1 Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)
Kevin De Bruyne is having a relatively poor season… and has still created 18 goals across all competitions by March. It’s fair to say the Belgian hasn’t dominated our screens as he has done in the past, but like Haaland, he has made extraordinary achievements seem, well, ordinary.
This shouldn’t detract from De Bruyne’s technical ability. He could be the greatest crosser of a ball in Premier League history, while his vision and penchant for a defence-splitting pass combine with frightening effectiveness on a number of occasions.
One of the best aspects of De Bruyne is that he comes with all the trimmings. He’s a lethal set-piece taker, he is unexpectedly physical and genuinely quick off the mark. Without these things, KDB would remain a top, top player, but with them at his disposal, he is a multi-layered box of tricks.
Another top football player on the list is the 22-year-old French football player Mbappe’. KylianMbappe, may already be the finest football player in the market.
The transition at the pinnacle of the sport may already have occurred, with the 22-year-old outperforming any other further in this season’s Champions League.
Following up his impressive performance against Barcelona, he put forth another impressive effort away at Bayern Munich, scoring two goals.
The 22 year old amazing football player might be surely at the top of the football player’s list since his statistics and skill are completely and indisputably remarkable.
Mbappé’s trophy cabinet will only grow, as he has been a World Cup champion with a victory in the final and a multiple Ligue 1 champion. Despite being limited by injuries this season, Mbappé managed to score 18 goals and make 7 assists in 20 league appearances. In total, he has 47 total goals and assists in 33 appearances across all leagues.
3 Iker Casillas
Still just 30, Iker Casillas has already had an unbelievable amount of success in his career.
As Real Madrid’s first choice goalkeeper since being a teenager, Casillas has won four La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns.
He also helped lead Spain to the Euro 2008 and World Cup 2010 trophies.
This year is no different. Real Madrid has kept three clean sheets in the Spanish League and Casillas has been playing well as usual.
We’ll plump for Casillas as our top goalkeeper.
4 Lionel Messi
La Pulga Atómica (the Atomic Flea) has remained at the top of this list for over a decade now, and at 33, he’s still going strong. In fact, sensational stats and seasons have become second nature for him. Despite missing Barcelona’s first four games of the season due to injury, Messi is likely to win La Liga top scorer for the seventh time in his career with 22 goals so far and three games left to play. Along with those 22 goals, Messi has 20 assists in the league so far, beating his own personal record of 18 in a season and totaling 42 goal contributions in 30 league games. For any player, that’s the season of a lifetime. For Lionel Messi, that’s business as usual.
In all competitions, Messi has 27 goals and 24 assists and is hoping to lead Barcelona to its first Champions League title since its treble win in the 2014-15 season. Messi is also the most recent player to win the Ballon d’Or, just barely beating out Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk by seven points. Despite Barcelona’s managerial problems and uncertainty towards the future of the club when Messi leaves, the Argentinian forward has been playing some unstoppable and exciting soccer as per usual and recently scored his 700th career goal.
5 Harry Kane (Tottenham & England) (Total Football Goals: 336)
17 Feb. 2023 Harry Kane is the second Tottenham player to score 200 league goals after Jimmy Greaves. He is also England’s second highest goal scorer in Football World Cups, with 8 goals in 2 editions (2018 and 2022). He is also the all-time join top goal scorer for the England National Football Team, with 53 goals in 80 matches.
England’s premier striker is yet another name without mentioning whom this list cannot be complete. His almost-perfect chemistry with an Asian Son Heung-min has been largely beneficial for his club Tottenham. They complement each other so well and it often happens that one sets the other up in front of the goal.
Like many others on this list, Kane also comes with an aerial presence and is almost lethal inside the box. Even for England, Kane’s presence with the captain’s armband assures not just his teammates but also the fans.
6 Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Full name: Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro
Date of birth: February 5, 1985
Height: 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position: Striker, winger
Cristiano Ronaldo’s career took off when he joined Manchester United as a winger, aged 18. He won 9 trophies there, including 3 Premier Leagues and a Champions League. He was playing as a striker by the time he moved to Real Madrid, aged 24, where he added another 15 trophies, including 2 league titles and 4 Champions Leagues. In total, he has 32 team trophies (including Euro 2016 with Portugal) and 5 individual Ballon d’Ors.
Ronaldo has scored more than 800 career goals, including 140 in the Champions League, and 118 for Portugal, spanning five World Cup tournaments (all records). He is known for his individual skills and step-overs, powerful shot, heading ability, positional sense, and his free-kicks and penalties.
7 Michel Platini
Number 10 on this list is Michel Platini. France might well consider their greatest ever player to be Zinedine Zidane, one of the greatest footballers of all time. Still, before the Real Madrid legend had weaved his magic, Les Bleus had another talented playmaker in Platini.
Credited with making France a global superpower in football, the diminutive playmaker enjoyed a long and fruitful career for club and country. Operating as a number 10, Platini often reserved his best for the biggest matches, scoring several crucial goals throughout his career.
Winner of the Ballon d’Or award three years in a row (1983,84,85), the Frenchman reached the peak of his game when he guided France to the European Championship title in 1984.
Scoring an incredible nine goals in just five games, Platini, playing in his home country, captured the country’s imagination with his stunning performances. He was so good that even Pele could not resist complimenting him:
“He didn’t run a lot like Cruyff and didn’t depend on his physique, but I liked how he was the brain organising things on the pitch. He was a player who used his head in the broader sense. The way he shone with France and Juventus, and his capacity for taking free-kicks made him one of the greatest European footballer of the 1980s.”
Having guided France to their first-ever major international trophy and winning league titles with both Juventus and St Etienne, Platini retired when he was still at the top of his game in 1987.
The Frenchman’s impact on his country can perhaps best be summed up by Zidane’s quotes:
“When I was a kid and played with my friends, I always chose to be Platini. I let my friends share the names of my other idols between themselves.”
Platini inspired a new generation of French footballers and is one of the all-time greats of the beautiful game.
8 Diego Maradona (Argentina)
The top three in the GOAT debate are widely agreed upon aside from the order, and it is Diego Maradona who takes bronze for us, due largely to his inferior statistics, trophy haul and slightly shorter time at the very top of the game compared to the other two.
Of course, that does not take away from the genius that Maradona could produce on the pitch, something he most clearly demonstrated with Napoli at club level and at the 1986 World Cup with Argentina.
The diminutive forward is still idolised in Naples having dragged an unfashionable and unsuccessful team to two Serie A titles, dethroning the traditional northern powerhouses such as Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan – something the club have not otherwise managed before or since.
There was less success during a combustible spell at Barcelona, although he still managed to help the Spanish outfit to three trophies, while he also won the Argentine title with Boca Juniors.
It was in the blue and white of Argentina that he will be most clearly remembered, though, and in particular his virtuoso performances that carried Argentina to their first World Cup triumph on foreign soil in 1986.
Maradona provided two of the most talked-about moments in football history in one game during that tournament – his ‘Hand of God’ followed by the ‘Goal of the Century’ against England – and then scored twice more in the semi-final against Belgium before providing the assist for the winner in the final.
Unsurprisingly, Maradona won the Golden Ball for his exploits, and his performances are still held up as the greatest example of one player dominating a World Cup.
Argentina were back in the final again four years later, but this time they were beaten by West Germany and, in keeping with his chaotic mix of genius on the pitch and trouble off it, he was then sent home from the 1994 World Cup after failing a drugs test – an incident which spelled the end of his international career after 91 caps and 34 goals.
9 Dennis Bergkamp
It says a lot that fans rate Dennis Bergkamp on par with their all-time leading scorer. Despite Thierry Henry easily surpassing Bergkamp’s goal total at Arsenal.
And Thierry himself referred to Bergkamp as the best player he had ever shared the field with. Few players had the grace of the non-flying Dutchman, whose combination of precise passing and silken ball control mesmerised viewers in the 1990s and the early 2000s. He was a pivotal No. 10 in the Premier League’s early years.
Pele is a Brazilian football player. He won three World Cups. He was announced as the Best Young Player at the tournament. He scored 757 goals in 812 appearances. He won two Copa titles, and six Serie A titles. He was named the winner of FIFA’s Player of the Century award.