Top 10 Soccer Players In The World: 2016 Edition

Top 10 Soccer Players In The World: 2016 Edition

Soccer

Top 10 Soccer Players In The World: 2016 Edition

Copa America Centenario and Euro 2016 are coming up. Lists are fun. Here is our list of the Top 10 soccer players in the world, entering those two tournaments.

The greatest emphasis was placed on recent club form. That excluded the flying Dutchman Arjen Robben and weighed against Eden Hazard, who might be here were the list just to consider talent.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski celebrate with the Bayern Munich maskot "Baerli" after the German first division Bundesliga football match FC Bayern Muenchen vs VfL Wolfsburg in Munich, on September 22, 2015. AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOF STACHE RESTRICTIONS: DURING MATCH TIME: DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE TO 15 PICTURES PER MATCH AND FORBID IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO. ==RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE == FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT THE DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050. (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images

10. Robert Lewandowski [Bayern Munich, Poland] Lewandowski found his form this season at Bayern. He has established himself as the world’s preeminent classic No. 9 striker. He scored 39 goals in 40 starts for Bayern Munich in this season, including a barrage of five in nine minutes against Wolfsburg.

SOTOGRANDE, SPAIN - APRIL 17: Real Madrid and Wales footballer Gareth Bale (C) looks on as he watches Sergio Garcia's group during the final round on day four of the Open de Espana at Real Club Valderrama on April 17, 2016 in Sotogrande, Spain. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

9. Gareth Bale [Real Madrid, Wales] Bale gets short shrift to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Their talents often overlap rather than compliment. He’s still brilliant. Bale is lightning fast down the wing. He’s a lethal, left-footed finisher. When he’s in form and fit, he can’t be defended. 19 goals and 10 assists in the Primera Liga this past season, in just 21 starts. We’ll give him a pass for his sparse beard, his wonky man bun, and his lame heart celebration.

MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 14: Manuel Neuer of Muenchen celebrates after the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Hannover 96 at Allianz Arena on May 14, 2016 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images For MAN)

Photo by Daniel Kopatsch/Getty Images For MAN

8. Manuel Neuer [Bayern Munich, Germany] Neuer is a true testament to German engineering. He’s a superb shot-stopper. He has expanded and redefined the position (at least for him) often serving as an auxiliary sweeper defender and a distributor. He has no qualms about physical contact. He’s the shifty guy to watch out for in post-Bundesliga title beer dumping celebrations. Neuer could probably play as a professional in the outfield. His one flaw is an insatiable desire to do that.

7. Mesut Ozil [Arsenal, Germany] Ozil is fresh off a masterful season for Arsenal. He’s the most incisive final third passer in world football. His combination of vision and technique, at that specific skill, is perhaps unparalleled. He set up 146 shots for Arsenal in 2015-16, the most in a Top 5 league since OPTA began recording it as a stat.

RECIFE, BRAZIL - MARCH 25: Neymar of Brazil reacts during a match between Brazil and Uruguay as part of 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Qualifiers at Arena Pernanbuco on March 25, 2016 in Recife, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)

Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images

6. Neymar [Barcelona, Brazil] He’s the third man in Barcelona’s ferocious front three. Neymar is explosive. He’s technically gifted. He’s perhaps the one modern Brazilian player who still plays with the expected flair. While it seems like he’s been around a while, he still has room to grow. He just turned 24 in February. Sadly, he won’t be appearing at Copa America Centenario. Stupid Olympics on home soil.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 08: Sergio Aguero of Manchester City controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on May 8, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

5. Sergio Aguero [Manchester City, Argentina] Aguero is a phenomenal all-around forward. He’s year-in, year-out the Premier League’s most dynamic force. He’s strong, he’s quick, he’s smart, he’s a menace on the ball and he’s a clinical finisher, in close quarters and from range. 50 goals and 10 assists in his last 59 starts in the EPL.

MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 13: Luis Suarez of Barcelona looks dejected during the UEFA Champions League quarter final, second leg match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Vincente Calderon on April 13, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

4. Luis Suarez [Barcelona, Uruguay] Suarez would be everyone’s favorite player, if he weren’t soccer’s most odious villain. He’s inventive, with or without the ball. He can finish. He’s an absolute nightmare to defend. He’s at the peak of his power right now, which meant 63 goals and 23 assists in 58 starts for Barcelona this season.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League Group A football match Real Madrid CF vs Malmo FF at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on December 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images

3. Cristiano Ronaldo [Real Madrid, Portugal] CR7 may have lost a step turning 31. That still leaves him a step or two ahead of just about everyone else. 51 goals and 15 assists in 47 starts for Real Madrid in the league and Champions League. His great flaw has been playing at the same time, in the same league as Lionel Messi.

TURIN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 16: Paul Pogba of Juventus salutes the fans at the end of the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Juventus and Malmo FF on September 16, 2014 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

2. Paul Pogba [Juventus, France] Pogba just turned 23 in March. He’s already the world’s best all-around midfielder. He will only mature and improve. He’s a powerful box-to-box force like Vieira. He has some Zidane-like grace and instincts on the ball. He has a chance to be something we’ve never seen before. Expect him to smash the world-record transfer fee when Juventus decides to sell.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi kicks a ball during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Valencia CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on April 17, 2016. / AFP / LLUIS GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images

1. Lionel Messi [Barcelona, Argentina] Messi had a pedestrian season by his standards. He struggled with injuries. He only produced 26 goals and 16 assists in 31 starts leading Barcelona to the Primera Liga title. Some have been more fun to watch. Many have had more personality. No one has done it as well or as long at European club level, now the world’s best competition. He is the GOAT.

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