The top 10 forwards in world football have been ranked – and Lionel Messi is shockingly knocked off top spot, while Phil Foden makes the top six.
The ranking, from football magazine FourFourTwo, excludes out-and-out strikers such as Robert Lewandowski, Harry Kane, Erling Haaland etc. So normally you’d expect to see Barcelona’s No 10 crowned king of such a list.
However he only makes second place on the countdown, with his former teammate – Paris Saint-Germain ace Neymar – taking the top spot. Controversial.
Messi still finishes above some incredible names, as FFT acclaim: “As his pace and stamina slowly diminish, his vision and passing are only getting better. He’s different, but still destructive.”
However Neymar takes top spot due to his performances in this season’s Champions League with the assessment: “There are few sights more exciting in football than Neymar turning with the ball to take on his marker.” Fair enough.
Neymar’s PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe completes the top three – the 22-year-old who’s widely expected to top this type of list in the future is praised for his goalscoring exploits – while Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah is the highest-placed Premier League forward in fourth place.
Among the controversial omissions are Salah’s teammate Sadio Mane – a reflection of his struggles this season, perhaps – and Antoine Griezmann, who’s never quite found his role at Barcelona but remains a key player for world champions France. Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard is also understandably absent.
Perhaps the biggest call on FourFourTwo’s list is Manchester City’s 20-year-old Foden in sixth, above his teammate Raheem Sterling, Tottenham attacker Son Heung-min and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford (who sneaks into 10th place).
See the full FourFourTwo list below or read their full explanation here.
10. Marcus Rashford (Man United)
9. Raheem Sterling (Man City)
8. Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
7. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
6. Phil Foden (Man City)
5. Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
4. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
3. Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
2. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
1. Neymar (PSG)
Some might argue that 21-year-old Sancho, who’s having a tricky season in Dortmund, and his England teammate Foden are perhaps being placed in the top six a bit too soon.
However Neymar overtaking Messi is still the most hotly debated call on FFT’s top 10. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
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