Record-breaking Bayern boss FFT's Best 100 once again
Bundesliga champions in each of the past four seasons, Pep Guardiola completed a hat-trick of titles with Die Roten by finishing 10 points clear at the top last term.
And after accounting for 14 of the 100 players in 2014 and 13 last time out, the Bavarians now possess 15 of the year’s elite performers – a record high.
Robert Lewandowski, the first player to score 30 goals in a German top-flight season since Dieter Muller in 1977, retains his place in the top 10, albeit dropping to 7th, with Manuel Neuer and Thomas Muller also suffering slight dips from 2015.
And Jerome Boating is named the best defender for 2016 – the stopper climbing 24 places from last year’s list having been named German Footballer of the Year.
Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa, Thiago Alcantara and Mats Hummels are among the best 50 players, while there are spots for Xabi Alonso, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, plus Joshua Kimmich and Renato Sanches.
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Real Madrid (11 players) and Barcelona (9) ensure the top three clubs remain the same as 12 months ago – Champions League-winners Real owning Cristiano Ronaldo (1st) and Gareth Bale (6th), and Barça boasting three of the top five.
Juventus may have lost the services of Paul Pogba in the summer, but still increase their tally of FFT100 representatives on last year from seven to eight. The Old Lady snaffled Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic away from Serie A rivals Napoli and Roma, and Paulo Dybala makes his first appearance on the list.
A second Champions League final outing in three seasons has helped six Atletico Madrid players make it into FFT’s 10th edition of the Top 100, headed by Antoine Griezmann. The Frenchman ended 2015/16 with six goals and the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 after smashing home 22 in La Liga and seven in the Champions League.
Manchester City, last year’s leading Premier League club with eight players, must now share that accolade with rivals United. Both sides own five members of the FFT100 in 2016, although there are two Blues in the top 10 in the form of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, with the Red Devils’ highest representative only at 14.
Arsenal see four of their players included in the Top 100 for a third year in a row; a number matched by arch rivals Spurs. It’s a record-high tally for the Lilywhites, who in Toby Alderweireld own the best Premier League defender in the entire list.