The European club season is wrapping up and as we approach the layoff between the end of league play and the 2018 World Cup we thought it was a good time to break down the top soccer players in the world. We’ve done this annually for a while, and you can find the 2017 version of the list here. You’ll notice some pretty big changes in the 2018 edition.
A note on our methodology: For the most part, weight was given to the length of a player’s success, but where things were close, we leaned towards recent seasons. So if two guys were close, we would use their more recent play as a determining factor. There are a few examples of guys who had ridiculous single seasons jumping way up and that is based not only on single-year success, but also future projection. Club and international play were weighed equally, and team success also factored in to consideration.
Without further ado, our list of the 10 best footballers in the world for 2018.
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10. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, Poland)
Robert Lewandowski has dominated since arriving at Bayern Munich in 2014. He has scored 150 goals in 194 total appearances, that followed four years at Borussia Dortmund where he bagged 103 in 187 matches. He’s easily the best pure goal scorer in the Bundesliga, and with Bayern he’s scored 106 times in 126 league matches.
Lewandowski was the 2016-17 Bundesliga player of the year as he had 43 goals in 47 total appearances for Bayern. He followed that up by scoring 40 in 46 appearances this season, with a Bundesliga-best 29 goal in 30 matches.
Lewandowski has been named to his league’s team of the year in three straight campaigns, and Champions League Team of the Year in two straight. His 16 goals during 2018 World Cup qualification were also tops in the world. Oh, and Bayern has won the Bundesliga in each of his four seasons with the club.
At 29, Lewandowski is still in his prime. He’s not higher on this list because pure No. 9s don’t get the love they used to with so many hybrid attacking midfielders moving up the ranks. But he continues to be one of the best finishers in the world.