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Top 10 best football players ranked for 2021

Here we are talking about the top 10 best footballers in 2021. Despite the continuous battle against the deadly viruses, the calendar year 2021 was eventful in the football world.

Sandipan Ghosh
Last updated: 28.12.2021
best football players ranked for 2021

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Despite the continuous battle against the deadly viruses, the calendar year 2021 was eventful in the football world. While the football fans are slowly returning to the live venues, the players are becoming more desperate on the field.

Once again, many players have inspired this year. Here we are talking about the top 10 best footballers in 2021. (All stats updated till 27th December 2021)

Karim Benzema

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French striker Karim Benzema had an amazing year in 2021. He scored 38 goals in 50 matches in 2021, while he also had 12 assists in his name during this period. Real Madrid just missed out to win the 2020/21 La Liga title as consistent Benzema helped them to secure the second spot in that league. However, Real Madrid are now dominating in the ongoing domestic season, where Benzema is the leading goal-scorer in the league.  

Moreover, Benzema was also the regular starter for France in this calendar year, where he scored nine goals in 13 matches. Though France were disappointed in the UEFA Euro 2020 after their exit from the Round of 16, Benzema played a key role for his national team to directly qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 without losing a game in the qualifier round. Moreover, he also made crucial appearances for his national team in the 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals as France won their first UEFA Nations League trophy.

Harry Kane

England captain Harry Kane was one of the consistent football strikers in 2021. He won his third Premier League Golden Boot at the end of the 2020/21 season after the Tottenham Hotspur star scored 23 goals in that PL season. Though he is highly struggling in the ongoing PL season, he is completely in the form in all other tournaments.

While England finished as the runners-up in the UEFA Euro 2020 and they also directly qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in a dominant way, Kane finished as the joint leading goal-scorer in international football in 2021 with 16 goals. He has already scored 27 goals and also provided seven assists in 49 overall appearances this calendar year.   

Erling Haaland

The 21-year-old Norwegian striker Erling Haaland has maintained his natural image of goal-machine this year too as he is one of the top-most goal-scorers in 2021. Though the youngster missed some matches this year due to several injuries, he scored 43 goals in the same number of matches this year. Moreover, he also managed 16 assists during that period.

Whether he played for Borussia Dortmund or the national team, Haaland was always busy putting regular pressure on the opposition defences. The 2020/21 Bundesliga Player of the Season award winner also won the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League Forward of the Season award.

Jorginho

Brazil-born Jorginho was one of the shining footballers in 2021. Whether it was for his national team Italy or his club Chelsea, the midfielder played vital roles for his teams. As a defensive midfielder, he delivers accurate passes and also successfully handles the opposition attacks. Also, he can play crucial roles as the central midfielder which helps his teams to put pressure on opposition defences. 

Jorginho was the key man for Chelsea’s title-win in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and Italy’s title-victory in the UEFA Euro 2020. He won the 2020/21 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.  

Kylian Mbappe

The 23-year-old French forward Kylian Mbappe also enjoyed 2021 by maintaining his incredible performances. He had 43 goals and 22 assists this year, where he played 53 games in total. 

Though France had a hard-luck in the UEFA 2020, they dominated in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA) to easily qualify for the next World Cup and also won the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League title. Mbappe played vital roles for his national team in all those successes. In the meantime, the PSG star continued his success for his club.

The Player of the Season award winner in 2020/21 Ligue 1 also won the Golden Boot award in the 2021 UEFA Nations League Finals.


Cristiano Ronaldo

Though Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has a dramatic 2021 as he returned to Manchester United in the summer after a good period for Juventus, he has still continued his unstoppable goal-scoring image.

Ronaldo has scored 33 goals in 50 matches in 2021. Also, he is carrying six assists with his name this year. The defending champions Portugal were eliminated from the Round of 16 in the UEFA Euro 2020, but Ronaldo won the Top Scorer award in that tournament. He continued that form in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA), but Portugal again had the hard-luck as they failed to qualify directly for the next World Cup. They will face the challenging play-off battle to ensure their place for the FIFA World Cup 2022, where the UEFA Euro 2020 winners Italy can face them in the final round.   

Ronaldo also won the 2020/21 Capocannoniere award (also known as Paolo Rossi Award for the highest goalscorer of each season in Italy's Serie A). He is also consistent for Manchester United in every competition.

However, Ronaldo’s biggest achievement this year was inscribing his name as the all-time top goal-scorer in international football.  

Lionel Messi

Argentine superstar Lionel Messi also had dramatic experiences in 2021. While he finally managed to win an international trophy for his senior Argentina side by winning the Copa America 2021 trophy, he was suddenly forced to shift from his long-time club Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG).

In 45 appearances in 2021, Messi scored 34 goals and delivered 14 assists for his teams. While he is taking some time for his new club PSG, Messi was the consistent goal-scorer for his national team and Barcelona.

Apart from finishing as the most goal-scorer in 2020/21 La Liga (30 goals), Messi won the Best Player Award and Top Scorer Award (jointly) in the Copa America 2021. His consistent performances also helped Argentina to easily qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022.

Messi’s another major point in 2021 was winning the record seventh Ballon d’Or.

Gianluigi Donnarumma

The 22-year-old Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma outstandingly enjoyed 2021. His hands played vital roles for Italy to win their second European Championship title after their victory in the UEFA Euro 2020. He also played a vital role for AC Milan to finish in the second position at the end of the Italian Serie A in the 2020/21 season. Currently, he is serving for Paris Saint-Germain after joining this side last summer.

Donnarumma was one of the best goalkeepers in 2021. Apart from winning the Player of the Tournament award in the UEFA Euro 2020, he also won the Yashin Trophy (best performing goalkeeper in the year) in the Ballon d’Or 2021 ceremony. In the 2020/21 season, Donnarumma also won the Serie A Best Goalkeeper award.

Robert Lewandowski

The 33-year-old Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is an unsurprising name on this list. However, the calendar 2021 was surely one of his memorial parts. The Bayern Munich star scored a whopping 58 goals in 47 matches in 2021, including 11 goals in 12 appearances for his national team. He also delivered seven assists in this calendar year.

Lewandowski was even very close to winning the Ballon d’Or 2021 but he finished in the second position in that battle. However, he is way ahead of any other goal-scorers in 2021 as the second most goal-scorer has less than 45 goals in his name. So, there is no doubt why Lewandowski won the Ballon d'Or Striker of the Year award in 2021.

Apart from many other awards, Lewandowski also won the European Golden Shoe at the end of the 2020/21 season. He was also awarded the Order of Polonia Restituta, Commander's Cross for his contribution to football.

Mohamed Salah

The 29-year-old Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah has set an incredible example of consistency in the football world. In 2021, he has already scored 37 goals in 52 matches. In addition, Salah has also managed 11 assists this calendar year.

In the ongoing season, the Liverpool forward Salah is dominating in almost every match. His regular goal-scoring ability is one of the major reasons why The Reds are dreaming of the top titles in the ongoing season.  

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