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Lionel Messi is still the best footballer in the world, according to FIFA 21

Want-away Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is still the best footballer in the world, according to FIFA 21.

EA Sports has done its annual job of announcing the player ratings for the best 100 players in FIFA, and this year shows Messi still top of the tree.

That means Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo – or should I say Piemonte Calcio forward Cristiano Ronaldo – is still second.

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Perhaps some would argue with the decision in the context of the performances of both players since football restarted this year. While Messi battled to wrestle himself away from the club he’s been at his entire career following Barcelona’s trophyless season, Ronaldo won the Italian league and continues to do the business for Portugal. Did you see the two goals the 35-year-old scored for his country this week? Just incredible.

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What’s interesting is EA Sports has lowered the overall rating for both players this year. Messi is rated 93, while Ronaldo is rated 92. Messi is rated 94 in FIFA 20, while Ronaldo is rated 93. Perhaps it’s a reflection of the ageing stars’ ever-so-slightly diminishing dominance over the beautiful game.

Meanwhile, the big mover this year is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, which is ranked joint third with a 91 rating. This is no surprise – the Polish all-rounder won the German league and the Champions League this season – and scored a bucket full of goals to boot.

He’s joined in third by Manchester City midfield supremo Kevin De Bruyne, Brazilian superstar Neymar (Neymar was rated 92 in FIFA 20, but he’s rated 91 in this year’s game), and Atletico Madrid’s incredible keeper Jan Oblak.

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Liverpool players dominate the rest of the top 10, with Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané all rated 90. French wonderkid Kylian Mbappé, who coincidentally is FIFA 21 cover star, enjoyed a bump this year from 89 to 90. They don’t make EA Sports’ top 10, but Barcelona keeper Ter Stegen and Liverpool keeper Alisson are both rated 90, too.

Here’s the official top 10:

  1. Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona (93)
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Piemonte Calcio (92)
  3. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich (91)
  4. Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City (91)
  5. Neymar Jr., Paris Saint-Germain (91)
  6. Jan Oblak, Atletico de Madrid (91)
  7. Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool (90)
  8. Kylian Mbappé, Paris Saint-Germain (90)
  9. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (90)
  10. Sadio Mané, Liverpool (90)

Real Madrid forward Eden Hazard drops out of the top 10 entirely (he’s had a disappointing debut season for the Spanish champions, and is now rated 88, down from 91). The highest-rated English players are Spurs striker Harry Kane and Man City winger Raheem Sterling, both at 88. Liverpool’s incredible right back Trent Alexander-Arnold is 87. For all you Chelsea fans out there, the highest rated player we’ve got is brilliant midfielder N’Golo Kanté at 88.

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