What a year 2018 has been! It’s the kind fans of the beautiful game hope every other year is like.
From the World Cup to different finals, surprise results and surprising winners, 2018 was a year to remember.
As we look ahead to 2019, we say bye bye to 2018 by taking a quick look at the best players of the year. It’s still not sure how we came up with 20 but it’s a pretty fair number to say the least.
PS: Since it’s a quick run down, we’ve done the contrary and started off from our best to the 20th best.
1. Kylian Mbappe…
Simply electric. Arguably the best player at the World Cup and a shining light for Paris SG.
2. Luka Modric
Deserved the year he had. Reminded us football was more than racking up the numbers. Deservedly makes our players of the year list.
3. Raphael Varane
“Champions League Varane“,his nickname amongst his Les Bleus teammates. Defense leader for his country and able partner for Ramos. Few defenders have won the Champions League and World Cup in the same year.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Machine. Almost single-handedly delivered Champions League to Madrid before going on to shine in Russia. Crowned the year with an electric start to life in Turin.
5. Leo Messi
Football’s one genius. Doesn’t finish higher because of his World Cup campaign. Barcelona’s messiah and the one player about which Pep Guardiola said, “Don’t try to write about him, don’t try to describe him.”
6. Antoine Griezmann
Hotline Bling, Take the L, The Yoga Celebration. Griezou matched his celebrations with his undoubted contributions to Atletico and France. Did well to stay with the Rojiblanco this year.
7. Lucas Hernandez
Able soldier. From bench-warmer to regular both for France and Atleti. Was a reliable outlet at full back and a dependable option at centre back.
8. Ivan Rakitic
Highly underrated. A proper conductor. Eager to do the dirty work. Easy to see his contributions go unnoticed but will be sorely missed when not in the team.
9. Mario Mandzukic
Splendid. Coming from a serious injury to lead Croatia to near-World Cup glory. Kept up his form in Serie A with Juventus.
10. Kevin de Bruyne
Belgian magician. Game changer. Il virtuoso. Had quite the journey at the FIFA World Cup.
11. Mo Salah
The Egyptian King. Liverpool’s one season wonder? No. That’s Liverpool’s Leo Messi
12. Raheem Sterling
Easy to overlook his contributions. Has grown as a player over the last twelve months.
13. Leroy Sane
15 assists in a Premier League season. Only bettered by KdB. Shouldn’t have been dropped from Germany’s World Cup squad.
14. Memphis Depay
Dramatic turnaround. Arguably the best player in the Conforama in 2018. Holland’s line leader. Depay has laid on more goals and assists combined in 2018 than Neymar or Kylian Mbappe.
15. Marcelo Jr
Winger, Full back and goalscorer in one. Skill, Discipline, Technique and Dexterous.
16. Harry Kane
Need a goal? Give it to Harry.
Trickery, flair. Much expectations. Little delivery.
From being The great mountain in Rome to being Liverpool’s rock.
72 metres. That’s the length of the longest drop kick in football. The kicker? No prizes for making the right guess.
20. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen
One of the reasons Barcelona almost went unbeaten. Colossus.
Of course, we know you already have a thing or two for/about this list of our players of the year. You can join the conversation by leaving us your comments and sharing your thoughts with us.
Author: Rotimi “Papi the Great” Daramola
Rotimi Daramola aka Papi the Great is the owner of ForTheGoal.
A freelance sports writer who focuses on football, Rotimi is also a freelance writer, a copywriter and a football analyst who regularly appears on radio and television to talk football. You can follow him on twitter @papi_thegreat to keep up with his writings, engage him and also find out about how you can secure his writing services.