Best Football Player in the World in the 2017-18 Season

The race to the top
The race to the top
Liam Canning

There has been an excellent array of football shown over the world this season, with more to come this summer in the World Cup.

As always, there will be fans opining over the best performers. So here is the definitive list of outfield players this season across the globe.

Here are the top ten best players in the world this season.

#10 Sergio Aguero

Manchester City v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Time to leave?

The Argentinean forward Sergio Aguero has delivered the goods for Manchester City once again. A goal in every 91 minutes in all competitions, Aguero has been in prolific form yet again in an all-flourishing team that punishes their opposition with ease.

Everyone knows that Aguero has been consistently performing at a world-class level over the past few years, and those high standards don't look like slowing up anytime soon.

The Argentinean goes through dry runs, but usually returns with a plentiful of goal smashing, just as he has done against Leicester City this season. As many defenders will say, Aguero is difficult to mark and keep at bay, primarily due to his speed, low centre of gravity and spatial intelligence.

Aguero will always be up there as one of the best centre-forwards in Europe and has been one of Manchester City's best players in history.

#9 Ciro Immobile

SS Lazio Training Camp
SS Lazio Training Camp

Ciro Immobile, a striker that was written off by many after his failed move to Borussia Dortmund. While the Italian might have been at eight teams prior to joining Lazio throughout his very colourful career, but it is evident to see that he is currently in the form of his life.

Under Simone Inzaghi, this season, Immobile has scored an unbelievable 32 goals in 32 appearances, while also contributing 10 assists. The numbers speak for themselves, but they truly are world-class and causing teams to take Lazio seriously this season.

A goal every 78 minutes in all competitions is a sublime effort, and a record that is unrivalled by any other centre-forward in Europe. A truly magnificent return for a player that is finally fulfilling his potential and leading Lazio into a Champions League-qualifying position.

Immobile might not be blessed by speed, but his spatial awareness and cunningness to get in-between the two opposing central defenders is something of an art. He seems to always find gaps in the defence to exploit, and once the Italian is in front of you with a half of inch of space, it is a very dangerous position to be in.

#8 Luis Suarez

FC Barcelona v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg
Late bloomerLuis Suarez has consistently been one of the best forwards on the planet for a number of years, and once again has shown his imperious goalscoring record by finding the back of the net on 23 occasions in 36 appearances.

While playing for Barcelona is more than just scoring goals, Suarez does his job expertly in breaking the lines and stretching the defence, allowing magician Lionel Messi to move into space and create chaos.

The Uruguayan forward has perhaps not dictated matches in the so-called ‘bigger’ games, especially in the Champions League, but he has time to sway those opinions of him with an important second leg coming up against Chelsea.

Suarez is an aggressive player and has one of the best winning mentalities in the game - it is no surprise that he has been one of the most prolific centre-forwards in Europe yet again.

#7 Robert Lewandowski

RSC Anderlecht v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League
On the move?

A player that has been in sensational form is Poland international Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich centre-forward is the spearhead of the Bavarian’s attack and continues to reach extraordinary numbers in terms of goal contributions.

In 34 appearances, Lewandowski has an immense 29 goals - averaging a goal every 88 minutes in the Bundesliga and a goal ever 95 minutes in all competitions. He is simply on a different level to anyone else in Germany and only so few can match his numbers in the world.

There has been plenty of speculation regarding his future, with Real Madrid looking closely at the centre-forward with a view of replacing Karim Benzema.

What stands Lewandowski out from a lot of strikers is his ability to perform in all scenarios and not be impacted negatively by the occasion. We have already seen this season he has contributed to seven goals in the Champions League in six games - a phenomenal return.

Lewandowski is one of the best players in Europe and has shown he can continue to improve each year.

#6 Neymar

Paris Saint-Germain v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain v RSC Anderlecht - UEFA Champions League

After Neymar's glamorous move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, the Brazilian has slotted in as well as you would imagine having taken a step down in the level of the league.

Having played 30 games, Neymar has scored 29 and assisted 19 times, a phenomenal amount and a record that suggests that he is the leading man at PSG, even if he has come to blows with some of his teammates in the French capital.

Unfortunately for the Brazilian, he picked up a nasty ankle sprain against Marseille and looks set to miss the majority of the remaining games before the World Cup. The whole reason Neymar signed with Paris was due to leading his team to the Champions League, but he now won't get that opportunity from the sidelines.

Unless PSG improve drastically and become more mature in Europe, Neymar is going to have a difficult time in asserting himself as the world's best footballer in a post-Lionel Messi world.

#5 Cristiano Ronaldo

Real Madrid CF v Real CD Espanyol - La Liga
Real Madrid CF v Real CD Espanyol - La Liga

While Cristiano Ronaldo might have endured a steady start to the season by his own admission, the Portuguese winger-cum-centre-forward has exploded into life this month and is likely to kick on from now until the end of the season in the crucial matches.

Some like to berate Ronaldo's influence over the game now, but, at 33 years old, scoring 28 goals in 31 appearances is still a phenomenal rate, and two of those came in a hugely important match against Paris Saint-Germain.

While Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid's manager, has permitted Ronaldo more time to rest and recuperate, the Portuguese legend's influence has not yet diminished as he continues to dictate games and cause chaos to defences.

Ronaldo picks-and-chooses his games, but he is allowed to coming into his elderly years in his career. What hasn't dwindled is his ability to turn the heat up in the highly-pressurised matches, where some players shy away from responsibility.

The former Manchester United starlet will always be criticised, but Ronaldo will remain Los Blancos' main man for the biggest of moments.

#4 Kevin De Bruyne

A.F.C. Bournemouth v Manchester City - Premier League
A.F.C. Bournemouth v Manchester City - Premier LeagueIt has been well documented that a big part of Manchester City’s success this season has been down to Kevin De Bruyne’s supernatural performances.

The Belgian has recorded the second highest amount of key passes per-game, with a total of 3.3 - just 0.2 behind Premier League leader Mesut Özil.

Although he is an orthodox number 10, Pep Guardiola has followed Belgium coach Roberto Martinez’s tactics in playing De Bruyne slightly deeper in more of a number 8 role, with the view of getting him on the ball earlier and threading passes to carve open defences.

You could pick out a number of different De Bruyne passes and give justifiable claims to them that they deserve Pass of the Season because they have simply been at a level that is seldom seen in such a consistent manner.

Man City have an incredible strength in depth throughout their squad, but they do not nearly play as convincingly without the Belgian’s influence on the game.

#3 Harry Kane

Tottenham Hotspur v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur v A.F.C. Bournemouth - Premier League

Like with any prolific Englishman, there are critics in abundance claiming that eventually, his run of good fortune will end. However, that could not be further from the truth for Harry Kane, who has once again proved everyone wrong and delivered when it truly matters.

This is his third season in which he has surpassed the 30 goal mark in all competitions, and there doesn’t look to be any stopping him as we enter March and a very busy period for Tottenham.

What has been possibly the most impressive thing of all this season from Kane is his ability to translate his imperious Premier League form into the Champions League. As things stand, with at least one game more in the second leg at Wembley against Juventus, the England international has seven goals in six European appearances - a magnificent return.

Kane is arguably the best all-around centre-forward on the planet right now - he has immense strengths in all areas of the pitch with very little weakness, which makes him ever so dangerous to contain. He will be expected to lead England into the latter stages of the World Cup this summer.

#2 Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La LigaMost probably the greatest player to ever play the beautiful game, Lionel Messi’s consistency in producing glorious moments and leading his team to success is mesmerising.

There are not enough superlatives to describe Messi, you just have to watch with your own eyes to witness the greatness unfolding before you. The Argentinean is a magician with the ball at his feet and, somehow, controls the game at his tempo and takes it in his own direction. Everyone else is just a spectator in Messi’s game.

46 goal contributions in 39 matches is outrageous, especially given the season is only now just really ramping up. What makes Messi a total genius is that he is still able to score an unbelievable amount of goals from playing slightly deeper than he is used to.

The Argentinean might start on the wing for Barcelona, but he usually drops back into midfield and drives with the ball at his feet, waltzing past defenders beautifully and either supplying an assist or taking the glory for himself.

Messi really is one of a kind.

#1 Mohammed Salah

Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League
Liverpool v West Ham United - Premier League

No one in world football could have imagined the season Mo Salah is currently having with Liverpool after joining for a modest fee of £35 million from AS Roma.

The Italian club will feel bitterly disappointed that they sold him for what looks like peanuts now given the euphoric year the Egyptian King is undergoing in the North West of England.

Just the 31 goals and 11 assists this season in 37 games for the Reds, Salah has been instrumental in keeping Liverpool competitive in the race for a top-four finish as well as in the Champions League.

With such exciting talent in Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino around him, Salah can truly express himself on the pitch and pose a threat from all areas. His incredible turn of speed, low centre of gravity and sharpshooting skills make him the deadliest forward in the world right now - no defence will be enjoying the prospect of coming up against the Egyptian.

Salah might not have been as impressive with his former clubs, but he has now truly reached the level which was expected of him all those years ago and, given he is in prime years now at 25, the Egyptian international is going to be a menace in world football for years to come.

Edited by Sripad
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