Ranked! The 100 best players in the world, 2022

70. Lisandro Martinez

Manchester United defender Lisandro Martinez

(Image credit: Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The best ball-playing defender on Earth? Manchester United fans worried that Lisandro Martinez would leave the team a little short at the back but the 5'9 Argentine has more than made up for his stature. 

He breaks lines with his passing with his eyes closed and has been an incredible asset in Erik ten Hag's build-up. Couple that with his typically South American aggression and there was no way he wasn't thriving in English football. 

69. Martin Odegaard

Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard celebrates after scoring his team's fifth goal in the Premier League match between Arsenal and Nottingham Forest on 30 October, 2022 at the Emirates Stadium, London, United Kingdom

(Image credit: Alex Pantling / Getty Images)

Originally a loan move to get much-needed creativity, Martin Odegaard has become the archetypal Mikel Arteta player: deft, intelligent on the ball and like a rabid dog out of possession. The Norwegian has been a stunning signing and now captains the team top of the tree at Christmas. It's amazing to think he cost just £30m. 

68. Leroy Sané

Leroy Sane

(Image credit: Getty)

The most unGerman player in Germany's set-up? Leroy Sané prefers to burst past players rather than pass past them, latch onto balls behind a defence rather than be clever in front of it. 

Still, he's explosive at full-pelt, as Champions League opponents have found out this season and capable of operating on both flanks or darting through the centre. 

67. Andrew Robertson

Andy Robertson of Liverpool with the Player of the Match trophy at the end of the UEFA Champions League group A match between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at Johan Cruyff Arena on October 26, 2022 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

(Image credit: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Andrew Robertson has become a club legend on Merseyside. That he's still as dependable as ever displays just how much effort he puts in every week and with his wonderful left-foot and incredible stamina, Liverpool are always a threat from the left. 

66. Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling

(Image credit: Getty)

Raheem Sterling has had a peculiar start to his Chelsea career but few players in England have his gravitas these days. The Brent-raised forward is one of England's big-game stars these days and wears that No.10 proudly, capable either to feet or in behind. He's as good as he ever was and scarily, might yet be off his peak. 

65. Nuno Mendes

Nuno Mendes of Paris Sait-Germain in action during the preseason friendly match between Paris Saint-Germain and Kawasaki Frontale at National Stadium on July 20, 2022 in Tokyo, Japan.

(Image credit: Paris Saint-Germain Football/PSG via Getty Images)

Primed to be the next best left-back in the world, Nuno Mendes is one of PSG's best signings in recent seasons. He bombs down his flank to form quite the pairing with Achraf Hakimi and he's defensively efficient, too. 

64. Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen of Denmark looks dejected following defeat during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between Croatia and Denmark at Stadion Maksimir on September 22, 2022 in Zagreb, Croatia.

(Image credit: Goran Stanzl/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images)

Christian Eriksen must have wondered what the hell he'd let himself in for when he found himself 4-0 down to his last employers and booed by the Brentford fans two weeks into his Manchester United career.

He needn't have worried too much. The great Dane is eternal shifting to a deeper berth to dictate traffic for Erik ten Hag and showing his class. He's been wonderful this season once more. 

63. Alphonso Davies

Bayern Munich's Canadian midfielder Alphonso Davies enters the pitch ahead of the start of the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hertha Berlin and FC Bayern Munich in Berlin on November 5, 2022.

(Image credit: RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicknamed ‘Roadrunner’ by his Bayern team-mates, due to his lightning speed, the Canadian officially holds the record for the highest speed ever reached in the German top-flight (over 36 km/h). He’s more than just a sprinter, mind. Davies is a solid defender, an excellent dribbler and a leader for his country. 

If Canada are to enjoy a good World Cup, much will depend on the attacking prowess of their irrepressible speed merchant. 

62. Dusan Vlahovic

Dusan Vlahovic of Juventus celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Serie A match between Juventus and Bologna FC at Allianz Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Turin, Italy.

(Image credit: Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images)

The man who dominated the gossip pages before making his January switch from Fiorentina to Juventus. It wasn’t hard to see why he was so in demand. Vlahovic is strong, fast and deadly, and has continued his rich scoring vein in Turin. Still just 22, the Serbian could have the potential to develop into a Serie A legend. 

61. Lucas Hernandez

Lucas Hernandez of FC Bayern Muenchen looks on after their side finished the season as Bundesliga champions during the Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern München at Volkswagen Arena on May 14, 2022 in Wolfsburg, Germany.

(Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Few defenders in world football display the kind of aggression regularly seen by the Bayern and France centre-back. Hernandez is happiest when playing the bad cop is a defensive pairing, hustling and harrying opposition strikers before nipping in to take the ball. He’s found his chances at club level limited in recent months, but will back himself to reclaim his starting berth after the World Cup. 

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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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