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New List Reveals The '10 Best Players Of The Decade' - Featuring Ronaldo, Lewandowski And Messi

Tom Fenton

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New List Reveals The '10 Best Players Of The Decade' - Featuring Ronaldo, Lewandowski And Messi

Over the past 10 years, we have seen some of the greatest footballers of all-time tear up the record books, and etch themselves into footballing history with some truly extraordinary feats.

While many names stand out, how do you begin to rank the 10 greatest male players over the past decade? Thankfully, 90Min have released a list of their own.

A number of star names just missed the cut, with the final 10 being selected by 90min's editorial staff.

There was no room for Toni Kroos, Neymar, Xavi, Mohamed Salah, Frank Ribery or Arjun Robben.

Here instead, are the lucky few that were selected.

10) Gareth Bale

The Welshman may not have been the most consistent of players over the past 10 years, but few could argue with his inclusion based on peak performance alone. It's easy to forget now just how instrumental Bale has been for Real Madrid, having scored in two Champions League finals and a Copa Del Rey final.

9) Karim Benzema

The Frenchman has aged like a fine wine, arguably playing the best football of his career this season, at the age of 33. Benzema has stepped out from Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow expertly since the Portuguese star left for Juventus, bagging over 100 goals during that time.

A more selfless forward during the first half of the decade, the former Lyon man played a defining role in helping Real Madrid to capture four Champions League titles in five seasons.

8) Andres Iniesta

The Spaniard won just about all there was to win in both club and indeed international football. A star of Pep Guardiola's unfathomably good Barcelona side, he would then go on to rule the world with Spain, helping his nation to win the 2010 World up - as well as back-to-back European Championship titles.

A pure footballer in every sense of the word, with incredible passing, tenacious work-rate, and even an eye for a goal.

7) N'Golo Kante

It's very easy to overlook a player of Kante's nature in a list like this, as so much of the fine work he does goes unrecognised. And yet, wherever the diminutive Frenchman has gone, success tends to follow him.

Much like Iniesta, Kante has won just about all there is to win, and when it comes to defensive midfielders, you'd be hard-pressed to find anybody better since the turn of the Millenium.

6) Luis Suarez

After scoring 34 Premier League goals in a single season for Liverpool, in one of the best individual campaigns we've ever seen, the Uruguayan then went on to rip it up in La Liga. Alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar, he scored in the 2015 Champions League final to help Barcelona win their fifth Champions League.

A spell at Atletico Madrid would follow, where he led the line to help the club win a shock La Liga title last season.

5) Sergio Ramos

When it comes to defenders who have defined the past decade, it's impossible to look past the goal-scoring exploits of Ramos. Ever the man for the big occasions, the Spaniard helped Real Madrid win four Champions League titles since 2014, having previously been lined up in Spain's all-conquering back-line.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

4) Luka Modric

The only Ballon d'Or winner of the past decade not named 'Ronaldo' or 'Messi', the Croatian is yet another uniquely consistent performer. Amid Ronaldo's late goals and Ramos' defensive heroics, the metronomic passing of Modric in the heart of the Real midfield was so influential to the side's success.

Lest we also forget his incredible 2018 World Cup exploits, where the 36-year-old dragged Croatia to the final, scoring a fine goal against Russia en route.

3) Robert Lewandowski

When it comes to goals, nobody can match the prolific Polish superstar. He has quite literally rewritten the Bundesliga record books, having beaten Gerd Muller's total of 40 goals in a single season - a record that few thought would ever be toppled.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

2) Cristiano Ronaldo

It's sure to be a controversial pick with some, but according to 90Min, the 36-year-old just misses out on top spot to a certain Argentine. Nevertheless, second is by no means bad, as the rest of the entries are a fair distance from being anywhere near Ronaldo.

Four Champions League titles, Four Ballon d'Or wins, and becoming the all-time top scorer in international football tells its own story as to how incredible the Portuguese star has been over the past 10 years.

1) Lionel Messi

Need we say anymore?

With so many lauding the 34-year-old as the greatest player of all time, let alone the past decade, it's hard to look past his achievements. For Barcelona, the Argentine was virtually unstoppable at times, helping the club win two Champions League titles since 2011, while he also claimed four Ballon d'Or trophies in the same period.

Earlier this year, Messi added the cherry on top of an already dazzling career, by winning the Copa America with Argentina - after 16 years of attempting to seal a trophy for his country.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

Topics: Sergio Ramos, Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric

Tom Fenton
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