Who Can Replace Messi and Ronaldo at the Top?
1. Eden Hazard—Real Madrid
The Belgian Maestro
Widely regarded as the best player within the Premier League last season, there is absolutely no doubting the level of talent on offer with someone like Eden Hazard. The Belgian maestro has consistently shown off his talents for both club and country and commanded one of the biggest transfer fees last summer when Real Madrid bought him from Chelsea for a transfer fee that could rise to £150million.
When addressing the media following his signing, Hazard claimed:
"I'm going to try to become the best player in the world, but first I wanted to be in the best team in the world."
Hazard is blessed with an incredibly low centre of gravity, huge amounts of agility, an unmatched dribbling ability and a level of pace that makes him almost impossible to fend off in a 1 versus 1 scenario. He scored 16 goals and assisted 15 across Chelsea's season and added two more in his final appearance against Arsenal in the 2019 Europa League final.
2. Neymar—Paris Saint Germain
Flawed, But Undeniably Brilliant
Whilst Neymar has certainly had his setbacks and controversies in recent times, there is no denying that he remains one of the most gifted footballers active in the game currently. Seen by the footballing world as the natural successor to Lionel Messi during their time in Barcelona together, Neymar's switch to French giants PSG was seen as an ambitious attempt to move out of the little Argentine's shadow and steal the spotlight for himself.
Whilst that hasn't quite happened for him yet, there is every chance Neymar can still find some serious success before his career is out.
The Brazilian has already had a glorious career that most in the game would love to possess, and it's truly a testament to his skill and ability that we all want more from him. His performance against his current employers in that infamous 6-1 win for Barcelona remains a particular highlight and a true example of a player who could have beaten anyone in the world.
3. Sadio Mane—Liverpool
The Premier League's Best?
Last season's joint top scorer and a leading light in Jurgen Klopp's Champions League winning side, Sadio Mane is one of the Premier League's best ever players in recent times.
Blessed with blistering pace, a powerful shot and an eye for the big occasion, Mane is the perfect weapon for any manager to employ. The best players on Earth are able to produce the biggest standout moments at the most crucial of times and this is a skill that Mane has excelled in for Liverpool. His recent performance against Aston Villa was the epitome of his tireless workrate, undeniable skill and the reliance Klopp and Liverpool have on him.
Talk of a big money move to the likes of Real Madrid and the possibility of winning a Ballon D'or have been spoken about more seriously around Mane, and the Senegalese frontman's form this season shows no sign of letting off anytime soon. A wonderfully gifted professional, watching Mane perform truly is a privilege.
4. Robert Lewandowski—Bayern Munich
The World's Best Finisher
Though he may be the wrong side of 30 now, even at the age of 31, Robert Lewandowski is showing no signs of slowing down. Widely regarded now as the world's best striker, Lewandowski is one of the few traditional 'no.9s' left in the modern game.
Seven Bundesliga titles, four Golden Boot wins and five Bundesliga Team of the Year appearances indicates just how dominant Lewandowski has been in the German league in recent times. His legendary five goals in nine minutes was scarcely believable at the time and it remains one of football's most amazing records, fondly remembered by millions of fans right around the world.
Lewandowski's form this season has simply been unplayable so far as well. He recently became the first player in Bundesliga history score in the first nine, ten and eleven games of a season, with his goal against Borussia Dortmund on November 10th being his 23rd goal in just 18 games, with 16 of those coming in the league.
5. Jadon Sancho—Borussia Dortmund
The World's Hottest Property?
Plenty of footballers can point to a lot of hype surrounding their profile, however, very few can justify it quite like Jadon Sancho can. Turning his back on the prospect of playing under the legendary figure of Pep Guardiola at the age of just seventeen, Sancho has seen his game flourish thanks to the regular run of first team he's achieved under Lucien Favre at Borussia Dortmund.
Becoming a key cog in Dortmund's league and cup sides, Sancho has also been able vanquish competition from the likes of Marcus Rashford for a spot in Gareth Southgate's exciting England side.
Gifted on either foot, Sancho's stock has risen astronomically in the past two seasons and the young talent has already been nominated for a place in the Bundesliga team of the season thanks to his 12 goals and 14 assists across the 18/19 season.
Jadon Sancho could easily become the world's very best player one day. His raw ability and relatively steady composure makes for a frightening combination, especially when you think of his age. It'll be fascinating watching which way Sancho goes in the years coming.