Real topple Barca in Best 100 for fourth straight year
FourFourTwo’s Best 100 Players in the World features more Real Madrid men than Barcelona once again – a fourth straight year of dominance for Los Blancos.
The Champions League winners have 11 players in the 2016 edition – one fewer than last year – while the La Liga champions have nine, also one down on 2015.
But for the third year running, both of the La Liga giants are lagging behind Bayern Munich in terms of player representation, with the Bundesliga champions owning 15 players – a record high for one club in any Top 100 list since it began in 2007.
Cristiano Ronaldo tops the chart for a fourth time after helping his club secure a second Champions League title in three seasons and his country a first major honour at Euro 2016, despite the team winning just one match inside 90 minutes.
The Portuguese reclaims the crown from last year’s winner Lionel Messi, with the Argentine joined in the top five by Barcelona team-mates Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Gareth Bale, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos all climb places from 2015 on the back of Real’s 11th European triumph, and are joined by defender Pepe in the elite group.
For the Catalans, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic all suffer slight dips but remain among the best 30 players in the world, with Gerard Pique rising to 29. And there’s a new face in the form of Samuel Umtiti, who made 30 Ligue 1 outings for Lyon last season before completing a £21 million to the Camp Nou.
Elsewhere, Manchester City are the only Premier League club with any players in the top 10, though the Blues’ overall tally of five is down on last year’s eight.
Juventus may have lost the services of Paul Pogba to United in the summer, but they still increase their tally of FFT100 representatives on last year from seven to eight. The Old Lady snaffled Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic from Serie A rivals Napoli and Roma, while Paulo Dybala makes his first appearance on the list.
And a second Champions League final in three seasons has helped Atletico Madrid to double their tally from three players in 2015 to six in 2016.
Antoine Griezmann leads the Rojiblanco contingent at number four, ending 2015/16 with six goals at the Euros after smashing home 22 in La Liga. He is joined by team-mates Jan Oblak, Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, Koke and Kevin Gameiro.
FOURFOURTWO’S BEST 100 FOOTBALL PLAYERS IN THE WORLD 2016
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Gregg Davies is the Chief Sub Editor of FourFourTwo magazine, joining the team in January 2008 and spending seven years working on the website. He supports non-league behemoths Hereford and commentates on Bulls matches for Radio Hereford FC. His passions include chocolate hobnobs and attempting to shoehorn Ronnie Radford into any office conversation.