Player Power Rankings: January 14th, 2016

1. Lionel Messi

Messi wins 5th Ballon d'Or

Can you say, “5th Ballon d’Or”? The man is already a legend at 28, and can still add to his insane records! Messi will continue to show his flashes of brilliance, and we will all happily watch as he makes defenders and goalkeepers look foolish.

2. Roberto Firmino

Liverpool is going through a big transition period, and they have been looking for a consistent threat up top. Firmino was the man to do just that against Arsenal, registering a brace and keeping the Reds in the game. The Brazilian is seeming to mesh well with new manager Jurgen Klopp, signifying hopefully good things ahead for the club.

3. Olivier Giroud

Giroud also had a brace during the Arsenal-Liverpool showdown. He has quickly transformed into the striker that Arsenal have been searching for. The 29-year old has scored some timely goals over the past few months, restoring faith from the Arsenal faithful. Arsenal’s title hopes will rely on Giroud and his ability to put the ball in the back of the net.

4. Jermain Defoe

Defoe is back! He had another hat trick to add to his collection, and more importantly, a win for Sunderland. The Black Cats are clawing out of the relegation zone slowly but surely, largely on the back of their striker. They are only 1 point from safety, something that didn’t seem possible only a few weeks ago. If Defoe keeps up his scoring pace, he might have some actual awards and transfer hype coming his way.

5. Kasper Schmeichel

Tottenham fired 21 shots at Leicester’s goalkeeper, but Schmeichel only had to save 5 of them. He did just that, preserving a clean sheet and garnering 3 points for the club. They pulled even with Arsenal in the Premier League table, making this title race a true barnburner. The son of a legend is beginning to make a name for himself on the big stage.

6. Marc-Andre ter Stegen

The goalkeeper at Barcelona doesn’t get a whole lot of love, but he has been pretty consistent presence for the club. Camp Nou is in good hands with ter Stegen in goal, evidenced by his clean sheet against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey. The young German is only 23, still coming into his own, but it is easy to see why Barcelona wanted this star in the making.

7. Wayne Rooney

Rooney put an end to United’s first half scoring woes, putting a penalty in against Newcastle. He added another in the second half, proving to others that the captain still has something left in the tank. Rooney has been taking down club and country records this year, and he will continue to add to his total so long as he is healthy.

8. Paul Pogba

Sometimes Pogba is forgotten in Serie A, but the Juventus midfielder is among the best in the world. He was elected to the World XI, and capped off the week scoring a goal in the victory over Sampdoria. Juventus are in 2nd with the win, charging up to the top of the table. Juventus will be a force to be reckoned with in any competition with Pogba on the pitch.

9. Gonzalo Higuain

Napoli have been wrecking shop in Serie A, crushing opponents on the way to the top of the table. They have put 5 goals on the board with alarming regularity as Higuain leads the way. This had made him a top transfer target for a lot of clubs, but for now he is pushing Napoli towards their first league title since the 1989-90 season.

10. Tim Howard

Howard has been struggling at Everton all season, but there are signs that he is turning around. That came in the form of a clean sheet against Manchester City, with Howard making several great saves. His starting spot was beginning to get questioned, so this was a nice performance to quiet that talk for a little while.

 

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About the author: Dominic Habjan

 

I am a contributor to SoccerPro’s blogs, and truly enjoy writing about the World’s Game. I support Sporting KC, US National Team, and Slovenian National Team. I follow the Premier League but don’t necessarily have a favorite club. I am an avid sports fan, but prefer college to professional leagues in every sport with exception to soccer. I love the Mizzou Tigers, KC Royals, and KC Chiefs. Outside sports I enjoy movies, music, and musical theatre.


Website: https://soccerpro.com

 

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