Who is the best men’s player in world soccer right now? We crunched the numbers

After the World Cup, the answer was the same as always: Lionel Messi. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner was Qatar’s best player and led Argentina to the only major trophy that was missing from his already flawless resume. Who is the best player in the world? At 35, Messi ended the sport in a way that no other living football player seemed to be capable of.

But, well, have you watched Bayern play in the Champions League? Paris Saint-Germain scored a whopping zero goals in two matches, and none of them suggested that Messi is still the best player in the world.

How about the guy he beat in the World Cup final, the next best player in the world, if not already, Kylian Mbappe? Well, he didn’t do much in the second leg in Germany either: just 30 touches, fewer than any other player who was out for at least 70 minutes. Neither Messi nor Mbappe – in their 90 most important minutes of the season – seemed to be players able to take control of the game, regardless of their teammates, their tactics or opponents.

As the ever-changing context I just applied in the previous paragraph shows, it’s really hard to say with certainty who the “best” footballer in the world is unless that player is a top scorer, creator, dribbler and passer at the same time. time, as did Messi for most of his career. It doesn’t really matter either. This is not basketball, a game for five people on a tiny court, where the best player automatically gives an advantage. In an 11-man game on a large field with very few chances, having the best player is more of a minor detail than an overwhelming strategic advantage.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to think about. And with Mbappe and Messi dropping out of the Champions League round of 16 for the second year in a row – and doing so together – it seems like a wide variety of players can legitimately claim to be the best player in the world. for 2022-23 It all depends on how you want to look at it.


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