Ranked! The 100 best players in the world, 2022
The best players in the world in 2022, featuring all-time greats, up-and-coming wonderkids and the stars we've been raving about all season
How good is Richarlison? Well, good enough to arrive into a team with three of the best forwards on Earth and more than hold his own in the frontline.
Richy is everything you expect and more from a Brazilian forward: skilful as hell with a mean streak that gets him first to every ball. Whether fighting a relegation battle last season or playing in the Champions League this, he's an incredible asset for any manager.
79. Milan Skriniar
Milan Skriniar has been one of Serie A's best defenders for a long, long time. His reading of play is excellent and he's been the rock that multiple managers have built around. Quite rightly, he's now an elite Champions League centre-back.
78. Diogo Jota
The man who broke up the famous Salah-Mané-Firmino trio was always going to be special. Diogo Jota is more than that with boundless brilliance from the front (or left), incredible instincts and the ability to link up or finish for himself. It's a shame that much of his 2022 has been spent on the treatment table.
77. Aurelien Tchouameni
Having burst through at Monaco as one of the best prospects in the world in his position, it was obvious that Aurelien Tchouameni was destined for the very top.
It didn't take Real Madrid long to come calling. The Frenchman is now a full international too and as one of the most complete and accomplished defensive midfielders in the world for such a young age, this starlet is only going to keep rising.
76. Leon Goretzka
Leon Goretzka might be No.1 on this list if it were which player FFT would least like to have a scrap with. The muscular German is simply the most frightening midfielder in the world, Bayern's pitbull – oh, and he can play a bit, too. Intelligent, technical and able to control space with the best of Germany's elite, Goretzka is all brawn and actually, all brain, too.
75. Mason Mount
Mason Mount is a lightning rod for fans' disappointment and we're going to put it out there: that is massively unfair. The Chelsea star is easy to pick on when his team is out-fought or hasn't had enough of the ball.
But this is a player that every single one of his managers has built around. Not only is his work ethic second-to-none, his football IQ excellent and his pressing exemplary, he's a creative spark and offers great movement. He's never a passenger – he's becoming underrated by those boo boys.
74. Fikayo Tomori
It's not a reflection on Fikayo Tomori that he's not a part of the England squad for the World Cup. It's just down to experience that he's been left behind. Still, it won't be long and he'll be boasting the best of the lot on that front, having led AC Milan to a Scudetto and become one of the finest centre-backs in Europe this year.
Tomori is strong, quick, clever and a leader. He's going to be at the top of the game for another decade if he keeps this up.
73. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is constantly on the radar of English clubs – and it's easy to see why. A complete midfielder with strength and creativity, SMS has been towards the top of the assist charts in Serie A for years, now.
72. Trent Alexander-Arnold
He can defend. You don't get to his level without being able to.
And anyway, what Trent offers is unique. A playmaker from full-back, he has one of the best deliveries in world football – from a dead ball or in play – and he simply makes Liverpool tick. He's had a bad 2022 for some… yet he won two cups and was arguably the outstanding player in both finals. His standards are just incredibly high.
71. Eder Militao
The transition centre-back from one era to a next, Eder Militao has seen out the last of Ramos and Varane and ushered in Alaba and Rudiger. A superb defender in his own right, however, the Brazilian is tenacious, quick and has excellent awareness. He's only going to improve, too.
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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...
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