Messi usurps Ronaldo in FFT’s Best 100 in World
The Barcelona superstar was controversially listed third last year behind Cristiano Ronaldo and World Cup-winner Phillip Lahm, but stormed back in 2015 to help his side win a league, cup and Champions League treble.
Messi, who was also named FFT’s No.1 in 2009, 2010 and 2011, scored 43 goals in 38 La Liga games, as well as 10 in the European Cup as Barca won the trophy for a fifth time, beating Juventus in Berlin. ‘The Flea’ is joined in the top five by his two Barcelona strike partners, Neymar (3) and Luis Suarez (5) - the trio combining to score 122 goals between them in all competitions last season.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski make up FFT’s top quintet for 2015; the Real Madrid icon relinquishing the title he has taken in each of the previous two years, while Bayern Munich goal machine Lewandowski rises 17 places having scored 47 goals since last year’s list was revealed.
Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering Bavarians are the most represented club in the list for a second successive year, with Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Arjen Robben retaining their places in the top 10 and Lewandowski rising to 4th.
Thirteen Bayern players feature in total, one more than Real Madrid and three ahead of Champions League holders Barcelona, while Manchester City’s eight players is more than any other Premier League club, two more than neighbouring Man United and last season’s top English club Chelsea.
And it’s been a slightly better year for the Three Lions. Just three England players made the FFT100 in 2014, the lowest ever figure since the annual list was first released back in 2007. Raheem Sterling is the youngest player to appear in this year’s top 50. He is joined by Manchester City team-mate Joe Hart, rising Spurs star Harry Kane and England's captain and all-time top scorer Wayne Rooney, who only just retains a spot among the 100 after falling 42 places.