The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

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Soccer, often referred to as football in many parts of the world, is undoubtedly the most popular sport globally. With around 4 billion fans, the beautiful game draws unparalleled levels of passion and viewership across the planet.

Deciding on the best soccer players is no easy task given the ever-evolving dynamics of the sport. Yet we’ve made our best attempt at highlighting the crème de la crème – the leading lights who’ve made their mark with skill, guile, goals, and glory.

Our Selection of the Top 10 Soccer Players in 2024

Based on current form, achievements, stats, and impact, we believe the following superstars make up the top 10 best soccer players in the world this year:

1. Lionel Messi – Paris Saint Germain and Argentina

2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Al Nassr and Portugal

3. Kylian Mbappé – Paris Saint Germain and France

4. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City and Belgium

5. Karim Benzema – Real Madrid and France

6. Sadio Mané – Bayern Munich and Senegal

7. Mohamed Salah – Liverpool and Egypt

8. Neymar Jr – Paris Saint Germain and Brazil

9. Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool and Netherlands

10.         Erling Haaland – Manchester City and Norway

Now let’s explore why each of these remarkable talents deserve a spot among the football elite.

1. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi’s magical left foot requires little introduction. The Argentinian genius has set the benchmark for excellence over his illustrious career.

With 7 Ballon d’Or and 6 European Golden Shoe awards already under his belt, Messi shows no signs of slowing down even at 35. His supernatural ability to ghost past defenders, unleash thunderbolt shots, and create moments of sheer brilliance cements his GOAT status.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

Though his time at Barcelona came to an unexpected end in 2021, Messi has quickly found his rhythm at PSG alongside superstar teammates Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé.

Domestically, Messi has already clinched Ligue 1, French Cup, French Super Cup and French Champions Trophy honours with the Parisian club. His sights are now set on finally getting his hands on that elusive UEFA Champions League trophy.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo’s relentless goal-scoring and absurd physiological prowess keep him firmly in the world’s best conversation. Where Messi brings artistry, CR7 is all about lethal efficiency.

The Portuguese captain holds the record for the most official career goals (820+) scored ever. He’s won league titles in England, Spain and Italy along with 5 UEFA Champions League medals.

Ronaldo recently joined Saudi side Al Nassr in one of the most shocking transfers ever. With Euro 2024 and potentially the 2026 World Cup still in his crosshairs, CR7 remains as motivated as ever entering the twilight of his historic career.

3. Kylian Mbappé

If this list was about identifying football’s future king, 23-year old Kylian Mbappé would top it. The French phenom possesses exhilarating speed and skill which regularly brings fans to their feet.

Still early days in his career, Mbappé already has a World Cup winner’s medal and multiple domestic trophies to his name. 2022 saw him renew at PSG on an astronomical salary rather than joining Real Madrid.

Under Mbappé’s attacking leadership alongside Messi and Neymar, PSG finally captured their first ever Champions League last season. His combination of raw athletic gifts and Nostradamus-like football intelligence means the sky remains the limit.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

4. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne’s visionary passing ability allows him to dictate play like a master puppeteer. Manchester City’s Belgian wizard conducts his midfield orchestra to perfection.

De Bruyne’s shared desire to keep improving himself each season shows why he qualifies as a globally elite footballer.

His standout technical qualities include whipped crosses, pinpoint through-balls, driving runs beyond the defense, and a penchant for hammering unstoppable shots into the top corner.

Alongside world-class talents like Haaland and Bernardo Silva, De Bruyne orchestrates City’s Total Football style to remained feared across Europe.

5. Karim Benzema

2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema enjoyed a career-defining season which shot him into FIFA’s top 5 ranked players.

Stepping up as Real Madrid’s attacking leader in the post-Ronaldo era, the French striker delivered emphatic leadership in domestic and continental campaigns.

Benzema notched 44 goals across competitions including vital UEFA Champions League hat-tricks versus PSG and Chelsea. His match-winning brilliance guided Los Blancos to another European crown.

At 34 years of age, Benzema appears to have discovered the football fountain of youth. His cunning movement and uncompromising finishing certify his world beater status entering 2024.

6. Sadio Mané

This summer saw Senegalese wizard Sadio Mané clinch a high-profile transfer to German heavyweights Bayern Munich. Under coach Julian Nagelsmann, the 30-year old has maintained outstanding form.

Blessed with searing turn of foot and playmaking flair, Mané continues exhibiting the well-rounded attacking qualities which once made him a Liverpool favorite.

Already notching 7 goals across Bundesliga and Champions League duties this season, the African icon looks hungry to add more silverware to his bursting trophy cabinet in Bavaria.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

7. Mohamed Salah

Egyptian icon Mohamed Salah remains one of football’s most prolific marksmen from his right wing role at Liverpool. Under coach Jurgen Klopp, Salah flourishes as a key cog in The Reds intense pressing system.

Blistering speed allows him to blitz down flanks before using devastating dribbling skills or accurate left-footed finishing to penetrate defenses. Salah amassed 120 goals over his past 150 Premier League outings – an astonishing strike rate.

Still aged 30 with a burning desire for team glory, Salah retains the explosive attacking abilities to shatter backlines and matches wide open.

8. Neymar Jr

Fooled by his cartoonish hairstyles and playboy lifestyle, it’s easy to forget just how outrageously skilled Neymar is with a football.

The Samba dancing Brazilian conjures up physics-defying tricks and flicks capable of humiliating world class defenders. Neymar’s combination of close control, feints, acceleration, and flair epitomize street football magic.

Now 31 and no longer the shiny new toy in Paris, Neymar seems to have grown as a leader too – serving up a career-best 2022 in domestic and Champions League play.

When fit and firing, Ney flawlessly compliments Messi and Mbappé with his unique bag of tricks.

9. Virgil van Dijk

No messing around, Dutchman Virgil van Dijk is an absolute colossus at the heart of Liverpool’s defense. Standing at 6-foot-4, he dominates the area aerially while marshaling backlines with consummate authority.

Van Dijk missed nearly all of the 2021 season through a nasty ACL injury. His commanding return to action in 2022 though highlights how he remains a genuine world leader in his position.

The towering center half boasts an immaculate reading of danger, bone-crunching tackles and leadership skills which greatly benefit The Reds. Virgil’s supreme talents suppress even the very best strikers.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

10. Erling Haaland

Norwegian striking sensation Erling Haaland already looks a generational talent despite being just 22-years-old. Last summer’s blockbuster transfer to Manchester City has seen "The Terminator" continue steamrolling defenses.

A staggering 31 goals in 30 appearances this season shows why Haaland is currently the most lethal #9 on the planet. Beyond freakish athleticism and height, the youngster demonstrates world-class movement, positional sense and ice-cool finishing instincts.

As City hunt down more Premier League and Champions League glory, Haaland serves as the bonafide spearhead to achieve their lofty ambitions.

Best Soccer Players Worldwide – Additional Stats and Facts

Beyond just assessing individual greatness, it’s also worth highlighting some of the impressive stats and facts relating to soccer players globally:

●   According to many experts, Slovenian goalkeeper Jan Oblak is arguably the world’s best in his position currently. The Atletico Madrid star showcases extraordinary reflexes and leadership organizing his defensive unit.

●   Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was voted Africa’s best ever footballer, beating the likes of Samuel Eto’o and Yaya Toure in a 2019 fan poll. The Ivorian icon was renowned for his aerial threat, hold-up play and knack for rising to big occasions.

●   Pioneering striker Kunishige Kamamoto earns recognition as Japan’s greatest ever player. He grabbed global attention at 1968’s Mexico Olympics, finishing as top goal scorer with 7 goals. Kamamoto is currently a member of Japan’s House of Councillors.

●   Legendary Soviet Union goalkeeper Lev Yashin (1958-1970) is largely considered football’s best ever shot-stopper. His commanding presence, acrobatic saves and introduction of the all-black keeper strip cemented his iconic status.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

●   Mia Hamm (USA) owns the title of first true international female football superstar. As a prolific forward, she clinched 2 World Cups and 2 Olympic golds throughout the 90s/2000s. Hamm twice won FIFA World Player of the Year honors cementing her GOAT reputation.

●   Egyptian midfielder Ahmed Hassan holds the remarkable record of 184 international caps – more than any male player ever. He represented his national team from 1995 until 2012.

●   In 2020, Ezzeldin Bahader (Egypt) set a new record as the world’s oldest player scoring a competitive goal at age 75.

●   Shockingly, Mauricio Baldivieso (Bolivia) became the youngest top-flight league debutant ever when he played professionally in 2009 aged just 12 years old!

Beyond the names already highlighted, many all-time greats could easily stake a claim as the world’s best especially during their peak powers. Former stars like Ronaldinho, Ronaldo Nazário, Zinedine Zidane plus current heavyweights such as Robert Lewandowski and Luka Modric all deserve great credit advancing The Beautiful Game.

Let’s now break down today’s elite male and female players categorized by position.

Best Strikers and Forwards

These sharp shooting specialists represent the chief attackers and scoring outlets for their respective teams. Their goals often prove decisive in matches across the biggest global competitions.

Best Male Strikers and Forwards:

●   Robert Lewandowski – Poland/Barcelona

●   Harry Kane – England/Tottenham

●   Kylian Mbappé – France/PSG

●   Karim Benzema – France/Real Madrid

●   Lionel Messi – Argentina/PSG

●   Neymar Jr – Brazil/PSG

●   Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal/Al Nassr

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

●   Erling Haaland – Norway/Manchester City

Best Female Strikers and Forwards:

●   Alex Morgan – USA/San Diego Wave

●   Sam Kerr – Australia/Chelsea

●   Vivianne Miedema – Netherlands/Arsenal

●   Beth Mead – England/Arsenal

●   Mallory Pugh – USA/Chicago Red Stars

●   Eugenie Le Sommer – France/OL Reign

●   Tabea Waßmuth – Germany/VfL Wolfsburg

●   Marie-Antoinette Katoto
– France/PSG

Best Midfielders

Pulling strings from box-to-box, advanced playmakers, attacking midfielders and wide creators provide their teams both defensive stability and regular chances.

Best Male Midfielders:

●   Kevin De Bruyne – Belgium/Manchester City

●   Luka Modric – Croatia/Real Madrid

●   N’Golo Kanté – France/Chelsea

●   Bernardo Silva – Portugal/Manchester City

●   Sadio Mané – Senegal/Bayern Munich

●   Mohamed Salah – Egypt/Liverpool

●   Bruno Fernandes – Portugal/Manchester United

●   Federico Valverde – Uruguay/Real Madrid

Best Female Midfielders:

●   Alexia Putellas – Spain/Barcelona

●   Keira Walsh – England/Barcelona

●   Lena Oberdorf – Germany/VfL Wolfsburg

●   Caroline Graham Hansen – Norway/Barcelona

●   Sophia Smith – USA/Portland Thorns

●   Kim Little – Scotland/Arsenal

●   Aitana Bonmatí – Spain/Barcelona

●   Sara Däbritz – Germany/Olympique Lyonnais

Best Defenders

Tasked with thwarting opposition attacks, reliable defenders carry heavy responsibility protecting their own goal while building attacks from the back.

Best Male Defenders:

●   Virgil van Dijk – Netherlands/Liverpool

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

●   Antonio Rüdiger – Germany/Real Madrid

●   Achraf Hakimi – Morocco/PSG

●   João Cancelo – Portugal/Manchester City

●   Éder Militão – Brazil/Real Madrid

●   Marquinhos – Brazil/PSG

●   Thiago Silva – Brazil/Chelsea

●   Alphonso Davies – Canada/Bayern Munich

Best Female Defenders:

●   Wendie Renard – France/Lyon

●   Mapi León – Spain/Barcelona

●   Leah Williamson – England/Arsenal

●   Millie Bright – England/Chelsea

●   Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir – Iceland/Lyon

●   Kadeisha Buchanan – Canada/Chelsea

●   Lucy Bronze – England/Barcelona

●   Irene Paredes – Spain/Barcelona

Best Goalkeepers

The last line of defense, world class goalkeepers demonstrate lightning quick reflexes, brave shot-stopping and leadership commanding their penalty area.

Best Male Goalkeepers:

●   Thibaut Courtois – Belgium/Real Madrid

●   Ederson – Brazil/Manchester City

●   Emiliano Martínez – Argentina/Aston Villa

●   Jan Oblak – Slovenia/Atlético Madrid

●   Alisson – Brazil/Liverpool

●   Manuel Neuer – Germany/Bayern Munich

●   Yassine Bounou – Morocco/Sevilla

●   Hugo Lloris – France/Tottenham

Best Female Goalkeepers:

●   Ann-Katrin Berger – Germany/Chelsea

●   Mary Earps – England/Manchester United

●   Christiane Endler – Chile/Lyon

●   Sandra Paños – Spain/Barcelona

●   Lydia Williams – Australia/Arsenal

●   Sarah Bouhaddi – France/OL Reign

●   Stephanie Labbé – Canada

●   Hedvig Lindahl – Sweden/Atlético Madrid


We hope you enjoyed our breakdown of global football’s current elite across both the men’s and women’s game. Deciding on the undisputed best soccer players will always remain highly subjective.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

Beyond just assessing individual brilliance, football ultimately remains a team sport. The spectacular talents we highlighted thrive through combining their outstanding abilities together in pursuit of collective glory.

Matches, championships and legacies cement themselves via moments of magic produced by these leading lights. So as fans of The Beautiful Game, we should feel grateful getting to witness this generation of phenomenal footballers – the crème de la crème – regularly gracing pitches worldwide.

The exciting young talents emerging annually suggest the future of soccer looks incredibly bright heading into the 2026 World Cup and beyond!

Frequently Asked Questions

Below we provide answers to some common questions football fans have around determining the world’s best soccer players:

Who is considered the best soccer player in the world currently?

Based on major individual honors, stats and achievements – Lionel Messi edges out his peers as football’s standout player in 2024/24. Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Kevin De Bruyne aren’t far behind in staking their claim.

Who deserves the title of greatest soccer player of all time?

An eternal debate with no definitive answer, but Argentine magician Lionel Messi along with Brazilian icon Pelé boast legitimate cases as the GOAT. Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and fellow countrymen Alfredo Di Stéfano also feature heavily in the conversation.

Who is the best female soccer player in 2024?

Alexia Putellas – FC Barcelona’s creative heartbeat maintains her status as women football’s top talent after conquering UEFA Women’s Champions League and Spanish league titles last season. Putellas pipped Beth Mead and Wendie Renard to win her second straight Ballon d’Or Féminin award.

The Worlds Top Footballers Skills, Achievements And Influence

Who are the current best young soccer players under 25?

Kylian Mbappé (24, France/PSG), Erling Haaland (22, Norway/Man City), Vinícius Júnior (22, Brazil/Real Madrid), Pedri (20, Spain/Barcelona) and Jude B

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