- The List Breaks Down Top 10s for Every Position, including Managers
- Seven New Top Players in the 10 Categories
- Top Spots Dominated by Premier League and European Champions Manchester City, and LaLiga’s Barcelona and Real Madrid
Today, ESPN.com, the leading digital platform for soccer news, information, and analysis, unveiled the 2023 “FC 100” list, its annual ranking of the world’s best men’s soccer players.
The seventh edition of ESPN’s “FC 100” list breaks down the top 10 players for each position on the field, including managers, offering readers a position-by-position depth chart of the best in world soccer. FC 100 sets itself apart by adopting a refreshing approach to player rankings, reflecting upon performances throughout the season and every part of the pitch instead of focusing on goal scorers and star players.
Fifty ESPN soccer journalists worldwide, including reporters, editors, producers, and on-air talent hosts and pundits, voted for the list. Key voters include Gab Marcotti, Julien Laurens, Mark Ogden, Luis Miguel Echegaray, and the ESPN FC analysts Craig Burley and Shaka Hislop.
To complement the written piece, a special edition of the Gab & Juls Show will feature an in-depth discussion of the list, surprising omissions, new names, and much more. Senior writer Mark Ogden and special guests will join hosts Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens on the show available on the podcast and ESPN FC YouTube channel. In addition, starting on July 6, ESPN+ subscribers will have exclusive access to a special and exclusive content with ESPN.com’s lead soccer writer, Ryan O’Hanlon, who will analyze of the list’s implications.
The most notable storyline from the 20923 “FC 100” list is that it has seven new No. 1 players in the ten categories. Ruben Dias (Manchester City center back), PSG’s Achraf Hakimi (right back), and Manchester City attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne are the only players to retain their top spots from 2021 – the most recent edition of the “FC 100” list.
- Changing of the guards: Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – the duo that has dominated soccer over the past 15 years – have been a regular part of the six lists. Ronaldo did not make the 2023 list.
- Manchester City dominated the list with 13 players, followed by Barcelona (10) and Real Madrid (9)
- Amongst the leagues, the Premier League topped the list with 45 of the 100 ranked players, followed by LaLiga (21) and the German Bundesliga (13).
FC 100 Top 10s by Position:
- Goalkeeper: Real Madrid’s netminder Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) is the No. 1 goalkeeper
- Right-Back: Paris Saint-Germain’s Achraf Hakimi, a key player for the Moroccan National Team, which finished fourth at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, tops the list in the position.
- Centre-Back: Rúben Dias (Portugal) anchored one of the best defenses in European football this season as he led Manchester City to the treble.
- Left-Back: Alphonso Davies (Canada), FC Bayern München’s left-back since 2019 is the top player in the position and the only player from CONCACAF – the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football – atop a position.
- Central Midfield: Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham (England), now at Real Madrid, is the top central midfield player.
- Attacking Midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium) led Manchester City’s potent offense to the team’s most successful season – English Premier League, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League titles.
- Winger: Bukayo Saka (England), who led Arsenal to its best Premier League record in seven seasons, ranks as the top winger on the FC 100 list.
- Forward: Kylian Mbappé (France) of Paris Saint-Germain, the second male player to score a hat trick in a World Cup final, is the No. 1 forward.
- Striker: In his first Premier League season, Erling Haaland (Norway) scored a league record 36 goals en route to Manchester City’s treble and first UEFA Champions League title.
- Manager: Pep Guardiola (Spain), Manchester City.
ESPN.com/soccer is the premier digital destination for global soccer news, analysis, and coverage. With a team of expert journalists and unparalleled access to soccer teams, players, agents, leagues, newsmakers, associations, and more, ESPN.com delivers engaging content across multiple platforms.
To explore the complete rankings and the intriguing narratives surrounding the list, visit https://www.espn.com/soccer/.