Using the Sky Sports Power Rankings, we have crunched the numbers to calculate which players have enjoyed a stellar year across Europe’s top five leagues.
Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Aguero and Philippe Coutinho are just a handful of players to miss out on the top 20.
But who will come top of our list? Find out in our top 20 below…
20. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
Doubts persist over where Alexis Sanchez will be playing football next season, but there are no such concerns over his quality as he continues to be instrumental in Arsenal’s push to regain their place at Europe’s top table. His 16 goals in 2017 means he remains crucial to the Gunners, but his inconsistent form is allied to his uncertain future, which will be thrown into sharp focus in the early part of 2018.
19. David Silva – Manchester City
It’s been a superb 2017 for David Silva, who continues to be the linchpin in an impressive Man City side with an endless supply of talent. A £43.5m signing in Bernardo Silva can barely get a look in at the moment as his namesake continues to pull the strings. He already has eight assists this season, one more than he managed in the 2016/17 campaign, and we are only halfway through.
18. Dele Alli – Tottenham
Alli might be going through a difficult period that affects all young players, but his form in the second half of last season sees him included here. He began 2017 in style, his two headers helping Spurs to a 2-0 win over Chelsea on January 4. That marked six goals in three games for the 21-year-old and he would go on to score 23 goals in all competitions. This season has been a struggle, and yet he still has seven goals and six assists.
17. Isco – Real Madrid
Despite arriving at Real Madrid in 2013, it took several seasons for Isco to truly establish himself as a first-team player at the Bernabeu. In the past 12 months, however, he has become a vital component of their, and Spain’s, side, netting 19 times for club and country. His rise to prominence can be shown by the fact he started Real’s Champions League final win in May, having been used as a substitute in 2014 and 2016.
16. Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Hazard was back to his best last season, helping Antonio Conte’s side to the league title with 17 goals in all competitions and he was named in the PFA Team of the year for the fourth time in five years. He then came off the bench to help the Blues beat Spurs in the FA Cup semi-final and although the 26-year-old missed the start of this season with an ankle injury picked up on international duty, he already has eight goals for his club. Only Neymar and Lionel Messi made more key passes in Europe’s big leagues in 2017.
15. Kylian Mbappe – Monaco/PSG
What a year it’s been for Mbappe. The breakout star of Monaco’s side that reached the Champions League semi-final, the teenager then completed a record loan switch to PSG, and has only improved from there. The 18-year-old became the youngest player to reach 10 Champions League goals earlier this month, beating the previous record by nearly two years.
14. Paulo Dybala – Juventus
The Argentina international was given the No 10 shirt at Juventus at the start of the season and the 24-year-old has enjoyed a stellar year. One of three finalists for best forward in last season’s Champions League, he scored his first hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Genoa in August and will look forward to going up against Harry Kane in the Champions League in the new year.
13. Edinson Cavani – PSG
No player missed more big chances in 2017 than Cavani, but the Uruguay forward has still scored 36 goals for his club in 2017. This season, he has formed a lethal partnership with new arrivals Neymar and Kylian Mbappe as PSG bid to sweep Europe before them. He scored in the first three games of their Champions League campaign as the French giants broke the record for most goals (24) scored in the group stage.
12. Lorenzo Insigne – Napoli
Insigne’s performances early in 2017 led some to compare him to Napoli legend Diego Maradona and while the 26-year-old is naturally reluctant to entertain such comparisons, he is a product of the club’s academy and is the focal point of an attack that has propelled Maurizio Sarri’s side into the European elite.
11. Edin Dzeko – Roma
The former Manchester City forward has found a home in Rome, winning the Serie A Golden Boot last season with 29 league goals – 39 in all competitions. He then scored six in his first five games of this campaign and finished 28th in the Ballon d’Or list for the year.
10. Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich
Having signed a new deal at the end of last year to keep him at Bayern until 2021, Lewandowski continues to lead the Bayern line expertly, reaching 100 goals for the club in 137 appearances in a 3-0 win over Frankfurt in March. A hat-trick in the 6-1 win over Armenia in October took him to 50 goals for Poland to make him his country’s all-time top scorer and his 16 goals in World Cup qualification was a UEFA record.
9. Saul Niguez – Atletico Madrid
Atletico demonstrated their faith in 23-year-old Saul by agreeing a whopping nine-year deal with the midfielder in July and with good reason. The Spain international was top scorer at the 2017 UEFA Euro U21 Championship, including a hat-trick in the 3-1 semi-final win over Italy. He has become a key part of Diego Simeone’s plans in Madrid.
8. Kevin De Bruyne – Manchester City
The Belgian attacking midfielder has been the standout performer in a team packed with stars this season – the lynchpin of City’s irresistible attack that helped Pep Guardiola’s side win 16 consecutive Premier League games. It seems inconceivable the 26-year-old was not rated at Chelsea, as his 17 assists for 2017 leaves him just three short of the record set by Mesut Ozil in 2015.
7. Romelu Lukaku – Everton/Man Utd
Lukaku may be the subject of scrutiny at the end of the year after a rough spell for United, but the Belgium striker did enough in the first half of the year for Everton to merit his place near the top of this list. His goal in the 3-1 win over Burnley in April meant he became the first Everton player since Bob Latchford to score 25 goals in consecutive seasons in all competitions and he was subsequently named in the PFA Team of the Year while being shortlisted for both PFA Player and Young Player of the Year.
6. Dries Mertens – Napoli
Mertens has been the standout performer in an exciting Napoli side that led the way in Serie A until early December. The 30-year-old scored a hat-trick in a 7-1 win at Bologna and in May finished the campaign by scoring his 50th goal for the club and 28th for the season, which saw him finish one behind Golden Boot winner Edin Dzeko.
5. Christian Eriksen – Tottenham
Stop Christian Eriksen, stop Tottenham. That has become an oft-repeated mantra in latter weeks of 2017 and although Harry Kane might have something to say about that, it’s clear the Danish midfielder is integral to Spurs’ clockwork midfield. He is the one player in Pochettino’s side to pick a pass, although the highlight of his 2017 was surely his hat-trick in Denmark’s World Cup qualifying playoff win over the Republic of Ireland.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
It has been another stellar year for Ronaldo, winning his third Champions League trophy and a second La Liga title with a glut of goals to boot. It was topped off with a record fifth Ballon d’Or win in December and he has already bagged 15 goals in 20 Real Madrid appearances across all competitions this season.
3. Neymar – Barcelona/PSG
The brilliant Brazilian has continued the form that persuaded PSG to pay Barcelona a world-record £198m for him in the summer, with his new side dominating Ligue 1 and looking irresistible in the Champions League. No one won more duels than the 25-year-old in 2017 and he has a clash with old foes Real Madrid to look forward to in February 2018.
2. Harry Kane – Tottenham
Spurs’ talisman has shot into the world-class category in 2017, finishing 10th in the Ballon d’Or prize. After winning his second successive Premier League Golden Boot in May, his two goals in the 5-1 win over Stoke in December saw him become the first Englishman since Jimmy Greaves in 1955 to score 50 or more goals in a calendar year. His tally for league goals for the calendar year stands at 33, just three behind the record set by Alan Shearer in 1995.
1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
This version of Barcelona may not be hitting the heights of previous incarnations, but Lionel Messi’s genius continues to abide and it’s no surprise to see him top of the list again. The Argentine has 39 goals and 11 assists in 2017 and although Barca played second fiddle to rivals Real Madrid in the first half of 2017, his form has helped the Catalans top their Champions League group and open up a healthy lead at the top of La Liga.
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