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Top 100 players of 2017: Full list


Here's a look at the top 100 players of 2017 from Europe's top five leagues, compiled using Sky Sports Power Rankings.

Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen join Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo in the top five, but where do they all feature?

Read through our top 100 and scroll down to find out...


100. Eric Dier - Tottenham

One of the first names on the Tottenham teamsheet, Dier has also established himself as an England regular this year, and looks a certainty for Gareth Southgate's starting XI in next year's World Cup should he remain fit.

99. Thomas Delaney - FC Copenhagen/Werder Bremen

Delaney secured a move to Werder Bremen in the summer after impressing for FC Copenhagen, while a hat-trick in Denmark's 4-1 win over Armenia in September - three days after scoring against Poland - helped the nation secure a World Cup play-off spot, where they knocked out the Republic of Ireland to reach next summer's tournament.

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98. Aaron Ramsey - Arsenal

Few players can lay claim to scoring a winning goal in the FA Cup final, never mind doing it twice. However, after doing so in the 2014 triumph over Hull City, Ramsey popped up once again to score the decisive goal against Chelsea in May. He also netted his 50th goal for the club in October's 2-1 win against Swansea.

97. Luka Modric - Real Madrid

One of the more surprising rankings on the list, Modric came fifth in this year's Ballon d'Or vote after enjoying Champions League and La Liga glory with Real Madrid. His formidable understanding with Casemiro and Toni Kroos in midfield has allowed the forward line to flourish at Real.

96. David de Gea - Manchester United

De Gea has 25 clean sheets for club and country this year, with the United shotstopper earning plenty of plaudits after their December win over Arsenal in the Premier League, which saw him make a joint-record 14 saves. He was also named in the PFA Team of the Year for a fourth time and came 20th on the Ballon d'Or list.

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Thierry Henry sits down with Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea to take an in-depth look at the Spaniard's traits

95. Suso - AC Milan

Having departed Liverpool in January 2015, Suso has gone from strength to strength at AC Milan, playing a major role in the Serie A giants' rejuvenation. The 24-year-old's form has been so impressive that he has been linked with a big-money return to Liverpool, and earned his first international cap in November, which when you consider the options Spain coach Julen Lopetegui has at his disposal, cannot be downplayed.

94. Marco Verratti - PSG

Verratti appeared set to move to Barcelona in the summer, but the influx of talent in the French capital persuaded the 25-year-old he is best to stay put. The Champions League has brought out the best of Verratti in an attacking sense this season, with two goals and two assists in the group stages.

93. Josip Ilicic - Atalanta

Another late climber in the list due to recent form. Ilicic spent the last four years at Fiorentina, before joining Atalanta in the summer. Three World Cup qualification goals set him on his way to a fine start to life at Atalanta after making the switch in the close season. Four goals and four assists in Serie A this campaign has increased his stock yet further.

92. Mesut Ozil - Arsenal

A section of Arsenal fans are still to warm to the Germany international, but once again, Ozil is among the frontrunners for chances created in the Premier League. Last season, only Kevin De Bruyne and Christian Eriksen created more chances, while, this time around, Ozil is right up there in terms of creativity once again.

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Watch a selection of the best Premier League saves from 2017

91. N'Golo Kante - Chelsea

Kante became the first outfield player in Premier League history to win back-to-back titles with different clubs after following up Leicester's shock league triumph in 2016 with domestic glory at Chelsea this year. A terrific 2017 for the Blues saw Kante finish eighth in the Ballon d'Or rankings, while he also picked up the PFA Player of the Year award in May.

90. Marcos Alonso - Chelsea

The Chelsea defender embraced the role of wing-back during the Premier League title-winning season as Antonio Conte utilised the Spaniard's energy and stamina to great effect.

89. Ivan Rakitic - Barcelona

The midfielder helped steer Croatia to the World Cup with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Greece in the play-offs, while he scored in one of the year's most memorable games - the 3-2 league win over rivals Real Madrid.

88. Remo Freuler - Atalanta

Everton fans will be happy to see the back Atalanta defensive midfielder Remo Freuler. With five goals and four assists last season in Serie A, Freuler has built on an impressive end to last season to continue to drive Atalanta forward, with Freuler the heartbeat of the side that convincingly beat Everton twice in this season's Europa League.

87. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic - Lazio

A simple search of the midfielder's name will show you that Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona are said to be interested in the 22-year-old, who played an integral part in helping Lazio finish last season fifth in Serie A. He also put in a starring role in the Italian Super Cup clash against Juventus, which saw them shock the Italian champions 3-2 in August.

86. Fernandinho - Man City

City's attack is rightly grabbing the headlines this campaign, but it's Fernandinho who has been doing the silent work in midfield. Only Nicolas Otamendi, Granit Xhaka and David Silva have averaged more passes than the Brazilian in the Premier League this season, while a pass completion percentage of 90.2 sees him comfortably in the top 10.

85. Malcom - Bordeaux

The 20-year-old Brazilian winger arrived in France from Corinthians in January 2016. Quick and tricky, he's added 11 goals to his seven assists in 2017, lighting up Ligue 1 with form that has seen him linked with Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

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Watch a selection of the best Premier League saves from 2017

84. Leon Goretzka - Schalke

Goretzka's stock continues to rise at Schalke, with the German midfielder said to be a target for Arsenal and Manchester United. The 22-year-old also scored his first goals for Germany this year, netting in the Confederations Cup wins over Australia and Mexico before also getting on the scoresheet against Norway and Azerbaijan in their World Cup Qualifiers.

83. Jose Callejon - Napoli

The Spanish winger has enjoyed an impressive return of 15 goals for his club in 2017, with six of those coming this season as he's helped fire Napoli into the Serie A title race. Callejon has also earned a recall to the Spain national team, with his performances putting him contention for a place in the World Cup squad.

82. Andre Silva - Porto/AC Milan

After finishing the 2016/17 season with 16 league goals for Porto, Silva moved to Milan in a year where the striker became a regular fixture for Portugal, scoring seven times for the Euro 2016 winners, including their second in the vital 2-0 win over Switzerland in October.

81. Marco Asensio - Real Madrid

The heir to Cristiano Ronaldo's throne at Real Madrid? At just 21, Asensio is already setting the Bernabeu alight, while he was named in the European U21 Championship's team of the tournament after impressing for Spain.


80. Willian - Chelsea

The Brazilian's versatility meant he was not always a starter in Chelsea's Premier League-winning season but he made a consistent impact off the bench when called upon by Antonio Conte.

79. Andrea Belotti - Torino

Belotti has been heavily linked with a move away from Torino throughout 2017 and heading into the upcoming January window but, so far, he has stuck with the Serie A side. His stay has paid off for the Italian club too, with 21 goals in 37 appearances across all competitions this year.

78. Aritz Aduriz - Athletic Bilbao

The Basque striker is getting better with age as he continues to spearhead an Athletic side who would struggle without his goals. Aduriz already has 11 to his name in 2017/18 even though he is not starting every game, as his 36-year-old body cannot take the rigours of two games a week. He is still a serious contender for the Spain squad in Russia next summer.

77. Thomas Lemar - Monaco

One of the many stars of Monaco's Champions League semi-finalists. He scored twice and created four goals in nine European games, bringing his quality to attention thanks to his attacking prowess and link-up play in a formidable side.

76. Bernardo Silva - Monaco/Man City

Silva was a vital cog in the Monaco machine that won their final 12 Ligue 1 games of the 2016/17 season to win the title. The club also reached the Champions League semi-final, but their stellar campaign ultimately saw the team ripped apart, and Silva was one of the first to depart, joining Manchester City in May for £43m.

75. Lars Stindl - Borussia Monchengladbach

During the Confederations Cup the 29-year-old striker was pivotal in Germany lifting the trophy, scoring in three of the four games he appeared in, including the winner in the final against Chile.

74. Joshua Kimmich - Bayern Munich

A Confederations Cup winner in the summer, the versatile Germany international has proven himself to be equally adept at right-back or midfield for both club and country.

73. Cesc Fabregas - Chelsea

The Chelsea midfielder has enjoyed a new lease of life under Antonio Conte, with only Kevin De Bruyne creating more chances in the Premier League this season. It had appeared that the Spain international's days were numbered at Stamford Bridge with the arrival of Tiemoue Bakayoko providing more competition for places, but his form this season means he remains a key figure down the King's Road.

Chelsea's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas passes the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Swansea City at Stamford Br

72. Ben Davies - Tottenham

When Kyle Walker departed and Danny Rose was forced out with injury, it looked like Tottenham were about to lose a dynamic creative full-back duo, but Ben Davies, along with Kieran Trippier, have stepped up to the plate with impressive aplomb this season. No defender has created more chances for the team-mates than Davies this season, even though he has had to play in a back three on occasion this campaign.

71. Riyad Mahrez - Leicester

A man reborn under Claude Puel? Mahrez is back to his best at Leicester, and five goals and four assists so far this campaign means he has already matched his combined total for the whole of last season. The 2015/16 PFA Player of the Year is clearly enjoying his football once more at the King Power.

70. Naby Keita - RB Leipzig

The midfielder earned his move to Liverpool (to go through in 2018) thanks to a string of impressive performances which helped RB Leipzig to Champions League qualification. In the 2016/17 season he averaged 2.6 interceptions per game, more than even N'Golo Kante.

69. Arturo Vidal - Bayern Munich

Failing to qualify for the World Cup and losing the Confederations Cup final was a cruel blow for Vidal but he shone personally, enjoying an average of 107 touches a game in the Bundesliga and helping Bayern to another league title.

68. Emre Can - Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has become reliant on the midfielder to bring calm to his team, an attribute which was key in helping the Reds to the Champions League, not to mention winning Goal of the Season with his overhead kick at Watford.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01:  Emre Can of Liverpool celebrates scoring his sides second goal during the UEFA Champions League group E match between Li

67. Kamil Glik - Monaco

The Poland international has remained a rock at the back for Monaco during a transition period for the club, helping them stay in contention with the chasing pack behind PSG, while also helping his country to the 2018 World Cup as group winners.

66. Koke - Atletico Madrid

Koke has been a regular fixture for Atletico for seven seasons now, and the 25-year-old continues to improve year on year. The midfielder came in the top 10 last season for both assists (joint-seventh with eight), key passes (ninth with two per game) and dribbles (fifth with two per game) in La Liga, outlining his importance to Diego Simeone's side going forward.

65. Wilfred Ndidi - Leicester

Ndidi cannot shake off the comparisons to N'Golo Kante, given that he was tasked with filling the Frenchman's boots when the latter left for Chelsea in 2016. However, the midfielder is proving to be a rock in midfield for the Foxes - an average of 4.3 tackles per game this season is comfortably the highest rate in the Premier League.

64. Timo Werner - RB Leipzig

Werner's 21 league goals in 2016/17 played a huge role in RB Leipzig's second-place finish in the Bundesliga table. He has continued that fine scoring form into this season, netting eight times in the league and a further three in the Champions League. He has 30 goals this calendar year for club and country, having made his debut for Germany at the Confederations Cup.

63. Emil Forsberg - RB Leipzig

The Swedish midfielder was the fulcrum for club and country as he led RB Leipzig to the Champions League and Sweden to a World Cup place thanks to their play-off victory over Italy.

62. Fabinho - Monaco

Fabinho was part of the breakout Monaco squad that reached the Champions League semi-finals last season, and was one of the few to stay over the summer as the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Benjamin Mendy headed for pastures new. That breakup of the team has meant that Fabinho has not quite reached the heights of the second half of last season, but has still been a key component of their side.

61. Corentin Tolisso - Lyon/Bayern Munich

The Frenchman showed his capabilities for Lyon, which resulted in an international debut under Didier Deschamps and in the summer he had the pick of top European clubs, eventually plumping for Bayern Munich where he has thrived early on.


60. Pedro - Chelsea

An unsung hero of Chelsea's title success last season, Pedro's work-rate and versatility was a real asset to the team, while his defensive capabilities cannot be overlooked. Only four forwards won more tackles in the Premier League than Pedro last season.

59. Joshua King - Bournemouth

With Harry Kane, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku leading the way in the 2016/17 Premier League goalscoring charts, it perhaps went under the radar that King netted 16 times as Bournemouth secured a ninth-placed finish - the highest position in the club's history in what was only their second season in the top tier.

58. Olivier Giroud - Arsenal

Arsene Wenger is starting to see his compatriot as an impact player off the bench but he is still thriving in the role, even if he would like more time on the pitch, scoring 16 goals for Arsenal in 2017.

57. Raul Garcia - Athletic Bilbao

Garcia's 14 goals and nine assists in the 2016/17 season outlined his importance to Bilbao, and the Spaniard already has seven goals to his name this campaign, though the club are currently languishing in the wrong half of the table as far as they are concerned.

56. Toni Kroos - Real Madrid

Alongside Luka Modric, the German midfielder is at the centre of things for Real, as he helped them to domestic and continental glory, with his 12 assists in the league being crucial.

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 17: Toni Kroos of Real Madrid in action during the UEFA Champions League group H match between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur at

55. Filipe Luis - Atletico Madrid

An underwhelming season at Chelsea is a long way behind Luis now, who has gone on to re-establish himself as one of the top left-backs in the world since his switch back to Atletico in 2015. The Spanish club may have suffered the disappointment of an early exit from the Champions League this season, but they have had a good season in La Liga so far, and are Barcelona's nearest challengers.

54. Alvaro Morata - Real Madrid/Chelsea

After ending the 2016/17 season with 15 La Liga goals for Real Madrid, the striker was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League. Manchester United appeared to be frontrunners for the Spaniard, but after signing Romelu Lukaku, it was Chelsea who bought the striker for £70m. And he is certainly proving his worth at Stamford Bridge, scoring nine league goals and assisting a further four in 16 games to date.

53. Henrikh Mkhitaryan - Manchester United

The Armenia international settled into Jose Mourinho's side after a tough start at Old Trafford but five assists and a goal in 12 Premier League appearances in 2017/18 have not been sufficient to make Mkhitaryan a regular in the United team.

52. Dani Alves - Juventus/PSG

Alves decided against joining Pep Guardiola's revolution in the summer after losing to Real Madrid in the Champions League final, but he has slotted in well in the French capital, quickly becoming integral as Paris Saint-Germain dominate Ligue 1 and make steady progress in Europe.

51. Gylfi Sigurdsson - Swansea/Everton

Swansea might have gone down if it was not for the influential Iceland midfielder who scored nine times to help the Welsh side stay up. His form earned him a move to Everton where he has struggled to recapture what he offered at the Liberty Stadium.

50. Thiago - Bayern Munch

The annual Bundesliga title was collected, with the Spaniard's contribution being six goals and five assists in the 26 games he featured in. Thiago has also become a regular for Spain thanks to his fine form and will be targeting a key role at the World Cup.

49. Marc-Andre ter Stegen - Barcelona

It says everything about Ter Stegen's performances for Barcelona this year that he is the highest-ranked goalkeeper on the list. The German stopper has conceded just 28 goals all year and his speed off his line and agility are the base from which the team's attacking stars can do their thing.

48. Radja Nainggolan - Roma

A dynamic midfielder, Radja Nainggolan has been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent months, but he remains committed to staying in Italy. His leadership, after the club lost several players in the summer, helped Roma finish above Chelsea and top of their Champions League group and they remain in touch in the Serie A title race.

47. Paul Pogba - Manchester United

Without Pogba in the team, United are never the same. He helped the team to Europa League and FA Cup success in his first season back with the club and started 2017/18 by netting three and setting up five in his opening eight games of the Premier League.

Paul Pogba will miss the Manchester derby through suspension

46. Marek Hamsik - Napoli

If this is the year that Juventus' stranglehold on Serie A is finally broken, then Marek Hamsik is one of the men who can play a key part in it. Napoli are one of the two clubs, along with Inter Milan, that are challenging fiercely for the title this season. His goal in the 3-1 victory over Torino on December 16 was his 115th for the club, matching Diego Maradona's record as the club's highest goalscorer.

45. Aleksandar Kolarov - Man City/Roma

After spending seven seasons with Manchester City, Kolarov signed for Roma in July, where he has scored three goals and assisted a further five already this season. He also netted in two World Cup Qualifiers against Moldova and the Republic of Ireland in 2017 as Serbia sealed a place in Russia next year - where they will face Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland.

44. Iago Aspas - Celta Vigo

Eleven goals and two assists already this season in La Liga shows Aspas could follow up an impressive season with an even greater one this time around. His 19 goals in 2016/17 came as Celta could only muster a 13th-placed finish in the league.

43. Nicolas Otamendi - Manchester City

Few thought Otamendi would grow into the role of a consistent Premier League defender but he is arguably City's main man at the back now. He has smoothed his rough edges and has added goals to his game, scoring five in all competitions so far.

42. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund may have finished third in the Bundesliga last season behind champions Bayern Munch and surprise-package RB Leipzig, but Aubameyang enjoyed another outstanding season in Germany, finishing as the league's top goalscorer on 31. He helped Dortmund get one over Bayern too - scoring in the DFB Pokal semi-final win - before netting the winning goal from the penalty spot to help them lift the cup at the expense of Eintracht Frankfurt.

41. Ciro Immobile - Lazio

The Italian striker's name is a misnomer - Immobile is a rapid, versatile forward who has scored 16 goals in 16 Serie A appearances. His hat-trick in September helped Lazio to a 4-1 win over AC Milan and in October the 27-year-old signed a new deal with the club that will keep him in Rome until 2022. In a dark year for the Italian national team, he is one of the bright spots.


40. Luis Suarez - Barcelona

Suarez has not hit the heights of old this year and his frustration at his indifferent form was evident when he ripped his shirt and stormed down the tunnel after missing a chance against Las Palmas in October. But 31 goals over the 12 months suggest the 30-year-old is far from finished at the top of the game. He scored his 100th goal for Barcelona in January.

39. Alexandre Lacazette - Arsenal

Lacazette has taken his goalscoring exploits from Lyon to Arsenal, netting eight times in 19 games in the Premier League so far despite not always starting games under Arsene Wenger. The striker also netted twice for France in the friendly against Germany last month, just his second and third international goals, to boost his chances of leading the line at the World Cup next summer.

38. Roberto Firmino - Liverpool

Now operating as a central striker for the majority of time he is on the pitch and has already surpassed his 2016/17 total of 13 goals as he becomes integral both in the Premier League and Europe.

37. Ivan Perisic - Inter Milan

Having finished last season with 11 goals and 10 assists, Perisic snubbed a move to Manchester United in the summer and signed a new deal in September that will keep him at Inter until 2022. The Croatia winger is now focused on helping Inter secure a first league title for nine years and his hat-trick against Chievo early in December helped them to the top of Serie A.

36. Raheem Sterling - Manchester City

The winger is enjoying a stellar season for Manchester City, who are breaking records as they look to clinch a third Premier League title. Sterling already has 12 league goals to his name this campaign, including late winners against both Huddersfield and Southampton. He has cut a rejuvenated figure since August, and England fans will hope that can continue ahead of the World Cup next summer.

35. Leroy Sane - Manchester City

Sane has had a simply sensational 2017 and has really found his feet at Man City with the winger becoming an integral part of the side. He already has six goals and eight assists in 17 Premier League appearances this term and is starting to emerge as a real talent for Germany as the World Cup creeps ever closer, impressing when playing against England at Wembley in November.

Leroy Sane controls the ball

34. Radamel Falcao - Monaco

Falcao enjoyed a wonderful first half of 2018 as his goals helped Monaco to an unlikely run to the Champions League semi-finals and by May he had scored 30 goals in 43 appearances as his side claimed a memorable Ligue 1 title. Monaco's form has slipped this season after being picked off in the summer transfer market, but Falcao remains a constant threat in front of goal and his 24 goals saw him finish 24th in the Ballon d'Or voting.

33. Marcus Rashford - Manchester United

Rashford came third in the Golden Boy 2017 award - behind Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele - after another impressive year for United. The forward was invariably pushed out to the wing with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and now Romelu Lukaku leading the line, but the England international has adapted to the role well, and looks certain to make Gareth Southgate's World Cup squad barring injury.

32. Memphis Depay - Lyon

Not too many people would have seen Depay's turnaround in form coming when he left Manchester United at the start of 2017, but the Netherlands international has been resurgent since swapping Old Trafford for Ligue 1. He's scored 15 times in all competitions for Lyon and even re-established himself in the national setup, despite their failure to qualify for the World Cup.

31. Arjen Robben - Bayern Munich

Although he may have announced his international retirement from the Netherlands this year, he continues to be a key figure for Bayern. He signed a one-year contract extension in January until the end of this season, with his future yet to be decided, although fans will be hoping for another year yet as his potential club retirement is also being touted.

30. Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool

Coutinho's form at Anfield saw him become the No 1 target for Barcelona in the summer, but Liverpool stuck to their guns and insisted he wasn't for sale, and they've been rewarded with another fine campaign so far from the Brazil international. He has scored 11 goals and seven assists so far in just 17 appearances this season.

29. Alejandro Gomez - Atalanta

Gomes, nicknamed Papu, makes the top 30 after a fine year with Atalanta. The 29-year-old attacking midfielder is integral to the Serie A outfit, having finished last season with 16 goals in 39 appearances. He marked his international debut for Argentina with a goal in the 6-0 win over Singapore in June.

28. Sergio Aguero - Manchester City

A memorable 2017 for Aguero saw the striker surpass Eric Brook's 78-year record to become Manchester City's all-time top goalscorer. Goal No 178 came in November's 4-2 Champions League victory over Napoli, just five weeks after a car crash in Amsterdam, which fortunately saw him escape with just a broken rib. His City future was cast into doubt upon the arrival of Gabriel Jesus in January, but Pep Guardiola has ably rotated the duo, and Aguero currently has 12 league goals in what has been a record-breaking campaign so far at the Etihad.

Sergio Aguero makes it 4-0 at the Liberty Stadium

27. Gonzalo Higuain - Juventus

Higuain became only the second player (after Zlatan Ibrahimovic) to score over 100 goals in two of the top European leagues in the last 20 years when he reached three figures with a goal in the 2-0 win at Milan in October. The No 9 has proven to be a fine acquisition for Juventus, who made him the most expensive signing by an Italian club when he moved from Napoli for £90m in 2016.

26. Heung-Min Son - Tottenham

Son has risen to the occasion in terms of helping Kane with the goalscoring load at Tottenham, with 22 goals to his name this calendar year. Son also helped South Korea book their spot in the 2018 World Cup, where they have been drawn against world champions Germany, Mexico and Sweden in Group F.

25. Florian Thauvin - Marseille

Touted as a star of the future in 2014 and even a successor to Franck Ribery, the France winger looks to be finally fulfilling his potential on the south coast of France after an unsuccessful spell at Newcastle. The 24-year-old has 18 goals and 13 assists this year, making his France debut in the 5-0 win over Paraguay in June.

24. Mohamed Salah - Roma/Liverpool

Salah has made his price tag of £36.9m look an absolute bargain after a magical start to life at Anfield following his summer switch from Roma. His goal against Arsenal was his 15th Premier League of the season, form he has replicated for Egypt - Salah was the top scorer for his country with five goals during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. Another one to get away from Chelsea.

23. Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid

Griemann committed to at least another season at Atletico Madrid in the summer thanks to their transfer ban, and it's been another impressive 12 months for the Frenchman. Although he has not quite reached the highs of a 2016 that saw him win the Golden Boot at the Euros and reach the final of that competition with France and the Champions League final with Real Madrid.

22. Casemiro - Real Madrid

While other Real Madrid players have invariably put in headline-worthy performances, Casemiro has gone about his business in impressive style. The Brazil midfielder ranks second for the most tackles per game in La Liga this season (4.1 behind Leganes' Ruben Perez's 4.2) - a category he also came in second last year. A fine 2016-17 campaign for the midfielder was capped with a goal in the 4-1 victory over Juventus in the Champions League final.

21. Nabil Fekir - Lyon

Fekir is a technical player who can play as an attacking midfielder or a second striker and has been in fine form throughout 2017. He scored a hat-trick in the 7-1 Europa League home win over AZ Alkmaar in February and he is pivotal to Lyon being the best of the rest as PSG dominate the French top division.


20. Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal

Doubts persist over where Alexis Sanchez will be playing football next season, but there are no such concerns over his quality as he continues to be instrumental in Arsenal's push to regain their place at Europe's top table. His 17 goals in 2017 means he remains crucial to the Gunners, but his inconsistent form is allied to his uncertain future, which will be thrown into sharp focus in the early part of 2018.

19. David Silva - Manchester City

It's been a superb 2017 for David Silva, who continues to be the linchpin in an impressive City side with an endless supply of talent. A £43.5m signing in Bernardo Silva can barely get a look in at the moment as his namesake continues to pull the strings. He already has eight assists this season, one more than he managed in the 2016/17 campaign, and we are only halfway through.

18. Dele Alli - Tottenham

Alli might be going through a difficult period that affects all young players, but his form in the second half of last season sees him included here. He began 2017 in style, his two headers helping Spurs to a 2-0 win over Chelsea on January 4. That marked six goals in three games for the 21-year-old and he would go on to score 23 goals in all competitions. This season has been a struggle, and yet he still has seven goals and seven assists.

17. Isco - Real Madrid

Despite arriving at Real Madrid in 2013, it took several seasons for Isco to truly establish himself as a first-team player at the Bernabeu. In the past 12 months, however, he has become a vital component for Real and Spain, netting 19 times for club and country. His rise to prominence can be shown by the fact he started Real's Champions League final win in May, having been used as a substitute in 2014 and 2016.

16. Eden Hazard - Chelsea

Hazard was back to his best last season, helping Antonio Conte's side to the league title with 17 goals in all competitions and he was named in the PFA Team of the year for the fourth time in five years. He then came off the bench to help the Blues beat Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final and although the 26-year-old missed the start of this season with an ankle injury picked up on international duty, he already has eight goals for his club.

15. Kylian Mbappe - Monaco/PSG

What a year it has been for Mbappe. The breakout star of Monaco's side that reached the Champions League semi-final, the teenager then completed a record loan switch to PSG, and has only improved from there. The 18-year-old became the youngest player to reach 10 Champions League goals earlier this month, beating the previous record by nearly two years.

Kylian Mbappe celebrates his strike against Lille

14. Paulo Dybala - Juventus

The Argentina international was given the No 10 shirt at Juventus at the start of the season and the 24-year-old has enjoyed a stellar year. One of three finalists for best forward in last season's Champions League, he scored his first hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Genoa in August and will look forward to going up against Harry Kane in the Champions League in the new year.

13. Edinson Cavani - PSG

No player missed more big chances in 2017 than Cavani, but the Uruguay forward has still scored 36 goals for his club in 2017. This season, he has formed a lethal partnership with new arrivals Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as PSG bid to sweep Europe before them. He scored in the first three games of their Champions League campaign as the French giants broke the record for most goals (24) scored in the group stage.

12. Lorenzo Insigne - Napoli

Insigne's performances early in 2017 led some to compare him to Napoli legend Diego Maradona and while the 26-year-old is naturally reluctant to entertain such comparisons, he is a product of the club's academy and is the focal point of an attack that has propelled Maurizio Sarri's side into the European elite.

11. Edin Dzeko - Roma

The former Manchester City forward has found a home in Rome, winning the Serie A Golden Boot last season with 29 league goals - 39 in all competitions. He then scored six in his first five games of this campaign and finished 28th in the Ballon d'Or list for the year.

10. Robert Lewandowski - Bayern Munich

Having signed a new deal at the end of last year to keep him at Bayern until 2021, Lewandowski continues to lead the Bayern line expertly, reaching 100 goals for the club in 137 appearances in a 3-0 win over Frankfurt in March. A hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Armenia in October took him to 50 goals for Poland to make him his country's all-time top scorer and his 16 goals in World Cup qualification was a UEFA record.

9. Saul Niguez - Atletico Madrid

Atletico demonstrated their faith in 23-year-old Saul by agreeing a whopping nine-year deal with the midfielder in July and with good reason. The Spain international was top scorer at the 2017 UEFA Euro U21 Championship, including a hat-trick in the 3-1 semi-final win over Italy. He has become a key part of Diego Simeone's plans in Madrid.

8. Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City

The Belgian attacking midfielder has been the standout performer in a team packed with stars this season - the lynchpin of City's irresistible attack that helped Pep Guardiola's side win 17 consecutive Premier League games. It seems inconceivable the 26-year-old was not rated at Chelsea, as his 17 assists for 2017 leaves him just three short of the record set by Mesut Ozil in 2015.

  Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City

7. Romelu Lukaku - Everton/Man Utd

Lukaku may be the subject of scrutiny at the end of the year after a rough spell for United, but the Belgium striker did enough in the first half of the year for Everton to merit his place near the top of this list. His goal in the 3-1 win over Burnley in April meant he became the first Everton player since Bob Latchford to score 25 goals in consecutive seasons in all competitions and he was subsequently named in the PFA Team of the Year while being shortlisted for both PFA Player and Young Player of the Year.

6. Dries Mertens - Napoli

Mertens has been the standout performer in an exciting Napoli side that led the way in Serie A until early December. The 30-year-old scored a hat-trick in a 7-1 win at Bologna and in May finished the campaign by scoring his 50th goal for the club and 28th for the season, which saw him finish one behind Golden Boot winner Edin Dzeko.

5. Christian Eriksen - Tottenham

Stop Christian Eriksen, stop Tottenham. That has become an oft-repeated mantra in latter weeks of 2017 and although Harry Kane might have something to say about that, it's clear the Danish midfielder is integral to Spurs' clockwork midfield. He is the one player in Pochettino's side to pick a pass, although the highlight of his 2017 was surely his hat-trick in Denmark's World Cup qualifying playoff win over the Republic of Ireland.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid

It has been another stellar year for Ronaldo, winning his third Champions League trophy and a second La Liga title with a glut of goals to boot. It was topped off with a record fifth Ballon d'Or win in December and he has already scored 16 goals in 22 Real Madrid appearances across all competitions this season.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his five Ballon d'Or trophies ahead of the Spanish league football match between Real Madrid

3. Neymar - Barcelona/PSG

The brilliant Brazilian has continued the form that persuaded PSG to pay Barcelona a world-record £198m for him in the summer, with his new side dominating Ligue 1 and looking irresistible in the Champions League. No one won more duels than the 25-year-old in 2017 and he has a clash with old foes Real Madrid to look forward to in February 2018.

2. Harry Kane - Tottenham

Spurs' talisman has shot into the world-class category in 2017, finishing 10th in the Ballon d'Or prize. After winning his second successive Premier League Golden Boot in May, his two goals in the 5-1 win over Stoke in December saw him become the first Englishman since Jimmy Greaves in 1955 to score 50 or more goals in a calendar year. His tally for league goals for the calendar year stands at 36, level with the record set by Alan Shearer in 1995.

1. Lionel Messi - Barcelona

This version of Barcelona may not be hitting the heights of previous incarnations, but Lionel Messi's genius continues to abide and it's no surprise to see him top of the list again. The Argentine has 40 goals and 12 assists in 2017 and although Barca played second fiddle to rivals Real Madrid in the first half of 2017, his form has helped the Catalans top their Champions League group and open up a healthy lead at the top of La Liga.

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring his 100th European goal in the 3-1 win over Olympiakos
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