Sunday, December 31, 2017

Top 10 Players of 2018

As with my list of ten best teams of the year, the list of 10 best players is also very personal, on players that have impressed me or whom I consider have had a great season. So here we go:

10) Christian Eriksen: He almost single-handedly qualified Denmark for the World Cup and has also contributed to Tottenhams good (albeit unsteady) season. For Danish fans it is great to have a world class player again.
9) Harry Kane: Has stepped up to become one of the most dangerous strikers in the Premier League and perhaps in Europe, where he is sought by some of the bigger clubs.
8) Pierre Emerick Aubemegyang: In my view Africa's best players, although at national team level Gabon are not in the World Cup and had a disappointing Africa Cup of Nations at home. But in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund he has been their star player, and is being sought by big clubs as the Germans are struggling.
7) Luis Suarez: Not the main scoring role any more, but participates in Barcelona's awesome attacking force. Although overshadowed by Cavani, he was part of the Uruguay National team that qualified for the World Cup, where he will be one of the stars to watch, as always!
6) Lionel Messi: Absolutely out-of-this world player, who has taken on the responsibility at Barcelona, where they totally depend on him, and for Argentina, whom he almost single-handedly qualified for the World Cup. But titles have not been forthcoming this year, and the dependence on him is a risk both for Barcelona and for Argentina.
5) Kylian Mbappe: He was the find of the season in 2016-17 for AS Monaco, being absolutely splendid in their making the semifinals. He then went on to Paris Saint Germain in August, where he has been one of the stars alongside Neymar in what is one of the most exciting teams in the world at the moment. He also got his debut on the French national team and scored his first goal in a World Cup qualifier against Netherlands. Expect to see him at the World Cup!
4) Kevin de Bruyne: Much of Manchester City's success in this season is because Kevin de Bruyne has stepped up in his role as playmaker, where he is showing his world class. Also on the Belgian national team he is a core player, and is one of the superstars to watch out for in the World Cup.
3) Cristiano Ronaldo: The Portuguese has had a wonderful season winning everything with Real Madrid and also qualifying for the World Cup with Portugal. He is another out-of-this world player.
2) Lieke Martens: When the Netherlands won the European Championship this year it was in particular thanks to this splendid playmaker, who also changed to FC Barcelona, immediately becoming a core player in their current narrow lead in the league.
1) Neymar: Perhaps he was the most spoken about player ever when he changed from Barcelona to Paris St. Germain this year, becoming the most expensive transfer ever. But his qualities are unquestionable: there was a hole in Barcelona's offense initially when he left, while he in France he has been the super star of a team that is aiming for the highest. For the resurrected Brazil side that qualified in awesome style for the World Cup, he is also a superstar, and there is no doubt that Neymar is looking to take all titles in 2018!

As always, there were some splendid players who could not make the list, such as Nadia Nadim, Pernille Harder, Luka Modric, David De Gea, Gianluigi Buffon, Mohamed Salah...

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