Lionel Messi has been ranked the #1 forward in the world by ESPN in their FC 100 feature, which ranks the 10 best in 10 different roles, including nine playing positions and manager. The list was compiled by 65 ESPN FC experts from around the world, who were given a slate of 250 nominees to vote on.
In addition to Messi, Barcelona players Marc-André ter Stegen, Jordi Alba, Sergiño Dest, and Frenkie de Jong have been included in the list, which recognizes 100 of the best in the world.
Messi beat out Kylian Mbappé (#2), Cristiano Ronaldo (#3), Neymar (#4), and Mohamed Salah (#5), among others, for the top spot.
Ter Stegen was ranked the fourth-best goalkeeper, with Manuel Neuer taking the top spot, while Alba was ranked third among left-backs, with Andy Robertson #1. Frenkie de Jong came in eighth place among central midfielders (Joshua Kimmich came first), and Dest came in tenth among right-backs, with Trent Alexander-Arnold considered the best.
Messi maintained his top spot from 2019, while Alba remained steady, as he was also ranked #3 last year. Ter Stegen fell one place, from third to fourth, while De Jong fell from second to eighth. This was the first time Dest made the list.
Full list of top rankings
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Left-back: Andy Robertson (Liverpool)
Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)
Central midfield: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
Attacking midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Winger: Sadio Mané (Liverpool)
Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Striker: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Manager: Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool)