10. Son Heung-min — Tottenham Hotspur and South Korea
Son Heung-min had a storming start to this season for Spurs, scoring 14 times in all competitions before the turn of the year, while also providing seven assists – most of which were for Harry Kane.
The Korean has struggled for as many goals since, but he’s still teeing Kane (and occasionally his other teammates) up for fun.
The 28-year-old is up there with the best in the final third – however, you can’t help but feel he would do even better under a manager who gave him true freedom to play, such as Mauricio Pochettino, for example.
9. Andre Silva – Eintracht Frankfurt and Portugal
Everyone talks about Erling Braut Haaland (we’ll get to him later) setting alight the Bundesliga this season.
However, at the time of writing, Frankfurt’s Andre Silva has scored more goals than the Norway international in the German top flight, while he’s also laid on an equal amount of assists.
Much like Haaland did with RB Salzburg last season, Silva burst onto the scene a few years back as a youngster with FC Porto, earning himself a move to AC Milan.
In Milan, he flopped. However, in Germany, the Portuguese star has found his home and proven once again why he was so highly thought of when younger, while he’s also earned himself a recall to the Portugal national team.
8. Jadon Sancho — Borussia Dortmund and England
Sky Sports punditry duo Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher left Jadon Sancho out of their selections for the England squad for this summer’s European Championships.
Though statistics don’t tell you everything, they tell you enough to know that they’ve both made a huge error.
Of all the English wingers in Europe’s top five leagues this season, Sancho leads the way in assists, passes into the penalty area, shot-creating actions (level with the also talented Ademola Lookman of Fulham), goal-creating actions, progressive carries, and players dribbled past.
Should England manager Gareth Southgate follow Neville and Carragher’s advice and omit Sancho this summer, the tournament will be without one of the most gifted attackers in Europe.
7. Luis Suarez – Atletico Madrid and Uruguay
Lionel Messi was extremely unhappy when Barcelona let Luis Suarez join rivals Atletico Madrid for free in the summer.
With the La Liga season now approaching its climax – it’s clear to see why.
Suarez has scored 19 times in the Spanish top flight for Diego Simeone’s side this term, firing it to the top of the table and to the brink of being crowned champion.
The Uruguayan’s absence from Barca has been even more noticeable since Antoine Griezmann, who the club signed from Atletico two years ago for $148 million, has yet again flopped, scoring just eight goals.
6. Erling Braut Haaland – Borussia Dortmund and Norway
Erling Braut Haaland is the name on the lips of every soccer fan across the world right now, and rightly so.
The 20-year-old striker has taken the sport by storm since bursting onto the scene with RB Salzburg last season, where he scored 28 goals, including eight in the Champions League, before the turn of the year.
Since joining Borussia Dortmund last January, he’s scored 49 times in just 51 games. Deadly.
5. Romelu Lukaku – Inter Milan and Belgium
Chelsea has prematurely let go of some brilliant players over the years – Mohamed Salah and Kevin De Bruyne, to name but two.
Letting go of Romelu Lukaku, however, might be the club’s biggest ever transfer mishap.
Since leaving Stamford Bridge permanently in 2014, Lukaku has scored 175 goals in just 317 games for Everton, Manchester United, and Inter Milan.
27 of those have come for Inter this season, putting the club to the brink of its first Serie A title since 2009/10.
The often-lamented striker has also improved vastly in terms of his technical ability at Inter under Antonio Conte, who, ironically, tried to re-sign the Belgian during his stint as Chelsea’s manager.
4. Robert Lewandowski — Bayern Munich and Poland
“Robert LewanGOALski” – Thomas Muller’s nickname for his Bayern Munich teammate might not be the most inventive or catchy, but it’s certainly apt.
No striker in world soccer is more adept at putting the ball in the back of the net than the 32-year-old.
This season alone, he’s scored 42 goals, the most of any player in Europe, while last term he managed an incredible 55, which was, again, the most of any player on the continent.
Also impressive about the Pole’s goals is the sheer versatility he displays. Of his 34 non-penalty goals this season, six have been scored with his left foot, seven with his head, and 21 with his preferred right foot.
3. Kylian Mbappe — Paris Saint Germain and France
“Unplayable.” That’s how former England and Manchester United star Owen Hargreaves described Kylian Mbappe after his brace against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinals.
After his hat-trick against Barcelona in the last-16, Antoine Griezmann said of the 22-year-old: “PSG has a great star for the future, who will be at the level of Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.”
After scoring his 100th goal for PSG against Olympique Lyonnais, PSG sporting director Leonardo called him “incredible.”
See where we are going with this?
Mbappe, along with his contemporary, Haaland, means the future of world soccer is in good hands.
2. Neymar — Paris Saint Germain and Brazil
Neymar’s sometimes petulant behavior and propensity to go to ground too easily often distract from the fact he is a truly genius footballer.
But he is, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
The way the Brazilian plays soccer is a unique combination of a young boy from Brazil on the beach and a veteran Italian “film director.”
The result? Silky skills, blistering pace, and unparalleled ingenuity mixed with perfect vision, precision passing, and a second-to-none soccer IQ.
1. Lionel Messi — FC Barcelona and Argentina
Lionel Messi had a largely disappointing season last year — by his own stupidly high standards, anyway — which culminated in him trying to force his way out of Barcelona.
However, since Ronald Koeman took over as the club’s new manager last August, and Josep Maria Bartomeu stepped down as president in October – Messi has been back to his sparkling best.
No player in Spain has managed more goals and assists combined this term, while the Argentine has also made more key passes, created more goal scoring opportunities, played more through balls, made more progressive passes, and dribbled past more players than anybody else.
Simply the best. No question.