Each season different players will rise to the occasion and provide a real bump to their team’s chances. This list is not a measure of talent, as much as it is a list of the most impactful players this season. Season results, combined with “what have you done for me lately”, are just a couple of the factors taken into account on our Player Power Rankings.
1. Robert Lewandowski
Call it what you want, but the man is one fire. A run of 7 straight games for club and country with a goal is pretty darn impressive. Lewy gets a bonus notch for carrying Poland during their Euro qualifying campaign, scoring the final goal that sealed their spot in the final tournament. His performances helped him retain the top spot in our rankings for another week.
2. Raheem Sterling
The young Englishmen is finally starting to live up to his 49 million pound price tag. He is starting to find his groove for Man City, putting up a hat trick against Bournemouth over the weekend. With an injury to Sergio Aguero, it was important that someone step up for the Citizens, and Sterling turned out to be the new hero.
3. Antoine Griezmann
The French youngster is quietly dominating for Atletico Madrid in La Liga. They are only 2 points off the lead, which is certainly manageable with the two giants struggling a bit. He snagged a goal against his former club, Real Sociedad, over the weekend, and has become the engine moving Atleti forward. He will be a key player if they want to make a title challenge
A Lionel Messi injury and a haircut later, Neymar has become the focal point of Barcelona’s offense. The freshly-shaven haircut is all he needed to have a breakout game apparently, putting 4 goals in against Rayo Vallecano. He also put some rumors to rest about Manchester United having interest in him, telling fans to relax and that they have nothing to worry about. A true double win for Barca fans.
5. Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo became Real Madrid’s all-time leading goal scorer, passing Raul in the record book. Real Madrid are not exactly dominating, but this record alone was enough to keep Ronaldo on the list. He also helped Portugal claim Group I in Euro qualifying, ensuring another crack at a major tournament for his country.
6. Jamie Vardy
Did anyone see Leicester City in the Top 5 of the Premier League table at this point in the season? Vardy has led the Foxes to a single loss in 9 league games so far. He scored 2 goals in the 2nd half to grab a draw from Southampton, a solid result away from home. With Vardy flying high, how far can the Foxes go? Is a European place in their future?
7. Georginio Wijnaldum
Sometimes we get so caught up in the top of the table, that we forget about the very real relegation battle at the bottom. Georginio Wijnaldum decided he was tired of losing, smashing in 4 goals in Newcastle’s first victory of the season, boosting them to 18th. Sometimes it takes a game like this to inject life into a relegation-battling squad, and Wijnaldum looked happy to be that spark.
8. Sebastian Giovinco
Can you talk about the MLS without mentioning this stud? Giovinco has absolutely been a revelation for Toronto FC, claiming their first playoff appearance in club history. The likely MVP of the league has done it all, even garnering enough attention to get a call up for Italy again. We will see if Giovinco can complete this dream season in Toronto.
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang is carrying Dortmund in the race for 2nd place in the Bundesliga. He has 11 goals in 11 games this season. His blazing speed and deft finishing have really been a boon for the club. Without a legitimate international squad to play for, Aubameyang can focus all of his time and energy into the German club. It is working so far, and Dortmund fans hope it will continue.
10. Wayne Rooney
Ander Herrera proclaimed Rooney to be the greatest Englishmen footballer in history after United’s victory this past weekend. His one-on-one goal versus Tim Howard put him at 2nd place all-time on the Premier League scoring list. It’s hard to believe that Rooney is still only 29, but he is no longer the spry chicken he used to be. I openly root for him to get the respect he so deserves.