Liverpool. He may have reached his full potential later in his career than many other household names, but there is no doubt that he will go down as one of the all-time greats of the Premier League.
6. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Simply put, Kane is among the best strikers in the world and is deserving of a spot at the top of the heap of global talent.
Every time Kane has played more than 30 Premier League games for Tottenham in a season, he has easily scored more than 20 goals. He has nonetheless racked up significant totals over the past campaigns despite being severely hindered by ailments.
But the England talisman is more than just numbers. He stands apart from practically every other striker on the planet thanks to his wide variety of passes, technique, vision, and playmaking skills. He is a phenomenal talent who merits having awards in his locker.
5. Erling Haaland (Man City)
We now come to the first player on the list, who has a very good chance of eventually winning the coveted No. 1 slot.
Since breaking onto the professional football world, Haaland has excelled. At Red Bull Salzburg, he was productive, and while wearing a Dortmund jersey, he dissed the Bundesliga. For the latter, he scored 86 goals in 89 games.
He is a force that few people can contain at 6’4″ tall. As he transfers his excellent form, defenses throughout the Premier League are learning this lesson the hard way.
4. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
Undoubtedly, Kylian Mbappe is Haaland’s major rival for the title of “greatest player in the world.” The top three players on this ranking are all older than 29, which will allow the Frenchman to continue to rule for many years.
At the age of 23, he already has 110 goals in 117 PSG league games and 27 goals in 57 appearances for the France national team. He also boasts acceleration that would put Doc Brown’s DeLorean to shame.
There isn’t much you can do when Mbappe is charging towards you other than sob and ask for help. His unmatched close control and clinical finishing ability are the cherry on top.
3. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
You may argue that Salah should be ranked ahead of De Bruyne in terms of raw effectiveness, but De Bruyne may very well be the No. 1 complete footballer in the world right now in terms of skill set, technical ability, physical attributes, and mental tenacity.
He has played some of the most incredible passes you’re ever likely to see and is the best football crosser in Premier League history. In addition to scoring goals, he is also capable of tearing nets away from their stanchions.
This is all well and good, but De Bruyne’s unexpected quickness and physicality are what really set him apart from the group of guys who play similarly. The Belgian is stronger than you may anticipate, and when he is fully charged, he moves the ball quickly. Simply put, he is wealthy.
2. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
There is no denying that Lewandowski is one of the world’s top players right now in terms of form. And he has been doing so for a while. He had a wild career, so it feels like a tremendous disgrace that he hasn’t won a Ballon d’Or.
The legendary Polish boxer moves with exquisite grace within the ring and possesses a well-balanced combination of strength, speed, and technical ability. There is no one you would more trust in a one-on-one situation than him because his positioning is always spot-on.
Even though we are aware that raw statistics are not everything, we will leave you with some explosive Lewandowski statistics to consider. In 375 games across all competitions for Bayern Munich, he scored 344 goals, including 41 Bundesliga goals in just 29 games in 2020–21. He seemed to be adjusting well to Barcelona as well.
1. Lionel Messi (PSG)
“But, Ronaldo dropped to 10th?!” I hear you cry. There’s no trying to hide the fact that Lionel Messi didn’t set the world alight in Paris last season, well, at least by his ridiculous standards.
There’s no doubt about it that Ronaldo and Messi will go down in history among the top three best football players of all time, alongside the late great Diego Maradona, but while Ronaldo’s role has been boiled down somewhat, we’re still witnessing the full-fat version of Messi.
Messi is the reigning ballon d’Or winner after a stunning final season in Barcelona and after finally lifting a trophy with Argentina. His influence should never be doubted, his talent never down-played.
Despite his rocky start at PSG, he still turned it around last season to score 11 and assist 14 goals in 33 appearances across all competitions, including the Champions League. He has already started 2022/23 with three goals and two assists in three games, meaning we could be about to see another big season from the little wizard.
Who is the best football player in the world?
Even if Lionel Messi is still unquestionably the best player in the world of football, it would be folly to ignore concerns about his age.
He is the best based on his unique gift and nearly two decades of both warm, intangible enchantment and cold, immeasurable data. not just the best today, but also the best ever.
Your thoughts about our list? You obviously don’t! Even though you are wholly incorrect, that is absolutely acceptable.
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