The best soccer players in the world are always in a state of flux as new technologies, coaching techniques and talent emerge each year.
However, there is still a select group of players who have consistently proven to be the best in the world over the past several years. These are players who have their names etched in the annals of soccer greatness, with titles such as Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year to their titles. They have amazing technical ability, boundless energy, and an unrivaled passion for the beautiful game.
The following list showcases some of the top 10 best soccer players from around the world at present. Each player has achieved international stardom and has remained at the top of their game for many years. From household names like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to up-and-coming stars like Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappé, this list represents some of the greatest talents in football today. With each player bringing a unique skill set to the table, these athletes demonstrate why they are considered among the world’s elite.
1. FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi
There is no denying that Lionel Messi is one of, if not the best soccer player in the world right now. The FC Barcelona star has been dominating the sport for years and shows no signs of slowing down.
Messi has won numerous individual awards, including the prestigious Ballon d’Or a record six times. He has also helped Barcelona to countless trophies, including 10 La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.
At just 32 years of age, Messi still has plenty of time left to add to his already incredible legacy. There is little doubt that he will go down as one of the greatest players of all time when he eventually hangs up his boots.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional soccer player who plays for the Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He is widely considered to be one of the best soccer players in the world.
Ronaldo started his professional career with the Portuguese club Sporting CP, before signing with Manchester United in 2003. He helped United win the Premier League title in 2007-08 and was named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2008. In 2009, he moved to Real Madrid for a then-world-record transfer fee of £80 million (€94 million).
Ronaldo has won four FIFA Ballon d’Or awards, two of which he won consecutively, and he is the first person to win four European Golden Shoes. He has won 27 major trophies in his career, including five league titles, five UEFA Champions Leagues, and one UEFA European Championship. Ronaldo has also set several records, including becoming the first player to score 100 goals in the UEFA Champions League.
3. Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid
Sergio Ramos is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for Real Madrid and the Spain national team. He is a versatile defender and can play either as a center-back or a right-back.
Ramos started his career at Real Madrid, making his first-team debut in 2005. He has since made over 700 appearances for the club and has won 22 trophies, including four La Liga titles and three Champions League titles. He has also represented Spain at three World Cups and two European Championships, winning the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Euro Championship.
Ramos is widely considered to be one of the best defenders in the world. He is known for his physicality, athleticism, and aggressive style of play. He is also an excellent ball-winner and has a penchant for scoring goals from set pieces.
4. Gareth Bale of SSC Napoli
Gareth Bale is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a winger for SSC Napoli. He began his professional career with Tottenham Hotspur, where he played for six seasons before joining Real Madrid in 2013. He helped Real Madrid win the UEFA Champions League three times and was named the competition’s best player in the 2014–15 season. He subsequently returned to Tottenham on loan for the 2020–21 season.
Bale has also been successful at the international level, helping Wales reach the semi-finals of Euro 2016, their first appearance in a major tournament for 58 years. He has also been named Welsh Footballer of the Year a record seven times.
5. Neymar of Paris Saint Germain
Neymar, the Brazilian superstar, plays for the French club Paris Saint-Germain and is widely considered to be one of the best soccer players in the world right now. He’s a gifted goalscorer and playmaker with an electric pace and unbelievable dribbling ability. Neymar has won numerous individual awards, including the golden ball at the 2014 World Cup. He’s also a two-time Champions League winner with Barcelona.
6. Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund
Marco Reus is a German professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder, winger, or striker for the Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the German national team. He is renowned for his speed, technique, and dribbling ability.
Reus began his career at Borussia Mönchengladbach before returning to Dortmund in 2012. He represented Germany at Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, winning the latter tournament.
Reus was born in Dortmund, West Germany. He joined Dortmund’s youth academy in 1996 at age five. In 2006, he left Borussia Mönchengladbach to return to his hometown club, where he rapidly progressed through the ranks. Reus made his professional debut for Dortmund in 2009.
He soon established himself as a regular starter and was a key player in Dortmund’s Bundesliga victory in 2010–11. He also played an important role in their run to the final of the UEFA Champions League that season. Reus scored 15 goals and provided 12 assists during the campaign. The following season, Reus signed a new contract with Dortmund, keeping him at the club until 2016.
7. Luis Suarez of La Liga’s Barcelona
Luis Suarez is a world-class soccer player who currently plays for the Spanish club Barcelona and is widely considered to be one of the best players in the world.
Born in Uruguay, Suarez began his professional career with the Dutch club Groningen in 2006. He moved to Liverpool in 2011 and quickly established himself as one of the Premier League’s best strikers, scoring 69 goals in 110 appearances for the Reds.
In 2014, Suarez transferred to Barcelona for a fee of £65 million, becoming the third-most expensive player in history at that time. Since joining Barca, he has won numerous trophies, including four La Liga titles and the Champions League. He has also been named La Liga’s Player of the Year twice.
Suarez is known for his goalscoring ability, technical skills, and work ethic. He is also a prolific assists provider and has been nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year award on three occasions.
8. Pepe of La Liga’s Real Madrid
Pepe is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a center-back for the Spanish club Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. He started his career with Maritimo, moving to Porto in 2004. Pepe spent six years with Porto, winning nine major titles, before signing for Real Madrid in 2007. Since joining Real Madrid, he has won nineteen major trophies, including three Champions League titles and four La Liga titles. He has been named to the FIFA FIFPro World XI five times and was selected as the Portuguese Footballer of the Year in both 2014 and 2015.
A defender that’s equally adept at stopping attacks as he is starting them, Pepe has been an integral part of Real Madrid’s success over the past decade. A physical presence in the back line, Pepe is not afraid to put his body on the line to make a tackle or block a shot. He’s also capable of making some brilliant passes out of defense to start an attack. Pepe has won everything there is to win at the club level, and is considered one of the best defenders in the world.
9. Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bon
Giorgio Chiellini is a world-renowned Italian professional soccer player who has captained Juventus F.C. since 2015. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and has been honored with numerous prestigious accolades throughout his career.
Leonardo Bonucci is an Italian professional soccer player who plays as a defender for Serie A club Juventus and the Italian national team. He is widely regarded as one of the best defenders in the world and has won several prestigious individuals and team honors throughout his career.
10. Mohamed Salah Liverpool F.C.
Mohamed Salah is a professional soccer player who plays for Liverpool F.C. in the Premier League. Salah is known for his speed, dribbling ability, and finishing. He has been hailed as one of the best players in the world and has earned numerous individual accolades, including being named the African Footballer of the Year twice.
Salah joined Liverpool from AS Roma in 2017 and has since then become a fan favorite. He has helped the Reds to win multiple pieces of silverware, notably the UEFA Champions League and the Premier League title. Salah also broke records for most goals scored in a single Premier League season, as well as becoming the first African player to score over 50 goals in all competitions.
The top 10 best soccer players in the world make up a truly remarkable list that spans both time and generations. From Pele to Messi, these are some of the greatest names in history and their performances have set a benchmark for others to aspire to. These iconic figures have not only had an immense impact on football but also provided us with endless entertainment over the years. We can only hope that more outstanding players will rise up to join them in the pantheon of greatness.