Rating the best 100 soccer players today is a seemingly impossible task. The breadth of soccer means players have differing levels of competition. Also, with 11 players on the pitch, different positions perform different roles. It is a web of impossibility to accurately compare these athletes head-to-head.

It is even more challenging to do so in a way where everyone can agree. Fans of the game support different clubs. Inherently, and rightfully so, they will prop up their players as the world’s best because it means their club has some of the best players in the world. Moreover, if you watch one league, such as the Premier League, you may not earn the exposure to the Bundesliga, Serie A, LaLiga, Ligue Un, Eredivisie or any of the other leagues in the world.

This list does its best to encompass each league, team and player in the world. However, instead of comparing 100 players head-to-head, this list goes based on position. Players can often switch between two positions. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo started his career as a left-winger. Now, and in the last several years, he worked as a striker. Still, this list puts players at their most regular position in the modern game.

Best 100 soccer players in the world today by position


The backbone of any defense is the goalkeeper, and they can be the difference-maker in tournaments. That is why Yassine Bounou and Emiliano Martinez are on this list. They thrived at the World Cup in Qatar. Likewise, a poor tournament or run of form should not totally demote some of the world’s best goalkeepers, such as Manuel Neuer or Andre Onana.

  1. Alisson (Liverpool, Brazil)
  2. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid, Belgium)
  3. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona, Germany)
  4. Ederson (Manchester City, Brazil)
  5. Yassine Bounou (Al Hilal, Morocco)
  6. Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa, Argentina)
  7. Gianluigi Donnarumma (PSG, Italy)
  8. Mike Maignan (AC Milan, France)
  9. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich, Germany)
  10. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid, Slovenia)

There is a serious helping of England in the right-back department. That makes it near impossible for Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate to make his best decision. Yet, it is hard to argue against any of these players. Walker, Trippier, James and Alexander-Arnold are crucial to each of their clubs’ success. Then, Achraf Hakimi and Giovanni di Lorenzo were pivotal to success with their clubs in the most recent campaign.

  1. Kyle Walker (Manchester City, England)
  2. Kieran Trippier (Newcastle, England)
  3. Achraf Hakimi (PSG, Morocco)
  4. João Cancelo (Barcelona, Portugal)
  5. Reece James (Chelsea, England)
  6. Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool, England)
  7. Giovanni Di Lorenzo (Napoli, Italy)
  8. Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan, the Netherlands)
  9. Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid, Spain)
  10. Jeremie Frimpong (Bayer Leverkusen, the Netherlands)
Southgate tends to pick three of the four England players in his squads. Most recently, he listed Alexander-Arnold as a midfielder.

Every team runs two center-backs, and some run three. The consistent is that these players are crucial to their team’s success as they are the ones to stop the offense and begin their team’s attacks. Few do that better than Ruben Dias of Manchester City. Then, he has a few teammates that are also on this list. That explains why Manchester City was so successful in the 2022/23 season.

  1. Ruben Dias (Manchester City, Portugal)
  2. John Stones (Manchester City, England)
  3. David Alaba (Real Madrid, Austria)
  4. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, the Netherlands)
  5. William Saliba (Arsenal, France)
  6. Antonio Rüdiger (Real Madrid, Germany)
  7. Ronald Araujo (Barcelona, Uruguay)
  8. Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich, South Korea)
  9. Josko Gvardiol (Manchester City, Croatia)
  10. Alessandro Bastoni (Inter Milan, Italy)

While the order itself may shift around, there is a general consensus on who the best left-backs in the world are. More often than not, you can gauge their importance by when their club’s and national team’s dependencies on them. Alejandro Balde was locked in as a starter as a teenager. Alphonso Davies is among the most expensive rumors for a transfer regardless of position currently. Also, Oleksandr ZInchenko has been a revelation for Arsenal in his brief time at the Emirates.

  1. Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich, Canada)
  2. Luke Shaw (Manchester United, England)
  3. Theo Hernandez (AC Milan, France)
  4. Alejandro Balde (Barcelona, Spain)
  5. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool, Scotland)
  6. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Arsenal, Ukraine)
  7. Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid, France)
  8. Destiny Udogie (Tottenham, Italy)
  9. Nuno Mendes (PSG, Portugal)
  10. Pervis Estupiñán (Brighton and Hove Albion, Ecuador)
Defensive Midfielder

Rodri is the prime example of how important a defensive midfielder can be to a great soccer team. The Spaniard provided cover defensively and scored crucial goals when needed in Manchester City’s treble-winning season. That included the game-winning goal in the UEFA Champions League Final against Inter Milan. Defensive midfielders may not be flashy players, but their role cannot be understated.

  1. Rodri (Manchester City, Spain)
  2. Declan Rice (Arsenal, England)
  3. Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid, France)
  4. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich, France)
  5. Casemiro (Manchester United, Brazil)
  6. Eduardo Camavinga (Real Madrid, France)
  7. Bruno Guimarães (Newcastle, Brazil)
  8. Moises Caicedo (Chelsea, Ecuador)
  9. Manuel Ugarte (PSG, Uruguay)
  10. João Palhinha (Fulham, Portugal)
Central Midfielder

You may notice the abundance of Real Madrid and Barcelona on this list. Those two clubs have assembled the best three-man midfields in the world. Their competition with one another is a key reason why, too. Jude Bellingham has rapidly ascended to be arguably the best player in the world, while Barcelona’s young talents continue to hunt his abilities.

Barcelona has young midfielders, but the performance of Jude Bellingham in the most recent Clasico was a sight to behold.
  1. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid, England)
  2. Ilkay Gundogan (Barcelona, Germany)
  3. Pedri (Barcelona, Spain)
  4. Federico Valverde (Real Madrid, Uruguay)
  5. Luka Modric (Real Madrid, Croatia)
  6. Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona, the Netherlands)
  7. Nicolo Barella (Inter Milan, Italy)
  8. Toni Kroos (Real Madrid, Germany)
  9. Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea, Argentina)
  10. Gavi (Barcelona, Spain)
Attacking Midfielder

The attacking midfielders and center midfielders can meld into one category. By this stage in the formation, these players are active at different parts of the field. However, these are crucial players in the attack. Jamal Musiala won the Bundesliga for Bayern Munich on the last day, and Martin Odegaard was a key reason for Arsenal challenging Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester City in the Premier League.

  1. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City, Belgium)
  2. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal, Norway)
  3. Bernardo Silva (Manchester City, Portugal)
  4. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich, Germany)
  5. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United, Portugal)
  6. Julian Alvarez (Manchester City, Argentina)
  7. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid, France)
  8. James Maddison (Tottenham, England)
  9. Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen, Germany)
  10. Dominik Szoboszlai (Liverpool, Hungary)

Lionel Messi won the recent Ballon d’Or, and that was a credit to winning the World Cup with Argentina. However, he remains the most talented at his position, and his performances with the national team demonstrate that. He will not be atop this list in a few years. Rodrygo, Bukayo Saka, Serge Gnabry and Moussa Diaby are still developing into world-class talents.

  1. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami, Argentina)
  2. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool, Egypt)
  3. Rodrygo (Real Madrid, Brazil)
  4. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal, England)
  5. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich, Germany)
  6. Ousmane Dembele (PSG, France)
  7. Raphinha (Barcelona, Brazil)
  8. Moussa Diaby (Aston Villa, France)
  9. Riyad Mahrez (Al Ahli, Algeria)
  10. Dejan Kulusevski (Tottenham, Sweden)
There are Manchester City players across this list of 100 soccer players in the world today. The best of those is Erling Haaland.

Erling Haaland is a machine. He scores at will and he scores in bunches. He did so in the Bundesliga, and he is doing it even more in the Premier League. The same applies to Harry Kane, who is making a strong case to be the best striker in the world. Also, it would be a shame to leave out Cristiano Ronaldo. Say what one will about the competition he plays against in the Saudi Pro League, he is having no issues scoring at any level.

  1. Erling Haaland (Manchester City, Norway)
  2. Harry Kane (Bayern Munich, England)
  3. Victor Osimhen (Napoli, Nigeria)
  4. Karim Benzema (Al Ittihad, France)
  5. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona, Poland)
  6. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal, Brazil)
  7. Alexander Isak (Newcastle, Sweden)
  8. Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan, Argentina)
  9. Randal Kolo Muani (PSG, France)
  10. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr, Portugal)

This is where we see Kylian Mbappe. Although he also lines up as a striker, he shows his brilliant pace and skill when he plays as a left-wing. That is where he played during the 2022 World Cup Final, and he scored a hat trick. Outside of Mbappe, the Premier League is dominant again in this position.

  1. Kylian Mbappe (PSG, France)
  2. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid, Brazil)
  3. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli, Georgia)
  4. Rafael Leao (Milan, Portugal)
  5. Jack Grealish (Manchester City, England)
  6. Son Heung-min (Tottenham, South Korea)
  7. Neymar (Al Hilal, Brazil)
  8. Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton and Hove Albion, Japan)
  9. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal, Brazil)
  10. Luis Diaz (Liverpool, Colombia)