Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022

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The 2021-2022 season brought about a lot of changes, especially in the ranking of the top ten best soccer players in the world. The usual suspects in the ranking for the past 13 years, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have lost their positions in the ranking.

Note that since Lionel Messi left FC Barcelona ahead of the 2021-2022 season, he has not been the kind of player he used to be. The 34-year-old 7 times Ballon d’Or winner has provided a couple of assists and a handful of goals at PSG this season but not up to the expectations of his fans, the club’s fans, and even his critics. However, his contribution has helped PSG to win this season’s French Ligue 1 title.

On the other hand, Cristiano Ronaldo who left Juventus for Manchester United ahead of the 2021-2022 season has not also been in his best form. However, the 37-year-old 5 times Ballon d’Or winner has contributed to 27 goals (including assists) in Manchester United’s season. But that was not enough to help Manchester United to even finish in the top four of the league table.

Hence, the criteria which were used to select the top ten best soccer players in the world for the 2021-2022 season didn’t permit the two soccer icons to make it into the top ten list. The criteria used include the players’ contributions to their teams, their influence on the team, and their teams’ success so far in the 2021-2022 season.

Note that this ranking could be used for the 2022 Ballon d’Or power ranking.

Below are the top ten best soccer players in the world in the 2021-2022 season:

  1. Thibaut Courtois
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022
Thibaut Courtois.

Thibaut Courtois is arguably the best goalkeeper in the 2021-2022 season. The 30-year-old Belgian goalkeeper has helped Real Madrid to return to dominance in Europe and Spain.

So far this season, Thibaut Courtois has not made any error that led to a goal. In La Liga alone, the goalkeeper has made 82 interceptions, and 40 saves and kept 19 clean sheets in all competitions.

Courtois’ contributions have helped Real Madrid to win the Spanish La Liga title and made it into the UEFA Champions League final. Note that Madrid is scheduled to face Liverpool in the final of the Champions League in Paris on May 28, 2022.

  1. Virgil van Dijk
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022
Virgil van Dijk.

Virgil van Dijk has continued to remain one of the most prominent footballers at Liverpool. Recall that when he was out injured in the 2020-2021 season, Liverpool struggled to finish in the top four.

Fortunately for Liverpool, Virgil van Dijk remained fit throughout the 2021-2022 season which has helped the Premier League club to compete in all the competitions they are involved in.

So far this season, Virgil van Dijk has played 49 games in all competitions in which he scored three goals and provided three assists. The effort of the 30-year-old Dutch defender has helped Liverpool to win EFL Cup this season.

Currently, Liverpool are contending for the Premier League, FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. Virgil van Dijk’s leadership skills played a prominent role in Liverpool’s success this season which qualifies him for the 9th spot on the list of best soccer players in the world.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022
Kevin De Bruyne.

Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the most important member of coach Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. The 30-year-old Belgian attacking midfielder has been so consistent that he has played 42 games in all competitions despite the rotation policy of coach Guardiola.

So far in the 2021-2022 season, Kevin De Bruyne has scored 15 goals and provided 13 assists in all competitions. His effort is about to crown Manchester City champions of the Premier League. His effort also helped Manchester City to finish the UEFA Champions League campaign in the semi-final stage of the competition.

  1. Vinicius Junior
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022

Vinicius Junior is arguably the most consistent 21-year-old footballer in the world in the 2021-2022 season. The Brazilian youngster has played 49 games in all competitions this season. In those games, Vinicius Junior scored 18 goals and provided 19 assists.

Aside from his goal threat, Vinicius Junior is one of the most fierce wingers in the world. His pace, skills, and ability to assist teammates helped Real Madrid to win the 2021-2022 Spanish La Liga title. Vinicius Junior’s effort has also pushed Real Madrid to the final of the Champions League. Hence, Vinicius Junior is the 7th best soccer player in the world currently.

  1. Trent Alexander-Arnold
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022
Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is arguably the best right-back in the world in terms of defending and contributing to attack. The 23-year-old English right-back is so consistent that he has played 44 games in all competitions this season.

In those games, Trent Alexander-Arnold scored 2 goals and provided 19 assists. No player in the Premier League has provided as many assists as the right-back this season.

His effort has helped Liverpool to win the EFL Cup, contend for the Premier League title, on the verge of winning the FA Cup, and on the verge of winning the UEFA Champions League. Hence, Trent Alexander-Arnold is the 6th best soccer player in the world.

  1. Kylian Mbappe
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022

Despite how star-studded Paris Saint Germain is, Kylian Mbappe is arguably the best player at the club. The 23-year-old French striker is currently the highest goalscorer in the French Ligue 1.

So far in the 2021-2022 season, Kylian Mbappe has scored 35 goals and provided 23 assists in 44 games in all competitions. Unfortunately, his effort could not help PSG to go beyond the round of 16 stage of the Champions League. However, he has helped PSG to win the French Ligue 1 title this season.

  1. Robert Lewandowski
Top ten best soccer players in the world 2022

Robert Lewandowski has continued to prove that he is a legend of the game based on his performance in the 2021-2022 season.

So far in the 2021-2022 season, the Polish striker has scored 49 goals and provided 7 assists in all competitions. His effort has helped Bayern Munich to win the German Bundesliga. However, he could not help the club to go beyond the quarter-final stage of the Champions League campaign this season.

  1. Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane.

Sadio Mane has had a very productive 2021-2022 season. Recall that he helped his country, Senegal to win the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), and qualify the country for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Mane brought that luck to Liverpool by helping the club to win the EFL Cup. Liverpool are currently on the verge of winning the Champions League and the FA Cup. They are still in contention for the Premier League title.

So far in the 2021-2022 season, Sadio Mane has scored 22 goals and provided four assists in 48 games in all competitions.

  1. Mohamed Salah
Mohamed Salah.

Mohamed Salah was not so lucky with his national team in 2022 but has remained a force at his club side which makes the 29-year-old Egyptian winger one of the major contenders for the 2022 Ballon d’Or.

So far in the 2021-2022 season, Mohamed Salah has helped Liverpool to win the EFL Cup and is still a contender for the Premier League title. Also, Liverpool are on the verge of winning the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League titles thanks to the contribution of Mohamed Salah.

Note that Salah scored 30 goals and provided 16 assists in 48 games in all competitions this season.

  1. Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema.

Karim Benzema is arguably the hottest player in the world currently and a major contender for the 2022 Ballon d’Or. The 34-year-old French winger has been so consistent at Real Madrid that he has played 43 games in all competitions.

In those games, Karim Benzema scored 43 goals and provided 14 assists in all competitions. His effort has helped Real Madrid to win the 2021-2022 Spanish La Liga title and are on the verge of winning the UEFA Champions League this season.

Honorable Mention

  1. Heung-min Son of Tottenham Hotspur
  2. Riyad Mahrez of Manchester City
  3. Lionel Messi of PSG
  4. Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United
  5. Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig
  6. Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur
  7. Luis Diaz of Liverpool
  8. Bernardo Silva of Manchester City
  9. Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund
  10. Phil Foden of Manchester City

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