Ronaldo, Messi, Haaland, Mbappe, and co all feature amongst the best players in the world, but the No 1 slot belonged to a surprise name.
Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has been ranked as the world’s best player in 2021. Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski complete the top three in this surprise list.
Football magazine FourFourTwo has released its annual list of best players around the world and made some questionable choices.
From De Bruyne being crowned as No 1, Cristiano Ronaldo down in 10th-place, or fan-favorite N’Golo Kante barely making the top 30, this list will no doubt leave a lot of football fans baffled.
1-10: Ronaldo only 10th?
While rating Ronaldo as ‘the biggest big-game player in the world’, FourFourTwo ranked him in only 10th-place. The ageless Portuguese scored 36 goals in yet another record-breaking campaign for Juventus. But the Bianconeri’s shattered Serie A title defense and Champions League last-16 exit obviously went against him.
De Bruyne, who won back-to-back PFA Player of the Year awards this month, instead took the crown as the best player in the world.
Neymar, meanwhile, got the nod over Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe for fourth-place. Tottenham striker Harry Kane and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku also bagged a top 10 spot.
|1.||Kevin De Bruyne||Manchester City|
|3.||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich|
|7.||Erling Haaland||Borussia Dortmund|
|8.||Bruno Fernandes||Manchester United|
|9.||Romelu Lukaku||Inter Milan|
11-25: Manchester City dominate
Five Manchester City players made the cut between 11th and 25th places in winger Riyad Mahrez, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, defenders Ruben Dias and Joao Cancelo, and goalkeeper Ederson.
Thomas Muller finished as the best of the rest outside the top 10 spots in 11th-place. The Bayern Munich star provided 11 goals and 21 assists in only 32 Bundesliga appearances last season.
Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak wins bragging rights as the world’s best goalkeeper in 2021 in 12th.
|11||Thomas Muller||Bayern Munich|
|12||Jan Oblak||Atletico Madrid|
|13||Joshua Kimmich||Bayern Munich|
|15||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid|
|16||Leon Goretzka||Bayern Munich|
|17||Riyad Mahrez||Manchester City|
|18||Ruben Dias||Manchester City|
|19||Jadon Sancho||Borussia Dortmund|
|20||Ilkay Gundogan||Manchester City|
|22||Joao Cancelo||Manchester City|
|23||Manuel Neuer||Bayern Munich|
|24||Serge Gnabry||Bayern Munich|
26-40: Kante ranked in 27th
After his Champions League title-winning heroics, N’Golo Kante has arguably become a top contender for the Ballon d’Or. It seems, though, not everybody agrees. After all, the Chelsea midfielder is only 27th on FourFourTwo’s list.
Blues teammate Mason Mount also made the cut in 40th-place following a superb season at Stamford Bridge.
|26.||Virgil van Dijk||Liverpool|
|28.||Bernardo Silva||Manchester City|
|29.||Alphonso Davies||Bayern Munich|
|30.||Phil Foden||Manchester City|
|32.||Raheem Sterling||Manchester City|
|33.||Marcus Rashford||Manchester United|
|36.||Raphael Varane||Real Madrid|
|37.||Thibaut Courtois||Real Madrid|
|38.||Frenkie De Jong||Barcelona|
|39.||Luka Modric||Real Madrid|
41-50: Ibrahimovic rounds off the list
Despite his 40th birthday less than four months away, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still ranked amongst the world’s best. The AC Milan striker fired home 15 goals in only 19 Serie A appearances last season.
Former world-record signing Paul Pogba is in 41st-place and two spots above Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.
|41.||Paul Pogba||Manchester United|
|42.||Achraf Hakimi||Inter Milan|
|43.||Sergio Ramos||Real Madrid|
|45.||Jack Grealish||Aston Villa|
|46.||Toni Kroos||Real Madrid|
|49.||John Stones||Manchester City|
|50.||Zlatan Ibrahimovic||AC Milan|