With the best FIFA football awards just concluded, and with the winner announced, GoalBall set out to rank the 100 top soccer players for 2018 – both those who made it to the shortlist and those you’ll see on fields playing for their various clubs and country.
It was, intrinsically, a near-impossible mission creating this list of 100 top soccer players. There are no objective metrics for cross-position comparisons. There is no legally binding way to adjust for strength of competition or teammates.
Even so, we tried.
Brazil and Spain are the nation with the most players on the list with 16 players. France and Germany are level in third with 13 each. Belgium is fifth with nine.
Spain’s entire starting 11 at the 2018 World Cup makes the top 50.
Twenty different nations are represented in the 100 top soccer players 2018. The best team not represented is Mexico.
Nine different countries are represented in the top 10 football players in 2018.
European reigning champion, Portugal has just two players in the top 100.
Even with Leroy Sane left off Germany’s squad, Manchester City leads the way among clubs with 13 players in the top 100. Barcelona is second with 12.
Its Clasico rival, Real Madrid, is hot on its tail with 11. Tottenham is fourth with nine. Bayern Munich is fifth with eight.
Four Real Madrid players cracked the top 10 football players 2018. Only one other club, PSG, had several players in the top 10.
Twenty-three clubs from six different leagues are represented.
As expected, all 100 players are based in Europe.
Only one teenager made the list of 100 top soccer players 2018 and he came in at No. 9.
Of the 100 players, midfielders are 41; defenders are 24; forwards are 21; goalkeepers are 8; five were listed as midfielders/forwards, and one was listed as a defender/midfielder.
Now let’s see the 100 top soccer players 2018:
100. Jordan Henderson, M, England/Liverpool
99. Marco Reus, M, Germany/Borussia Dortmund
98. Fred, M, Brazil/Shakhtar Donetsk
97. Ivan Perisic, M, Croatia/Inter Milan
96. Medhi Benatia, D, Morocco/Juventus
95. Granit Xhaka, M, Switzerland/Arsenal
94. Vincent Kompany, D, Belgium/Manchester City
93. Marco Asensio, M, Spain/Real Madrid
92. Thiago Silva, D, Brazil/PSG
91. Jose Maria Gimenez, D, Uruguay/Atletico Madrid
90. Hugo Lloris, G, France/Tottenham
89. Eric Dier, D/M, England/Tottenham
88. Paulinho, M, Brazil/Barcelona
87. Leon Goretzka, M, Germany/Schalke
86. Julian Draxler, M, Germany/PSG
85. Benjamin Mendy, D, France/Manchester City
84. Keylor Navas, G, Costa Rica/Real Madrid
83. Nicolas Otamendi, D, Argentina/Manchester City
82. Angel Di Maria, M, Argentina/PSG
81. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, M, Serbia/Lazio
80. Cesar Azpilicueta, D, Spain/Chelsea
79. Iago Aspas, F, Spain/Celta Vigo
78. Son Heung-Min, F, South Korea/Tottenham
77. Blaise Matuidi, M, France/Juventus
76. Douglas Costa, M, Brazil/Juventus
75. Nemanja Matic, M, Serbia/Manchester United
74. Toby Alderweireld, D, Belgium/Tottenham
73. Thomas Lemar, M, France/Monaco
72. Saul Niguez, M, Spain/Atletico Madrid
71. Marquinhos, D, Brazil/PSG
70. Florian Thauvin, M/F, France/Marseille
69. Willian, M, Brazil/Chelsea
68. Jerome Boateng, D, Germany/Bayern Munich
67. Thibaut Courtois, G, Belgium/Chelsea
66. Diego Godin, D, Uruguay/Atletico Madrid
65. Joao Miranda, D, Brazil/Inter Milan
64. Nabil Fekir, M, France/Lyon
63. Ederson, G, Brazil/Manchester City
62. Alisson, G, Brazil/Roma
61. Kalidou Koulibaly, D, Senegal/Napoli
60. Koke, M, Spain/Atletico Madrid
59. Sami Khedira, M, Germany/Juventus
58. Gonzalo Higuain, F, Argentina/Juventus
57. Bernardo Silva, M, Portugal/Manchester City
56. Romelu Lukaku, F, Belgium/Manchester United
55. Roberto Firmino, F, Brazil/Liverpool
54. Ivan Rakitic, M, Croatia/Barcelona
53. Dele Alli, M, England/Tottenham
52. Samuel Umtiti, D, France/Barcelona
51. Kyle Walker, D, England/Manchester City
50. Ousmane Dembele, M/F, France/Barcelona
49. Ilkay Gundogan, M, Germany/Manchester City
48. Diego Costa, F, Spain/Atletico Madrid
47. Jordi Alba, D, Spain/Barcelona
46. Raphael Varane, D, France/Real Madrid
45. Fernandinho, M, Brazil/Manchester City
44. Mousa Dembele, M, Belgium/Tottenham
43. Sadio Mane, F, Senegal/Liverpool
42. Dries Mertens, F, Belgium/Napoli
41. Jan Vertonghen, D, Belgium/Tottenham
40. Gabriel Jesus, F, Brazil/Manchester City
39. Thomas Muller, M/F, Germany/Bayern Munich
38. Edinson Cavani, F, Uruguay/PSG
37. Dani Carvajal, D, Spain/Real Madrid
36. James Rodriguez, M, Colombia/Bayern Munich
35. Sergio Aguero, F, Argentina/Manchester City
34. Sergio Busquets, M, Spain/Barcelona
33. Joshua Kimmich, D, Germany/Bayern Munich
32. Raheem Sterling, F, England/Manchester City
31. Andres Iniesta, M, Spain/Barcelona
30. Casemiro, M, Brazil/Real Madrid
29. Thiago Alcantara, M, Spain/Bayern Munich
28. Paulo Dybala, M/F, Argentina/Juventus
27. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, G, Germany/Barcelona
26. Gerard Pique, D, Spain/Barcelona
25. Mesut Ozil, M, Germany/Arsenal
24. Christian Eriksen, M, Denmark/Tottenham
23. Luis Suarez, F, Uruguay/Barcelona
22. Philippe Coutinho, M, Brazil/Barcelona
21. David Silva, M, Spain/Manchester City
20. Mats Hummels, D, Germany/Bayern Munich
19. Isco, M, Spain/Real Madrid
18. Paul Pogba, M, France/Manchester United
17. Marcelo, D, Brazil/Real Madrid
16. Harry Kane, F, England/Tottenham
15. Antoine Griezmann, F, France/Atletico Madrid
14. Manuel Neuer, G, Germany/Bayern Munich
13. Robert Lewandowski, F, Poland/Bayern Munich
12. Eden Hazard, M/F, Belgium/Chelsea
11. N’Golo Kante, M, France/Chelsea
10. Toni Kroos, M, Germany/Real Madrid
9. Kylian Mbappe, F, France/PSG
8. Sergio Ramos, D, Spain/Real Madrid
7. Luka Modric, M, Croatia/Real Madrid
6. David De Gea, G, Spain/Manchester United
5. Mohamed Salah, F, Egypt/Liverpool
4. Kevin De Bruyne, M, Belgium/Manchester City
3. Neymar, F, Brazil/PSG
2. Cristiano Ronaldo, F, Portugal/Real Madrid
1. Lionel Messi, F, Argentina/Barcelona