Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and the 50 best footballers in the world according to FM21

The latest football management simulation game from Sports Interactive, Football Manager 2021, has revealed the top 50 players in the world.

Following the previous piece from Mirror Football that revealed the top wonderkids in FM21, this list will finally settle all the debates about which players are truly world class, or the best in the world (probably).

As expected, FM21 ranks Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kevin De Bruyne among the highest-rated players in world football.

The Football Manager database currently contains data on more than 800,000 individuals and 45,000 active clubs, with data sourced from their international on the ground scouting network which numbers roughly 1,000 people, among their ranks are some who are involved in football in professional capacities, including scouts and coaches.

In addition, each annual iteration of Football Manager has built-in algorithms which check for outliers and data discrepancies.

Data accuracy is further ensured by input from contributors who are active within the professional game (players, agents etc.) who provide regular feedback.

Using the FM21 database, we’ve put together a full, comprehensive list of the top 50 best players in the world.

The top 50 players in the world ranked by FM21

If you are new to the Football Manager series, each player in the FM database is given a value out of 200 for both Current Ability (how good they are now) and Potential Ability (how good they can become).

We have taken the top 50 players who have been given the highest Current Ability rating on FM21 and ranked them in order.

Ability rating on FM21 and ranked them in order.

The Juventus superstar is pipped to the No.1 spot (Image: NurPhoto/PA Images)
  1. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) – Current Ability is 195/200
  2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Zebre/Juventus) – Current Ability is 194/200
  3. Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) – Current Ability is 188/200
  4. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 184/200
  5. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – Current Ability is 182/200
  6. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – Current Ability is 181/200
  7. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – Current Ability is 181/200
  8. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) – Current Ability is 180/200
  9. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) – Current Ability is 180/200
  10. Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) – Current Ability is 179/200
  11. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 178/200
  12. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 178/200
  13. Sergio Aguero (Man City) – Current Ability is 178/200
  14. Alisson Becker (Liverpool) – Current Ability is 175/200
  15. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – Current Ability is 175/200
  16. Eden Hazard (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 175/200
  17. Antoine Griezmann (FC Barcelona) – Current Ability is 175/200
  18. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (FC Barcelona) – Current Ability is 174/200
  19. Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 174/200
  20. Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 172/200
  21. Raheem Sterling (Man City) – Current Ability is 172/200
  22. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 171/200
  23. Bernardo Silva (Man City) – Current Ability is 171/200
  24. David Alaba (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 171/200
  25. Aymeric Laporte (Man City) – Current Ability is 170/200
  26. Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 170/200
  27. Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid) – Current Ability is 170/200
  28. Paulo Dybala (Zebre/Juventus) – Current Ability is 170/200
  29. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – Current Ability is 169/200
  30. Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 169/200The former Man City forward impressed on his debut, grabbing two assists and a goal against Schalke
  31. Gerard Pique (FC Barcelona) – Current Ability is 169/200
  32. Ederson (Man City) – Current Ability is 168/200
  33. David Silva (Real Sociedad) – Current Ability is 168/200
  34. Luka Modric (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 167/200
  35. Heung-Min Son (Tottenham Hotspur) – Current Ability is 167/200
  36. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – Current Ability is 167/200
  37. Romelu Lukaku (Inter) – Current Ability is 167/200
  38. Casemiro (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 166/200
  39. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) – Current Ability is 165/200
  40. N’Golo Kante (Chelsea) – Current Ability is 165/200
  41. Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) – Current Ability is 165/200
  42. Wojciech Szczesny (Zebre/Juventus) – Current Ability is 165/200
  43. Philippe Coutinho (FC Barcelona) – Current Ability is 165/200
  44. Fernandino (Man City) – Current Ability is 164/200
  45. Miralem Pjanic (FC Barcelona) – Current Ability is 164/200
  46. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) – Current Ability is 164/200
  47. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) – Current Ability is 164/200
  48. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund) – Current Ability is 164/200
  49. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio) – Current Ability is 164/200
  50. Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli) – Current Ability is 164/200

Football Manager 2021 is out now on PC, Mac and Mobile, with the Touch and Xbox Edition set for release on December 1.

This year, FM is different to anything that has gone before, as it features the impact of Covid-19, as players who start a new career mode save will experience later league start dates, a different transfer market and an impact on club finances.

From season two of your virtual save, the world should return to ‘normal’, or as close as possible.

It has also been confirmed that FM will return to the Xbox platform for the first time since 2007.

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