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The 100 best footballers in the world have been ranked

Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah
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219 judges made 8,760 votes in a poll to determine the 100 best footballers of 2021.

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Robert Lewandowski has been crowned as the best footballer in the world ahead of Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah.

The Bayern Munich striker produced more mind-blowing stats in 2021, scoring a record 41 Bundesliga goals in only 29 matches last season. He has continued his form this term, and also helped himself to three goals in three games for Poland in the summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.

Lewandowski may have finished runner-up to Messi in the Ballon d’Or race, but he managed to pip the Paris Saint-Germain star for top spot on The Guardian’s annual list of the best players on the planet.

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How was the voting done?

The voting panel consisted of 219 judges around the world that included former players, coaches, technical staff, and journalists.

Each judge had to name their top 40 picks from a shortlist of over 300 players from 2021. The Guardian awarded 40 points for each voter’s first-choice candidate, 39 points for second, 38 points for third, right down to one point for 40th.

To qualify, a player needed to receive votes from at least five judges. Individual votes were to be used as a tie-breaker in the event where two or more players finished level on points.

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The 100 best footballers in the world

Below are the final results of The Guardian’s best footballers in 2021.

PosPlayerCountryClub
1.Robert Lewandowski🇵🇱Bayern Munich
2.Lionel Messi🇦🇷PSG
3.Mohamed Salah🇪🇬Liverpool
4.Karim Benzema🇫🇷Real Madrid
5.Jorginho🇮🇹Chelsea
6.Kylian Mbappe🇫🇷PSG
7.Erling Haaland🇳🇴Dortmund
8.Cristiano Ronaldo🇵🇹Man United
9.N’Golo Kante🇫🇷Chelsea
10.Kevin De Bruyne🇧🇪Man City
11.Romelu Lukaku🇧🇪Chelsea
12.Gianluigi Donnarumma🇮🇹PSG
13.Neymar🇧🇷PSG
14.Ruben Dias🇵🇹Man City
15.Harry Kane🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Tottenham
16.Bruno Fernandes🇵🇹Man United
17.Federico Chiesa🇮🇹Juventus
18.Joshua Kimmich🇩🇪Bayern Munich
19.Luis Suarez🇺🇾Atletico Madrid
20.Edouard Mendy🇸🇳Chelsea
21.Pedri🇪🇸FC Barcelona
22.Leonardo Bonucci🇮🇹Juventus
23.Sadio Mane🇸🇳Liverpool
24.Giorgio Chiellini🇮🇹Juventus
25.Phil Foden🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Man City
26.Nicolo Barella🇮🇹Inter Milan
27.Mason Mount🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Chelsea
28.Thomas Muller🇩🇪Bayern Munich
29.Raheem Sterling🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Man City
30.Lautaro Martinez🇦🇷Inter Milan
31.Vinicius Junior🇧🇷Real Madrid
32.Angel Di Maria🇦🇷PSG
33.Jan Oblak🇸🇮Atletico Madrid
34.Trent Alexander-Arnold🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Liverpool
35.Ilkay Gundogan🇩🇪Man City
36.Manuel Neuer🇩🇪Bayern Munich
37.Marco Verratti🇮🇹PSG
38.Achraf Hakimi🇲🇦PSG
39.Son Heung-min🇰🇷Tottenham
40.Luka Modric🇭🇷Real Madrid
41.Serge Gnabry🇩🇪Bayern Munich
42.Alphonso Davies🇨🇦Bayern Munich
43.Virgil van Dijk🇳🇱Liverpool
44.Marquinhos🇧🇷PSG
45.Bernardo Silva🇵🇹Man City
46.Rodrigo De Paul🇦🇷Atletico Madrid
47.Kai Havertz🇩🇪Chelsea
48.Antonio Rudiger🇩🇪Chelsea
49.Memphis Depay🇳🇱FC Barcelona
50.Cesar Azpilicueta🇪🇸Chelsea
51.Gerard Moreno🇪🇸Villarreal
52.Emiliano Martinez🇦🇷Aston Villa
53.Thibaut Courtois🇧🇪Real Madrid
54.Simon Kjaer🇩🇰AC Milan
55.David Alaba🇦🇹Real Madrid
56.Zlatan Ibrahimovic🇸🇪AC Milan
57.Dusan Vlahovic🇷🇸Fiorentina
58.Thiago Silva🇧🇷Chelsea
59.Declan Rice🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿West Ham
60.Riyad Mahrez🇩🇿Man City
61.Jack Grealish🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Man City
62.Lorenzo Insigne🇮🇹Napoli
63.Joao Cancelo🇵🇹Man City
64.Leon Goretzka🇩🇪Bayern Munich
65.Toni Kroos🇩🇪Real Madrid
66.Ciro Immobile🇮🇹Lazio
67.Alisson Becker🇧🇷Liverpool
68.Casemiro🇧🇷Real Madrid
69.Paul Pogba🇫🇷Man United
70.Reece James🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Chelsea
71.Marcos Llorente🇪🇸Atletico Madrid
72.Jude Bellingham🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Dortmund
73.Leonardo Spinazzola🇮🇹AS Roma
74.Kyle Walker🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Man City
75.Ederson🇧🇷Man City
76.Antoine Griezmann🇫🇷Atletico Madrid
77.Kasper Schmeichel🇩🇰Leicester City
78.Luke Shaw🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Man United
79.Patrik Schick🇨🇿Bayer Leverkusen
80.Roberto Firmino🇧🇷Liverpool
81.Marcelo Brozovic🇭🇷Inter Milan
82.Sergio Busquets🇪🇸FC Barcelona
83.Duvan Zapata🇨🇴Atalanta
84.Joao Felix🇵🇹Atletico Madrid
85.Burak Yilmaz🇹🇷Lille
86.Mikel Oyarzabel🇪🇸Real Sociedad
87.Luis Diaz🇨🇴FC Porto
88.Diogo Jota🇵🇹Liverpool
89.Dusan Tadic🇷🇸Ajax
90.Dani Olmo🇪🇸RB Leipzig
91.Julian Alvarez🇦🇷River Plate
92.Rodri🇪🇸Man City
93.Sebastien Haller🇨🇮Ajax
94.Keylor Navas🇨🇷PSG
95.Bukayo Saka🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Arsenal
96.Joakim Maehle🇩🇰Atalanta
97.Fabinho🇧🇷Liverpool
98.Gavi🇪🇸FC Barcelona
99.Youri Tielemans🇧🇪Leicester City
100.Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg🇩🇰Tottenham