Ranked! The 100 best players in the world, 2022

40. Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are few centre-backs in the world players would prefer to come face to face with than Rudiger. A lightning quick stopper who reads the game sublimely, the German always manages to make a tackle that is perfectly timed. However, he is also adept at attacking, as he loves to carry the ball forward with relentless intent and spray cross-field balls to the opposite wing.  

39. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes of Portugal in action during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 2 match between Czech Republic and Portugal at Fortuna Arena on September 24, 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic.

(Image credit: Thomas Eisenhuth/Getty Images)

Not afraid to take a risk, Bruno's incisive passing and long-range shots can infuriate fans when they don't work, but are glorious when they do. 

A returner of plenty of goals and assists each season, Fernandes' work rate and desire to win are unmatched. Indeed, his intense competitive edge can boil over, but when channelled in the right way he is very difficult to stop. 

38. Son Heung-min

Son Heung-Min of South Korea poses during the international friendly match between South Korea and Costa Rica at Goyang stadium on September 23, 2022 in Goyang, South Korea.

(Image credit: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

Son ended the 2021/22 Premier League with the golden boot, his stunning goalscoring record matched only by Mo Salah during the course of the campaign. While the South Korean has struggled to retain those high standards he set himself for the previous few months, his quality is still clearly evident.  

37. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia

(Image credit: Getty)

At the beginning of 2022, Kvaratskhelia was an unknown Georgian player heading back to his home country to play for Dinamo Batumi. Now, though, he is tearing up Serie A and the Champions League for Napoli with his blistering performances. 

A rangy winger who loves to attack his opponents directly, Kvaratskhelia is also clever in his play and knows when to change the tempo of the game at the correct moment.

36. Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller gestures with his arms outstretched during the Bundesliga match between Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach on 27 August at the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

(Image credit: DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Arguably one of the most dependable players in the world, there is a reason why Muller’s longevity has kept him at Bayern Munich and Germany’s national team for so long. His positioning is second to none, with the forward constantly finding space in the area of the pitch where the ball will land. 

Couple that with his teamwork and work-rate, and it’s no wonder why Bayern players love having him on their side.  

35. Jamal Musiala

Bayern Munich midfielder Jamal Musiala celebrates after scoring his team's second goal in Bayern Munich 4-0 Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga on 30 September, 2022 at the Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

(Image credit: S. Mellar/FC Bayern via Getty Images)

Still a teenager, Musiala has been outstanding for Bayern Munich this season, cementing his place in both the Bavarian club's starting XI as well as Germany's World Cup squad. 

His mazy runs with that effortless dribbling style of his, physicality and awareness are all excellent, and, while he is still only a teenager, he is clearly a player with an assuredness of their brilliant ability. The sky’s the limit for this wunderkind.  

34. Phil Foden

Phil Foden of Manchester City takes the ball to the corner flag during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City at Anfield on October 16, 2022 in Liverpool, England.

(Image credit: Matt McNulty - Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

A versatile forward who is as capable as popping up with a goal as he is with a defence-splitting pass, Foden seemingly has all the attributes to go right to the top. His first touch is always positive and acted upon with intent, while his movement is sublime for someone still only 22-years-old. 

When he steps up consistently on the big stage, the Manchester City star will be scarily good.  

33. Declan Rice

West Ham United captain Declan Rice gestures during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United on 4 September, 2022 at Stamford Bridge, London, United Kingdom

(Image credit: Offside via Getty Images)

Rice's rise to become one of the elite all-round midfielders of European football has correlated perfectly with West Ham's ascension over the past few years. He's everything you want in a footballer, beginning to influence games in the final third, while an excellent ball-winner and good passer. 

Still only 23, the England man could be incredibly good when he adds that experience, too.  

32. Bruno Guimaraes

Bruno Guimaraes of Newcastle United (39) takes penalty kickduring the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Newcastle United and Crystal Palace at St James' Park

(Image credit: Getty)

Since joining Newcastle from Lyon last January, Guimaraes has helped the club to excel. 

The Brazilian has been one of the key men for Eddie Howe’s side so far this season, his displays in central midfield impressing as he controls games and breaks play up with seemingly effortless ease. Being named in Brazil’s World Cup squad alongside a plethora of talent proves his ability. 

31. Ilkay Gundogan

Ilkay Gundogan scoring a penalty against Italy

(Image credit: Getty)

Gundogan has always been a classy playmaker and remains so, but in recent years he has added a goalscoring element to his game which has taken him to new heights. 

The German dovetails perfectly in Manchester City’s midfield with Kevin De Bruyne, his expert timing of runs into the box and improved composure in the penalty area catapulting his game to another level. Now, he is one of the first names on the team sheet for his national side, 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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