Benzema 4th, Vinicius 6th, Haaland 5th… top 10 footballers of the year (2022)

2022 has been a big year for football fans. Football action has been almost non-stop throughout the year and the 2022 FIFA World Cup has capped off a banner year for the beautiful game.

Looking ahead to 2022, we see a number of top players who managed to make a lasting impression. While some of football’s biggest stars have had a great ride in 2022, some haven’t had such a memorable year.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 footballers of 2022.

#10 Sadio Mane (Senegal/Bayern Munich)

Sadio Mane has been in sensational form at both club and national level in the first half of 2022. He developed as a centre-forward at Liverpool in the second half of the 2021–22 season and became a reliable goalscorer for the team.

Mane helped Senegal win the 2021 African Cup of Nations and qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The 30-year-old was also named the CAF Men’s Player of the Year.

The Senegal international joined Bayern Munich in the summer and has done well for Bayern since the start of the season, scoring 11 goals and providing four assists in 23 appearances in all competitions. Unfortunately, the versatile forward has been ruled out for the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to a foot injury.

#9 Thibaut Courtois (Belgium/Real Madrid)

Belgium v ​​Morocco: Group F - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Thibaut Courtois has done a great job for Real Madrid this year. Last season, his success played an important role in the victory of the Black and Whites in the UEFA Champions League. Courtois performed as the man of the match in the final of Europe’s elite tournament.

Since the beginning of the season, Courtois has also distinguished himself in Real Madrid. He is one of the best goalkeepers of his generation. The Belgian great’s form will be vital for Real Madrid as they look to defend their La Liga and Champions League titles this season.

#8 Luka Modric (Croatia/Real Madrid)

Croatia v Morocco: 3rd place - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Despite being in his thirties, Luka Modric remains one of the best midfielders in the world. The eternal Croatian manipulates space and time with such ease that it makes the game feel as easy as falling off a board.

Modric led Croatia to the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He was also instrumental in Real Madrid’s Champions League and La Liga wins last season. Modric is easily one of the best players of 2022.

#7 Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium/Manchester City)

Kevin De Bruyne is arguably the best midfielder in the world right now. He was in incredible form as a goalscorer and playmaker for Manchester City in the first half of 2022. The Belgian international won the “Best Player of the Premier League” award for his achievements last season.

Without a prominent striker in the 2021-22 season, De Bruyne’s generous contribution in the goals department has helped City’s cause immensely. Last season, he played 45 games in all competitions for Pep Guardiola, scoring 19 goals and providing 14 assists.

Manchester City have since signed Erling Haaland, who has proved to be the perfect fit for De Bruyne. De Bruyne has already bagged 15 assists and 3 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions for the Premier League champions so far this season…

#6 Vinicius Junior (Brazil/Real Madrid)

Croatia vs Brazil: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Vinicius Junior is arguably the most improved player of the 2021-22 season. The Brazilian winger doubled down last season and has been devastating alongside Karim Benzema for Real Madrid.

His 22 goals and 20 assists in 52 appearances in all competitions helped Real Madrid win La Liga and the Champions League. This year, the 22-year-old continued to use his excellent form.

Since the beginning of the season, Vinicius has scored 10 goals and provided 5 assists in 21 games for Real Madrid in all competitions.

#5 Erling Haaland (Norway/Manchester City)

Erling Haaland is a 22-year-old phenomenon and has already established himself as one of the best strikers in the game. Haaland missed most of the first half of 2022 with a muscle injury, but has come back strong.

He secured a high-profile move to Manchester City in the summer and has been in top form ever since. Haaland has scored 24 goals and 4 assists in 19 games for Manchester City this season.

He scored three hat-tricks in the Premier League, especially in the first half of the season.

#4 Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid)

Elche CF - Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander

Karim Benzema won the Golden Ball for the first time this year. He has been almost unstoppable in the 2021-22 season, showing several breakthroughs, including in the Champions League play-off matches.

Benzema’s inspired form helped Real Madrid beat Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City in the Champions League round of 16. The French footballer scored 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 games in all tournaments last season.

However, he could not repeat this form in the current season. Since the start of the season, Benzema has scored just six goals and one assist in 12 games across all competitions. He also missed the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a hip injury.

#3 Robert Lewandowski (Poland/Barcelona)

France v Poland: Round of 16 - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Robert Lewandowski has been the world’s top scorer for several years now. In the 2021-22 season, he showed his shooting skills by scoring 50 goals in 46 games in all competitions for “Bayern”. The veteran striker also helped Poland qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Lewandowski moved to Barcelona in the summer and has put in a solid performance for his new club in the first half of the 2022-23 season. He scored 18 goals and 4 assists in 22 games in all competitions for the Catalans this season.

#2 Lionel Messi (Argentina/Paris Saint-Germain)

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

After joining Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021, Lionel Messi had a fairly disappointing debut campaign in the French capital by his own lofty standards. But Messi showed signs of returning to form in the second half of the season.

He was truly spectacular in the 2022-23 season. Positioned in a slightly withdrawn role as a playmaker, Messi has been able to impose his authority in almost every game he has played this season.

His incredible performance of seven goals and three assists led Argentina to World Cup glory. Until this season, Messi has scored 12 goals and 14 assists in 19 games for PSG. The 35-year-old is already in contention for a record eighth Ballon d’Or next year.

#1 Kylian Mbappe (France/Paris Saint-Germain)

Argentina v France: Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Kylian Mbappe made scoring goals in 2022 child’s play. He was the top scorer in Ligue 1 in the 2021-22 season and finished his career with 39 goals and 26 assists. He was active in 45 games in all competitions.

He continued in the same spirit in the 2022-23 season and has already scored 19 goals and provided 5 assists in 20 games for PSG in all competitions. Mbappe has been one of the stars of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring eight goals and providing two assists in seven games. He won the Golden Boot of the tournament.

The 24-year-old is an absolute phenomenon and his hat-trick in the World Cup final is a testament to his will to succeed and his ability to dominate no matter the stage.


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