World's Best Soccer Players

Men's Soccer Phenoms

Sports fans everywhere have their top picks for best athletes. The possibilities lead to robust debates, some tame some heated. Perhaps you rely on statistics alone in determining the best of the best. Perhaps you rely on a player's finesse on the field, or their off-field character to help determine the best. Whether you follow baseball, football, soccer, basketball or another sport, the possibilities for the most talented athlete at any position seem endless. In the world of soccer, it can be difficult to select the best of the best because statistics are not kept for many of the positions, especially for defenders. As with most sports, offensive players seem to get all the glory. The more goals or assists one accumulates, the more recognition one receives. Here are my top 10 picks for the best footballers in the game today.

Lionel Messi for Barca
Lionel Messi for Barca

Lionel Messi

National Team: Argentina

Club Team: FC Barcelona (Barca)

Positions: Midfielder; Forward

Lionel Messi has been mesmerizing soccer fans the world over as both a member of the Argentinian National Team as well as his club team, FC Barcelona. Few, if any, footballers have matched his ability to dribble through 2, 3 and 4 defenders, keeping the ball glued to his golden foot. Not only does he routinely outmatch and outwit his opponents, but he consistently scores, to put the icing on the cake.

He has scored 286 goals in 315 appearances for Barcelona and 46 goals in 100 appearances for Barca, leading many, including Diego Maradona himself, to compare Messi to Maradona's legend. Throughout his stellar career, Messi has racked up countless accolades including:

Olympic Gold Medal (Argentina) 2008

Ballon D’Or: 2009

FIFA World Player of the Year: 2009

World Soccer Player of the Year: 2009, 2011, 2012

European Golden Shoe: 2010, 2012, 2013

UEFA Best Player in Europe: 2011

UEFA Champions League Top Goal Scorer: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015

FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2009, 2011, 2014

Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon D'Or
Cristiano Ronaldo, Ballon D'Or

Cristiano Ronaldo

National Team: Portugal (Captain)

Club Team: Real Madrid

Position: Forward

Ronaldo is the undisputed king of style and he brings that sense of style to the pitch with every game. He has scored 55 goals in 120 appearances for Portugal and and astounding 313 goals in 300 appearances for Real Madrid! Among his many achievements, he holds Real Madrid's record for most hat tricks with 31. Other accolades include:

Awards: 2009 Ballon D’Or

FIFA World Player of the Year, 2013, 2014

UEFA Best Player in Europe 2013-14

Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez

National Team: Uruguay

Club Team: FC Barcelona (Barca)

Position: Striker

Controversy follows Suarez wherever he goes, usually of his own making. Just ask anyone who's ever had the misfortune of feeling the pinch of his teeth! But one thing that can't be disputed, when he's not nibbling on his opponents, Suarez is one of the best players in the game. He scored 43 goals in 82 appearances between 2007-14 w/ Uruguay and since moving from Liverpool to Barca in 2014, he's been heating up the pitch with his highly effective attack.

Awards include: European Golden Shoe: 2013-14

Premier League Player of the Year: 2013-14

Premier League Golden Boot: 2013-14

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification: Top Goal Scorer (11)

Arjen Robben
Arjen Robben

Arjen Robben

National Team: Netherlands

Club Team Bayern Munich

Position: Left or Right Wing; Forward

Robben started with the Netherlands National Team as a U15 player in 1999 and has been a central figure for the team in 3 World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014). He shifts seamlessly between midfield and forward and can be deadly on the attack in either position. His long ball is served with a high degree of accuracy, often from his preferred left foot and his skill at dribbling and speed on the ball make him difficult to defend. He has scored 28 goals in 86 appearance for the Netherlands as of 2014 and 73 goals for Bayern Munich in 127 appearances. He has also appeared in three UEFA League Championship tournaments (2004, 2008, 2012).

Awards include: Premier League Player of the Month, November 2014

Kicker Man of the Year 2010

Footballer of the Year in Germany, 2010

FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball, 2014

Dutch Sportsman of the Year, 2014


Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

National Team: Sweden (captain)

Club Team: PSG

Position: Striker

Another player that is often mired in controversy for his violent outbursts not only against rivals but also against teammates, Ibrahimovic still makes the list. With 56 goals in 105 appearances with for Sweden and 75 goals in 91 appearances for PSG, he is a beast on field that opponents find hard to tame. He has scored with 6 different clubs in the Champions League.

Awards include: Golden Foot: 2012

UEFA Euro 2012, 2008, 2004 Man of the Match

UEFA Champions League: Most assists, 2012-13

Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year: 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012


Yaya Toure
Yaya Toure

Yaya Toure

National Team: Ivory Coast

Club Team: Manchester City

Positions: Center Back/ Midfielder/ Defense

Toure has been a very versatile player with skill on both sides of the ball. Few if any African players have matched his level of success. He has scored 19 goals in 95 international appearances w/ Ivory Coast and 51 goals in 162 appearances for Manchester City.

Awards include: African Footballer of the year: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

BBC African Footballer of the Year: 2013

Manchester City Player of the Year, 2014

Neymar
Neymar

Neymar

National Team: Brazil

Club Team: FC Barcelona (Barca)

Positions: striker, attacking midfielder or winger

Neymar is quickly building a name for himself as one of the best footballers in the game today. He routinely draws comparisons to soccer legend, Pele, and though he is honored to be thought of in this company, it is clear that he is working toward establishing a reputation in his own right. From the moment he came onto the scene with Barca, it was clear that he could hold his own with Messi and together, the two form a nearly unstoppable offensive alliance. He has scored 44 goals in 65 international appearances for Brazil and 54 goals in 92 appearances w/ Barcelona.

Awards include: FIFA Confederation Cup Golden Ball: 2013

Golden Boot: 2010, 2011, 2012

UEFA Champions League Top Goalscorer: 2015

Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer

National Team: Germany

Club Team: Bayern Munich

There are several outstanding goalies in the world of professional soccer, but only one makes this list. Whether starting in goal for the club or the National team, Neuer is an impenetrable force on the field.

Awards include: 2014 FIFA World Cup Champs (Germany)/ Golden Glove for Best Keeper in that tournament

Best Footballer in Germany: 2011, 2014

2013 UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match

IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper: 2013, 2014

Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller

Thomas Muller

National Team: Germany

Club Team: Bayern Munich

Positions: Midfield or Forward

Don't let his lanky appearance fool you. This man is the real deal; fast and nimble, able to dribble around opponents with apparent ease and find his teammates at will with his accurate passing, Muller is a deadly force with which to be reckoned.

Awards include: FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 2010

FIFA World Cup Silver Boot: 2014

Most FIFA World Cups w/ at least 5 goals (2010-14)

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© 2015 Jaynie2000

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2 comments

Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 17 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I voted for Neuer because I love goalies. I'll admit I am not the most knowledgeable futball fan. But I'll share this hub with my sons. They are!

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Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 17 months ago Author

Thanks so much! I'm a rabid soccer fan. Watch it, play it, volunteer w/ teams in my area. It was really hard to pick this many as there are so many talented players to choose from!

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