The 9 Best Soccer Players Right Now

Written By Alla Levin
February 22, 2021
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Best Soccer Players Right Now

Let’s not make any mistake: all soccer players that compete at a professional level are exceptionally good at what they do. It might not always seem that way, especially when a player on your team just isn’t hitting the standards you need them to hit to be happy, but it’s true. If you took the worst professional player and put them on, oh, your amateur level side, they’d be in such a different stratosphere of good that it’d be like you were playing different sports. 

The point of that paragraph? To highlight best soccer players right now that the players that are among the best in the world are truly, truly outstanding. So who are they? Let’s take a look. All the best soccer players right now on this list make other professionals look like amateurs, and that’s really saying something.

Cristiano RonaldoCristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t always been a fan favorite. In the early days of his career, he went down a little too easily, and opposing fans didn’t like him. But then he got so good that it was impossible to do anything other than admire his talents. When he was at Manchester United, Ronaldo set the Premier League alight. Then he went to Real Madrid and fired them to three Champions League titles in a row (among other honors), and then went to Juventus and dominated the Italian league. What’s fascinating about Cristiano is that he doesn’t stop. He’s been scoring dozens of goals every season for years, and it’s only now that he’s beginning to slow down — but that doesn’t stop him from being one of the best players in the world.

Lionel Messi

If Ronaldo had existed in any other era, he would be recognized as far and away from the best player of his age. Unfortunately, his career coincided with Lionel Messi’s. Is there anything to say about the left-footed Argentine that hasn’t been saying before? He’s the most gifted player to have ever graced the pitch. He’s scored goals and done things that nobody else has done before and never will again. He continually comes out on top of the list of top scorers and assists makers. The only blot on his career is that he hasn’t won the World Cup, but that’s no shame — and he even came pretty close with Argentina despite being surrounded by a team that shouldn’t have been anywhere close. 

Kevin de Bruyne

Ronaldo and Messi have been at the top of the game for some fifteen years. Now, a different generation is coming through. It’s not right to call Kevin De Bruyne a young player since he’s not, but in recent years he’s delivered a level of form that has made him stand out as a superstar in a team full of superstars. There are many, many excellent players at Manchester City, but De Bruyne is the best. What’s so good about him? It’s hard to say — it’s just his vision and the way he plays the game that sucks people in. Even people who support City’s rivals have to accept that he’s a genius player that English football is lucky to have. 

Robert Lewandowski

It’s kind of strange that Lewandowski isn’t routinely called the best striker in the world because that’s exactly what he is. He’s not as flashy as Ronaldo and not as subtle as Messi (nowhere close), but what he does, he does very well. He’s a goalscorer that scores oh so many goals. He found the net nearly every game at Borussia Dortmund, but things really stepped up another level when he moved to Bayern Munich. In the past couple of days, he’s averaged more than a goal a game. To put that in some context: if a striker scores one goal every two games, they’re considered pretty good. Lewandowski plays virtually every game and scores every game. In the 2019/20 season, he scored fifty-five goals. And that’s just insane. 

Kylian MbappeKylian Mbappe

The next global superstar is Kylian Mbappe; there’s no doubt about it. He’s only 22, but he’s already cemented himself as a French legend because he played a massive role in their World Cup win of 2018, when he was just 18. Since then, he’s only gone from strength to strength. He’s scored virtually a goal a game and even recently scored a hattrick against Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Which, for people who don’t know, is something that basically never happens. Will he go on to be talked of as one of the best? It’s highly likely — if he wins another World Cup with France and adds some Champions League trophies to his trophy cabinet, and then it’ll be a yes. He’s in Paris now, but he’s a player that will play for Real Madrid within a couple of years. 

Best Soccer Players Right Now: Erling Braut Haaland

He’s only 20, but Haaland has already established himself as a player for the moment. He had a breakout season at Red Bull Salzburg when he was 18, during which he scored 16 goals in 14 games. That prompted a high-profile move to Dortmund. Did that phase him? If it did, he didn’t show it. He scored 13 goals in 15 games in his first season and has 15 goals in 16 games this season — and he’s still only 20! It’s not just his goals but his all-around attitude. He’s a player that loves to play in the biggest games (he usually scores), and that’s a sign of a top player. 

Virgil Van Dijk

When you’re discussing the world’s best players, nearly all of the players indeed play in an attacking position. Football fans value goals more than anything, and also, it’s just the position where you can show off the most creativity. So if a defender makes it onto a list of best players, you know they must be pretty good. Virgil Van Dijk was labeled as the missing piece that would fire Liverpool to glory, and that’s just what happened. After some close calls, Liverpool finally got their hands on the Premier League title, which had followed the Champions League’s small matter. It was Van Dijk’s presence at the back that made that happen.

Sergio Ramos

Another defender who should be included on the best players’ list more often is Sergio Ramos, the Real Madrid captain. Opposition fans hate him, but Real Madrid fans love him — because he gives absolutely everything on the pitch. Teams that turn up to play Real Madrid with any confidence quickly find out that Ramos won’t stand for it. He’s been a mainstay of their defense for years and continues to put in dominating displays, and even pops up with a big winning goal now and again. 

Best Soccer Players Right Now: Zlatan Ibrahimovic Best Soccer Players Right Now

Finally, one of the best soccer players right now, we have to mention Zlatan. You’ll have heard of this player in the past, but what you might not know if you don’t follow football is that he’s still one of the world’s best players, despite being nearly 40. He’s played in twelve games this season and scored 14 goals. Incredible. Aside from his obvious football talents, what makes Zlatan such an icon is that he improves every team he goes to. There’s not one club where that hasn’t been the case, except for maybe Barcelona. That’s one reason why AC Milan brought him back — they needed help, so they called Zlatan. An inspired decision? Milan may win the league this season, something they haven’t done for ten years. 

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