Each season, different players will rise to the occasion and provide a real bump to their team’s chances for winning. 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 for these rankings. Here is our first Player Power Rankings.
#1. Eden Hazard
Fresh off his PFA Player of the Year award, Eden Hazard is atop the rankings. Outside of being knocked out of the Champions League, Hazard has been the linchpin to Chelsea’s success this season. He has dominated all year, and is well deserving of the top spot.
#2. Lionel Messi
One of the most talented players in the world, Messi has continued to grace us with his seemingly magical footballing skill. He has led Barcelona to the final of the Copa del Ray, Champions League semi-finals, won the Supercopa de Catalunya, and lead Barcelona to the top of the La Liga table. He continues to score record-breaking goals in addition to team success.
Similar to his Barca teammate above, Neymar has been a critical piece to the success of the club. He has largely been the liquid player, helping ease the transition for Luis Suarez. Neymar has ensured the club’s success, while also throwing up some pretty amazing stats for himself.
#4. Harry Kane
Mr. Breakout Man Harry Kane comes in at #4. The young starlet has over 30 goals this season, rising to almost every occasion presented to him. Throw in a goal in his England debut, and you have yourself one of the fastest risers in world football. His work rate is incredible, and he has given Tottenham plenty of promising results.
#5. Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller is the most unheralded superstar in the game today. He finished in the top 3 for scoring at a second consecutive World Cup, scored 20+ goals for a third consecutive club season, and has played in an astounding 42 club matches. He has continued to produce at a world class level, despite not receiving the press. Where others have had injuries and letdowns, Thomas Muller has been Bayern’s Mr. Versatility.
#6. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano at #6! Are you crazy? Maybe a little bit. Ronaldo has scored plenty of goals this season, but had a rough patch that truly cost his team some valuable points in La Liga. One can only imagine if his breakup with Irina Shayk has impacted his on-field play. Despite sitting in 2nd in La Liga and crashing out of the Copa del Rey and Supercopa, there is still much for Cristiano and Co. to play for this season.
#7. Kasper Schmeichel
While there are plenty of individuals who deserve credit for Leicester City’s recent upward surge, Schmeichel might be the most important. The keeper is coming off 4 straight Premier League victories, including two crucial shutouts. With the difference between relegation and millions of TV revenue dollars at stake, Schmeichel has seemingly dragged his squad from the cellar to out of the relegation zone. With four out of the five remaining matches at home, Schmeichel will hope to lead the Foxes to a second consecutive Premier League season.
#8. Sergio Aguero
Sergio Aguero has put on quite a show this season, leading the Premier League with 21 goals. While Manchester City has not been able to put forth a real challenge to Chelsea for the league title, they still have accomplished quite a lot. Aguero has just put his best foot forward, and sometimes that needs to be rewarded. Oh, and more goals too, those might be nice.
#9. David De Gea
David De Gea has made a very strong case to be considered the best goalkeeper in the world. While others have been injured and underperformed…*cough* Falcao *cough*, De Gea has been the guiding light for Manchester United. His highlight reel saves are becoming the norm, putting the Red Devils on his back. Manchester United had better give him the contract he deserves.
Just skimming in by the hair of his chinny chin chin is Chicharito. The Real Madrid loanee scored the winning goal to send Real Madrid through to the Champions League semi-finals. His 6 goals in 18 appearances couldn’t have come at a better time, with Gareth Bale down and Ronaldo going through girl trouble. It will be interesting to see the negotiations between Manchester United and Real Madrid over the Mexican this summer.
Other figures that need to be mentioned:
There is Tim Sherwood who is currently rescuing Aston Villa from relegation. Alan Pardew has Crystal Palace playing like a solid mid-table Premier League team. Jose Mourinho for doing that boring thing called “winning.” Jurgen Klopp for staying loyal to Dort….erm…for reminding us that money talks. Last but not least, the entire ESPN/Fox Sports crew for reminding us that Jordan Morris is indeed, a college kid.