The18's 100 Footballers In The World 2019 (Full List)

To coincide annually with The Guardian’s excellent list of the 100 best male footballers in the world — compiled by a panel of 239 experts from 63 different nations — we here at The18 have compiled our own list over the last few years. There are no experts involved, there’s no rhyme or reason for anything, but we do hope you’ll join us on this adventure into the bowels of the beautiful game.

The18’s 100 Footballers In The World: 2018

The18’s 100 Footballers In The World: 2017

The18’s 100 Footballers In The World: 2016

The18's 100 Footballers In The World 2019

#100. Steve Nash (The Voice Of The Champions League)

Steve Nash peaked at No. 4 on our list last year, but he's plummeted down 96 spots as we're less convinced than ever that he's actually a footballer.

#99. João Félix (Atlético Madrid | Portugal)

He's mainly here on the strength of that incredible FIFA 20 ad, but also because he’s Kaká reincarnate. 

#98. Catarina Macario (Stanford | USWNT)

We need her on the 2020 Olympic squad, please.

#97. Katie Meyer (Stanford | USYNT)

And her Stanford teammate too.

#96. Kenneth Kronholm (Chicago Fire)

The American was in the German second division before signing for Chicago in May, and he's got balls of steel.

#95. Erling Braut Håland (Borussia Dortmund | Norway)

The Norwegian phenom introduced himself to CONCACAF in a big way at the U-20 World Cup.

#94. Mapi León (Barcelona | Spain)

This Twitter video continues to earn us one steady "like" per day.

#93. Fred (Manchester United | Brazil)

Nominative determinism says that he’s not very exciting or good, but that didn’t stop Fred from playing football in 2019.

#92. Paulo Dybala (Juventus | Argentina)

Much like whoever’s managing Argentina, we don’t really understand La Joya, but he scores incredible goals.

#91. Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew | USMNT)

Our favorite goal call of 2019: “GYASI ZAAARDES. RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME.”

#90. Kitty Cat (Real Salt Lake)

The best moment of the 2019 Leagues Cup (other than the fact that it was won by Cruz Azul).

#89. Alex Song (FC Sion)

Alex Song

The great Alex Song and I think that's Bojan Krkic. Photo: Getty Images

#88. Billie Simpson (Cliftonville FC | Northern Ireland)

Holy hell. 

#87. Wendie Renard (Lyon | France)

I still have dreams where the Fox Sports commentators tell me that Wendie Renard is a threat on set pieces.

#86 and #85. Sean and Matty Longstaff (Geordie Brothers)

It should be a law that your central midfield pairing must be blood.

#84. Michael Bradley (Toronto FC | USMNT)

"My best years are still in front of me."

#83. Adam Lallana (Liverpool | England)

Liverpool rondo better than Barcelona at the moment, and that's why they're the best team in the world.

#82. Bernardo (Brighton | Brazil)

#81. FIFA 20 Franck Ribéry (Fiorentina)

FIFA 20 Franck Ribery

#80. Sam Klomhaus (The Livingston Enterprise)

A fall of 74 places for Sam despite the gradual acceptance of his radical idea for a Turkey Derby.

#79. Sam Kerr (Chelsea | Australia)

All the inspiration we needed to make it through 2019.

#78. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona | France)

The best salad in the game.

Embed from Getty Images

#77. Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund | USYNT)

#76. Christiane Endler (PSG | Chile)

Six world-class saves against the USWNT.

#75. Harvey Elliot (Liverpool)

The first FIFA Create A Player to escape his digital prison and play professionally.  

#74 and #73. Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina (Dance Off)

#72. "The Next Messi"

It was a huge year for “The Next Messi.” The dude was everywhere, showing so much potential and promise. He's going to be "The Next Messi" for sure.

#71. Zlatan Ibrahimović (AC Milan)

It was a quiet year for Zlatan. He took up watercolors and maintained a 365-day vow of silence.

#70. Andrés Iniesta (Vissel Kobe)

#69. VAR (Mr. Worldwide)


The armpit has strayed into an offside position. Photo: Getty Images

#68. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich | Canada)

#67. Teemu Pukki (Norwich City | Finland)

#66. Kelley O'Hara (Utah Royals | USWNT)

#65. Martin Ødegaard (Real Sociedad | Norway)

It's time.

#64. Lionel Messi (Barcelona | Argentina)

Still too reliant on his left foot.

#63. Adama Traoré (Wolves)

#62. Konstantinos Mavropanos (Arsenal | Greece)

#61. Jessica McDonald (NC Courage | USWNT)

#60. Takefusa Kubo (Mallorca | Japan)

We believe in the 18-year-old Japanese phenom.

#59. Christian Pulisic (Chelsea | USMNT)

#58. Raúl Jiménez (Wolves | Mexico)

#57. Kylian Mbappé (PSG | France)

#56. Khadija “Bunny” Shaw (Bordeaux | Jamaica)

#55. Deyna Castellanos (Florida St. | Venezuela)

#54. Freddie Ljungberg (Arsenal)

Freddie Ljungberg

Freddie Ljungberg: Arsenal through and through.

#53. Hussein Abdulghani (Al-Ahli | Saudi Arabia)

The man’s 42 but still going strong for Al-Ahli at left back.

Hussein Abdulghani

#52. Kazuyoshi “King Kazu” Miura (Yokohama FC)

Coming in at number 52, it’s 52-year-old King Kazu. People talk about the longevity of Ronaldo, Zlatan and Messi, but this is the man who started the trend of playing until your legs fall off.

#51. Luka Modrić (Real Madrid | Croatia)

#50. Luka Modrić Jr. (Real Madrid Infantil B)

This isn't actually Luka's son, but a Luka-looking child named Paulo Iago Álvarez Morón.

#49. Philippe Coutinho (Bayern Munich | Brazil)

According to Transfermarkt.com, no player’s market value plummeted in 2019 like Coutinho’s. After beginning the year worth $156M, he’s now worth $78M.

Philippe Coutinho

I'll drink to that! Photo: Getty Images

#48. Diego Lainez (Real Betis | Mexico)

Real Betis…

Diego Lainez

#47. Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes | USMNT)

The leading American goalscorer in MLS last season with 15 goals in 32 games, is it his time to shine for the USMNT?

#46. Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy | Mexico)

Efrain Alvarez

A lion and his cub. Photo: Getty Images

#45. Mubarak Wakaso (Alavés | Ghana)

With nine yellow cards and one red in 15 games, Wakaso is currently Europe’s most aggressive player.

#44. Luis Alberto (Lazio | Spain)

He never made the grade at Liverpool, but only Kevin De Bruyne has registered more assists than Luis Alberto in Europe this season — he’s got 11 in 16 games.

#43. Hatem Ben Arfa (Enfant terrible)

He’s still without a club, but the streets will never forget.

#42. Brek Shea (Atlanta United | USMNT)

#41. Alexandre Pato (São Paulo | Brazil)

He just turned 30 in September. That’s wild.

#40. Ravel Morrison (Sheffield United | England)

He’s only played 14 EPL minutes this season and is reportedly about to be cut loose by Sheffield.

#39. Weston McKennie (Schalke | USMNT)

Read the interview!

#38. Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders)

Just recently named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Decade but still waiting for his first USMNT cap.

#37. David Zalzman (Táchira)

The 95th and final selection of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft. He's now in Venezuela.

#36. Sócrates (Brazil)

#35. Troy Parrott (Tottenham | Ireland)

The 17-year-old is the future, unless that future involves a bunch of mannequins.

#34. Karamoko Dembélé (Celtic)

#33. Iranian Lionel Messi Lookalike

Messi Lookalike

#32. Vivianne Miedema (Arsenal | Netherlands)

#31. Sukanya Chor Charoenying (Thailand)

2019 World Cup stats: 90 minutes played, seven saves, 13 goals conceded.

Sukanya Chor Charoenying

Hit me with your best shot. Oh god, not 20 of them! Photo: Getty Images

#30. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United | France)

#29. Still This Coach After Many Years

#28. Ansu Fati (Barcelona | Spain)

#27. Duckens Nazon (CONCACAF Gold Cup and Nations League Legend)

#26. Fortnite Soccer People

#25. Conor Coady (Wolves)

#24. Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea | Scotland)

#23. Almoez Ali (Al-Duhail | Qatar)

If Qatar’s going to win the 2022 World Cup, this dude’s going to need to score 30.

#22. Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen | USMNT)

#21. Yago Pikachu (Vasco da Gama)

#20. Divock Origi (Liverpool | Belgium)

They're calling it the finest sporting moment of the decade…

#19. Magnus Carlsen (King Of The Chess People)

The undisputed chess world champion for six years now, Carlsen also recently reached the heights of sixth in the global fantasy Premier League table (pretty impressive considering there are over seven million players worldwide).

#18. Iñaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao | Spain)

Two of our favorite goals of 2019 and they’re both all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.

#17. Phil Jones (Manchester United | England)

Phil Jones

Photo: Getty Images

#16. Vincent Kompany (Anderlecht | Belgium)

#15. Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC | USWNT) 

Megan Rapinoe

The world's best No. 15. Photo: Getty Images

#14. Taylor Twellman (?!)


Taylor Twellman

#13. Junior (Neymar Jr Comics)

Die shuttle dusters. 


Someone's been shopping at Hot Topic.

#12. FC Cincinnati (Hell Is Definitely Real)

A new MLS record with 75 goals conceded, including five or more goals allowed in five different matches (one of those being a 7-1 defeat to Minnesota).

#11. Mesut Özil (Arsenal)   

Mesut Ozil

#10. Crystal Dunn (NC Courage | USWNT)

A World Cup title, NWSL championship and the ability to play anywhere she damn well pleases.  

#9. Ajax Golden Generation 2018-19

#8 and #7. Knowledge and Talent (Zimbabwe national team)

Talent and Knowledge

Swapping Knowledge for Talent.

#6. Cory Bailey (Harold Soccer Academy)

Her transformation from science nerd to soccer genius was more captivating and unexpected than Leicester City’s Premier League triumph.  

#5. Ola Aina (Torino | Nigeria)

Don’t understand this assist from the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and never will.  

#4. Marcelo Bielsa (Leeds United)

#3. Dejan Stanković (Switzerland Beach Soccer)

The 34-year-old unit was our favorite player of the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup and it wasn’t even close.  

#2. Pibe (2020 Copa América Mascot) 

In celebration of all the good boys that frequently invade the pitches of South America, CONMEBOL put forth its greatest idea ever with the creation of Pibe for next summer’s Copa América. 


Football's organizing bodies totally redeem themselves.

#1. DaMarcus Beasley (Riding Off Into The Sunset)

Miss you already. 

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