We all know Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are on another level when it comes to consistently performing at the very top level, but the third best player in the world is a title which is always up for grabs.
Since 2007 (and not including 2010), the Top 3 has always been taken by Ronaldo and Messi – and usually in first and second, but third place has gone to a range of players such as Franck Ribery, Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Fernando Torres.
Taking the Ronaldo-Messi-axis out of the equation, there are a lot of players who you could say are worthy of being third best player. You have talents such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Frank Ribery, Arjen Robben, Edinson Cavani, Radamel Falcao, Luis Suarez, Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Gareth Bale – a whole host of quality players who are capable of doing something magical on a football pitch.
But what about now?
If you take that list I’ve just mentioned, who from them are performing at the very highest level?
Falcao and Di Maria are doing okay, but aren’t setting the world alight at Old Trafford. Luis Suarez has struggled since his big money move from Liverpool, and Bale, Robben, Ribery and Ibra are performing well but not on the same level as Ronaldo or Messi.
If you see how these top top players are doing this season, then there’s only one real top class performer at this moment in time.
And that man is Alexis Sanchez.
He has come from a new country, had to get used to a new league and on top of that, he was supposed to be suffering from a World Cup hangover. But yet he is by far the best player in the Premier League this season, and has 12 goals and 7 assists in 20 games. In the Champions League, he’s played 7 games, scored 4 goals and picked up an assist. Overall, he has 18 goals and 9 assists in this campaign, which still has 5 months left to go!
And he’s not an out and out striker.
Seriously, if you look at this objectively, is there anyone else who can compare to Alexis Sanchez? Surely he is currently the 3rd best player in the world right now?
The statistics are impressive and at the moment he is averaging a goal or assist in every game. But even more impressive is his phenomenal performances on the pitch – he runs and runs and runs for the team, tracks back and wins the ball, gives 110% every time and is just a player who makes things happen. The level and consistency of his performances for Arsenal this season lead me to suggest that he might even be better than Lionel Messi in this moment in time.
He might not get the recognition he deserves for his performances, possibly because he plays for Arsenal (we all know Thierry Henry was robbed of the FIFA World Player of the Year award on at least 3 occasions) but you cannot deny that currently Alexis Sanchez is performing at world class levels.