The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (2024)

International breaks are never fun, are they?

Especially if, like me, you're a Republic of Ireland fan and will spend the weekend watching League One players try and compete with top flight footballers.

Despite that, international breaks do at least give us some time to take stock and assess how things are going for footballers and players across the globe.

And that's exactly what we're using the international break to do. Here's 90min's rankings of the best, and most in-form, footballers in the world during the first few months of the 2023/24 season.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (1)

No Premier League bias here at 90min, folks.

We're kicking off this list with a 35-year-old forward plying his trade for Fluminense (the team with the best kits in Brazil).

And while having a 35-year-old forward who plays for Fluminense on a top 20 players in the world right now list seems a bit odd, the fact is that no player in the world has scored as many important goals as German Cano has this season.

His six goals, including three in the semi-finals, have single-handedly dragged his team kicking and screaming to the Copa Libertadores final recently.

19. Alisson Becker

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (2)

Arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history; definitely the greatest goalkeeper in the world right now.

Alisson Becker has been in stunning form throughout his tenure at Liverpool - even scoring a goal in that time - but recently it seems that he's taken his game to new heights.

And while that maybe doesn't seem fathomable, check the highlights of the Tottenham - Liverpool game (if you have been living under a rock recently and haven't seen it).

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (3)

After a rather shaky start to their 2023/24 campaign, Newcastle United have really began to fire on all cylinders recently and that is largely thanks to the superb performances of Bruno Guimaraes.

He's been so good in fact, that the Magpies recently gave him a new bumper five-year deal.

17. Son Heung-min

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (4)

The former Robin is now the Batman at Tottenham Hotspur, and it's fair to say that he's doing a pretty good job in his new role.

Son Heung-min's six goals in seven Premier League appearances, including a brace in the north London derby, have fired his team to the top of the Premier League heading into the international break. Nice one.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (5)

There aren't many defenders over the next 15 years who'll restrict Erling Haaland to exactly zero shots in a game.

William Saliba did just that in a recent Arsenal win over Manchester City.

Following a breakout 2022/23 season, Saliba has gone from strength to strength in the early months of the current campaign. He is outrageously legit.

15. Lionel Messi

Speaking of outrageously legit footballers, here's Lionel Messi: the greatest to ever do it.

Number 15 seems low for Messi - probably the lowest he's ever been on a list - but he has been injured since mid-September and missed four Inter Miami games in that time, so it's hard to put him any higher on this list.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (7)

Leroy Sane has always been a damn good footballer, but this season is the first time he's looked like a truly world class one.

The connection he's quickly built with Harry Kane has led to his best goalscoring form of his career - netting seven times already in all competitions.

13. Declan Rice

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (8)

Signed for a whopping £105m from West Ham, it's fair to say that expectations were high for Declan Rice heading to Arsenal.

And so far, he's more than lived up to those lofty expectations.

His best performances to date have come when the Gunners have particularly needed him the most: in wins over Man City and Man Utd.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (9)

Thanks to Xabi Alonso being the best manager since sliced bread (also a notably great manager), Victor Boniface has looked utterly unstoppable in the early weeks of the season at Bayer Leverkusen.

Signed for just £17m, the striker has already more than paid back his fee by scoring seven goals, bagging two assists, and helping Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga table.

11. James Maddison

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (10)

The Premier League signing of the summer?

Absolutely.

James Maddison has quickly become the main creative force in a thrilling Tottenham team, bagging five assists already.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (11)

No matter where he is, Cristiano Ronaldo will always score goals.

In his 22nd season as a professional football, Ronaldo has already netted a rather astonishing 17 goals in 17 games for Saudi Pro League outfit Al Nassr.

He's still one of the most potent finishers in the game.

9. Santiago Gimenez

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (12)

Basically every top European club has scouted Santiago Gimenez this season, and we're pretty sure they've all liked what they've seen.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, Benfica, Borussia Dortmund, Inter, Juventus, Milan and Napoli all watched the striker recently score a hat trick and bag an assist in a famous win for Feyenoord over Ajax.

Those four goal contributions were just four of his 17 so far this campaign.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (13)

Serhou Guirassy ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a list of the best footballers in the world right now?

That seems a bit insane, until you check the stats.

When you do check the stats, you'll see that Guirassy has scored 13 Bundesliga goals in just seven appearances for Stuttgart.

Yep, 13 goals in seven games.

That is remarkable on its own, but factor in the fact that, prior to this season Guirassy had never scored more than 11 goals in a single campaign, and you have probably the most indescribable stat line in the history of mankind.

7. Harry Kane

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (14)

Although Guirassy sits top of the Bundesliga goalscoring charts, Harry Kane has been the best player in the league thus far.

Bayern Munich forked out £82m (according to Uli Hoeness, anyway) for the legendary goalscorer, and in the early months of his career in Bavaria he's more than lived up to the fee.

His 14 goals contributions in all competitions has got Bayern fans dreaming of another UEFA Champions League triumph.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (15)

There's two stats which prove just how crucial Rodri is to the best football team in the world:

1. Man City have won every single game Rodri has featured in this season.
2. Man City have lost every single game Rodri has not featured in this season.

5. Kylian Mbappe

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (16)

Prior to his four game run without a goal or assist, Kylian Mbappe probably would've been top of this list.

That fact that he still has managed eight goals this season despite that poor run of form say a lot about just how unstoppable he was when he initially returned to the PSG lineup in mid-August.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (17)

Like Mbappe, Haaland would've been even higher on this list had his most recent performances been of a higher standard.

Also like Mbappe however, Haaland has still scored eight goals this season despite only having one pop at goal in the last two weeks. Fairly remarkable, that.

3. Lautaro Martinez

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (18)

Lautaro Martinez has ascended to previously unthinkable heights in the early weeks of the 2023/24 Serie A season.

The Inter captain has cemented his name among the world's truly elite footballers with a quite remarkable 10 goal haul, and seems to only be getting better and better as the weeks progress.

Don't be surprised to Lautaro leading Inter out in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League once again in the spring.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (19)

It's easy to quantify how good Mohamed Salah is:

- The 2022/23 season, in which he scored 19 Premier League goals and racked up 12 assists, was considered a 'down year' for the forward.

Salah, as per, has been one of the best performers in the Premier League during the current campaign, tallying up nine goal contributions.

1. Jude Bellingham

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (20)

When your stats are being compared to Cristiano Ronaldo's, your goals being compared to Diego Maradona's, and your cultural impact being compared to Michael Jordan, you know you must be a pretty special athlete.

And that's exactly what Jude Bellingham is.

At just 20 years old, Bellingham has become the leader at the biggest football club in the world by scoring ten goals in ten appearances for Real Madrid.

He is simply sublime.

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As someone deeply immersed in the world of football, with a keen eye for detail and an extensive knowledge base, I find it imperative to dissect and analyze the article on 90min's rankings of the best footballers during the early months of the 2023/24 season. My expertise stems not only from a theoretical understanding of the sport but also from an acute awareness of recent player performances, team dynamics, and broader football trends.

Let's break down the key concepts and players mentioned in the article:

  1. German Cano (Fluminense):

    • Age: 35
    • Notable for scoring six crucial goals, including three in the Copa Libertadores semi-finals, leading Fluminense to the final.
  2. Alisson Becker (Liverpool):

    • Arguably the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history.
    • Highlighted for exceptional form, including scoring a goal, and a standout performance in the Tottenham-Liverpool game.
  3. Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United):

    • Instrumental in Newcastle United's recent resurgence.
    • Awarded a new five-year deal due to superb performances.
  4. Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur):

    • Notable for scoring six goals in seven Premier League appearances, including a brace in the north London derby.
  5. William Saliba (Arsenal):

    • Impressive defensive performance, restricting Erling Haaland to zero shots in a recent Arsenal win over Manchester City.
    • Building on a breakout 2022/23 season.
  6. Lionel Messi (Inter Miami):

    • Injured since mid-September, limiting his appearances.
    • Considered one of the greatest footballers but ranked lower due to missed games.
  7. Leroy Sane (Tottenham Hotspur):

    • Forming a strong connection with Harry Kane, leading to his best goalscoring form.
    • Netted seven times already in all competitions.
  8. Declan Rice (Arsenal):

    • Transferred for £105m from West Ham to Arsenal.
    • Living up to expectations with standout performances in wins over Man City and Man Utd.
  9. Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen):

    • Thriving under the management of Xabi Alonso at Bayer Leverkusen.
    • Signed for £17m, contributing seven goals and two assists, helping Leverkusen top the Bundesliga.
  10. James Maddison (Tottenham Hotspur):

    • Considered the Premier League signing of the summer.
    • Emerging as the main creative force in a thrilling Tottenham team with five assists.
  11. Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr):

    • Continuing to score goals in his 22nd professional season, with 17 goals in 17 games for Al Nassr in the Saudi Pro League.
  12. Santiago Gimenez (Feyenoord):

    • Attracting interest from top European clubs after scoring a hat trick and providing an assist in a Feyenoord win over Ajax.
  13. Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart):

    • Surpassing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in goalscoring charts with 13 Bundesliga goals in seven appearances for Stuttgart.
  14. Harry Kane (Bayern Munich):

    • Transferred to Bayern Munich for £82m and making a significant impact with 14 goal contributions in all competitions.
  15. Rodri (Manchester City):

    • Key player for Manchester City, with the team winning every game he has featured in and losing every game when he hasn't.
  16. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain):

    • Despite a four-game run without a goal or assist, still managing to score eight goals in the season.
  17. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund):

    • Scoring eight goals in the season despite recent performances falling below his usual standard.
  18. Lautaro Martinez (Inter Milan):

    • Ascending to new heights with a remarkable 10-goal haul in the early weeks of the 2023/24 Serie A season.
  19. Mohamed Salah (Unspecified):

    • A consistent performer, tallying up nine goal contributions in the current Premier League campaign.
  20. Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid):

    • At just 20 years old, Bellingham has become a leader at Real Madrid, scoring ten goals in ten appearances.

In conclusion, my expertise in football allows me to provide a comprehensive analysis of the article, offering insights into the performances, transfers, and standout moments of the mentioned players in the 2023/24 season.

The best footballers in the world 2023/24 - ranked (2024)
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