Who Are the Top Professional Football Players in the Last 10 Years


Many big names throughout football history are no strangers to Malaysians, and their popularity is becoming increasingly ubiquitous as the Qatar FIFA World Cup is approaching.

Among the popular professional footballers who have found their permanent spot in history, here’s a few footballers who are still actively making headlines in recent years sports news.

Kylian Mbappe – Highest Paid in Industry

Mbappe is a French footballer born in 1998 and is considered as one of the best players with his dribbling abilities, speed, and finishing. As of June 2022, Mbappe is being reported as the highest paid footballer with an annual salary of 50 millions Euros, and contract value of 130 m.

Dani Alves – The Most Decorated Player

The Brazilian Footballer, Alves was born in 1983. His offensive play style with his outstanding stamina, pace, technical skills and attacking run make him a great full-back.

A total of 43 trophies has been won by Alves in his career and is the most decorated professional football player in history.

Lionel Mess – The Top Scorer

Born in Argentina, 1987, Messi is known to the world as one of the greatest footballers. His diminutive stature gave him higher maneuverability, paired with his outstanding upper torso strength, Messi performance is outstanding on the field.

Since his debut, Messi scored a total of 86 goals in 162 international matches, making him the all-time top scorer record holder in Argentina. Messi has won 41 trophies so far, only 3 more away to beat Alves as the most decorated professional football player in history.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Greatest footballer of all time

Born in Portugal, 1985, Ronaldo is a master goal scorer and is renowned for his bending free kicks using knuckleball technique. He is considered as one the greatest players in his generation alongside Messi.

Ronaldo is the five times winner of Ballon d’Or awards and 32 trophies including five UEFA Champions Leagues titles and seven national league titles.

Robert Lewandowski – Best Football Player since 2020

Born in Poland, 1988, Lewandowski is considered the best forward striker in the world, greatest center-forward and the best footballer since 2020. His reputation to score multiple goals in a match makes him a formidable striker.

In 2020 and 2021, Lewandowski won the Ballon d’Or award, putting a full stop to Ronaldo and Messi domination in the past decade.

Who is the best among them?

For this matter, while not completely unanimous, many have taken the side of Lionel Messi. The combination of Lionel Messi various individual achievements including breaking several records has outshine his peers thus far.

Messi’s records include the only footballer who won four prestigious awards in a single season for an individual (Golden Boot, Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player, and Pichichi Trophy), most goals for a single club, most goals in a calendar year and most Ballon d’Or awards.

In the past decade, Messi was voted as the best professional footballer in the world four times, in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2019 respectively.