Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
4. Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid, France)
Antoine Griezmann has been on a tear over the past few years, firmly establishing himself as one of the premier players in the world. He led the French national team to the final at Euro 2016, and led the competition with six goals, winning the Golden Boot. Despite an extra time loss to Portugal, Griezmann was rightly named Player of the Tournament. Put simply, he is a threat to score or set up teammates in every game.
A versatile player, he can line up as a pure striker, drop back into an attacking midfield role, or even play on the wing. It really doesn’t matter, because wherever he is, he’ll impact the game.
In three seasons with Atlético Madrid, Griezmann has scored 83 goals in 160 total appearances. Included in there was a brilliant 2015-16 campaign, during which he found the back of the net 32 times in 54 appearances and led Atlético to a runner-up finish in the Champions League. He finished third in voting for the Ballon d’Or in 2016, was named La Liga’s Best Player, was named to UEFA’s Team of the Year and was on the Champions League Team of the Season. He was again on the Champions League Team of the Season in 2017.
At just 26, Griezmann is shooting up this list in his prime. While largely thought of as a goal-scorer — with a howitzer of a shot off his left foot — there is so much more to his game than that. It’s no wonder Manchester United has been so hot to sign him away from Atlético.
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
3. Luis Suárez (FC Barcelona, Uruguay)
Like him or not, Luis Suárez is one of the greatest pure goalscorers in the world. In three seasons at FC Barcelona, Suárez has scored 121 goals in 147 matches. He had an absolutely brilliant 2015-16 campaign during which he scored 40 goals in 35 La Liga contests and 59 goals in 53 total appearances.
Suárez of course became infamous for three separate incidents during which he bit opponents, most famously during the 2014 World Cup when he bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini on the shoulder. He was subsequently suspended for nine international matches and removed from the World Cup. He’s also been accused of being a serial diver. He’s a dirty player, plain and simple.
Still, there’s no denying what he can do on the field. The 30-year-old has an unbelievable feel for the game and can create scoring chances from nothing. That’s why he was able to win the Premier League Golden Boot and be named to the FWA Footballer of the Year in 2014, was on the Champions League Team of the Season twice (2015, 2016), and the FIFPro World XI in 2016.
Suárez is incredibly unlikable, but Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer is still one of the world’s most impactful players.