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Golazo 100 men’s soccer players, ranked: Countdown continues with Barcelona teens and Concacaf’s top player

Written by on June 7, 2024

Part two of the Golazo 100 has arrived! Wednesday saw us unveil the first 20 names in our ranking of the best footballers on the planet, today we’re back with places 80-61.

It is an intriguing grouping, one including a veteran World Cup winner who was perhaps the best player in this season’s Champions League and the youngest player among our centurions, one who many expect to be near the top of this list in years to come.
Alongside then we have three stars of Argentina’s World Cup triumph, our final representative from North America and two England internationals.

Read on to see who is in group two and stay tuned over the coming days as we reveal more and more of the best players on the planet, culminating with the inaugural winner of the Golazo 100 on Wednesday, June 12. You can check out the full list as it’s released here, and read up on the methodology here.

Following along with the full Golazo 100 schedule as we bring you all the names you want to know:

  • Golazo 100 part 1: 100-81
  • Golazo 100 part 2: 80-61
  • Friday, June 7: 60-41
  • Saturday, June 8: Top Americans to watch for 2025
  • Sunday, June 9: Top 40 lookahead
  • Monday, June 10: 40-21
  • Tuesday, June 11: 20-11
  • Wednesday, June 12: 10-1

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80. Jack Grealish — Left Wing, Manchester City

Manchester City’s greatest success is that it can hang onto some of the world’s top talents and break them out when need be. The opportunities to play come more often for some than others, but the chances come for most of City’s core and considering the stockpile the reigning Premier League winners have, each of the players on the roster is bound to make an impact. That includes Jack Grealish, who may have had a smaller role than he preferred during the 2023-24 season, but still demonstrated his skill set en route to their fourth successive title.

Grealish scored three goals and recorded three assists during the campaign, some of his best games coming in the fall. The England international was arguably at his best during City’s 3-0 win over Manchester United, when the champions perfected their possession-based style to out-pass the rivals and render them useless. Grealish was a big part of their harmonious but ruthless display, demonstrating an impressive awareness in attack. He posted a 92.3% passing accuracy in the attacking third, taking five shots and creating one chance in the process.

His role dwindled as the season went on, but even as he played almost exclusively on days Pep Guardiola rotated through the team, his talents were clear. Grealish posted similar numbers towards the end of the season, including big wins over Aston Villa and Crystal Palace during City’s end-of-season race to the top. His less-than-ideal season at City means Grealish has a big summer ahead of him at the Euros, three years after he impressed enough with England to even earn a big money move to Manchester. The standard will be high — England head into the competition as the favorites — but Grealish’s midfield flair has only improved under Guardiola’s stewardship. He should be up for the task, if called upon. — Pardeep Cattry

79. Jan Oblak — Goalkeeper, Atletico Madrid

Jan Oblak is no stranger to the top levels of the game. The 31-year-old is a prodigy-turned-elite talent, having been Atletico Madrid’s starting goalkeeper for the better part of a decade and collecting one La Liga title and a UEFA Europa League trophy in the process. His consistency may go a little under the rade at times, but one thing is clear — Oblak’s reliability takes his team up a level, serving as the foundation for their success.

Look no further than their UEFA Champions League campaign, when they made a surprise run to the quarterfinals despite drawing Serie A champions Inter in the round of 16. Oblak was one of the best goalkeepers in Europe last season, making 38 saves — the fourth-most in the competition — and posting a 74.5% save percentage, behind only Borussia Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel. It was not just his stability that helped Atleti reach the last eight, either. He was arguably one of the heroes of their round of 16 triumph, making two stops in a penalty shootout as the Spanish side overcame a 2-0 aggregate disadvantage to force spot kicks.

His reputation as a picture of reliability for a modern goalkeeper could grow this summer, when he plays in the Euros for the first time after Slovenia qualified for the competition for the first time since 2000. Oblak is far from the team’s only talent — Benjamin Sesko scored five goals in qualifying — but he is undoubtedly their leader, not only because he wears the armband. Slovenia conceded just nine goals in 10 games, and Oblak recorded three clean sheets en route to Germany. He will most likely be the anchor of their ship at the Euros and may have some more big game moments in him this summer. — Pardeep Cattry

Don’t miss CBS Sports Golazo Network’s Morning Footy, now in podcast form! Our crew brings you all the news, views, highlights and laughs you need to follow the Beautiful Game in every corner of the globe, every Monday-Friday all year long.

78. Marquinhos — Center Back, PSG

Now into his 11th year with Paris Saint-Germain, the Brazil international has risen to the position of full-time captain and is writing the sorts of records that you imagine might not ever be topped with the French giants. Marquinhos is Les Parisiens’ all-time top appearance maker at the age of 30 and has until 2028 to add to that, by which time he would be 34 and well on his way towards the sort of longevity exhibited by former PSG teammate Thiago Silva. The former AS Roma man has experienced all of the ups and downs that Paris under Qatari ownership has had to offer and retiring at Parc des Princes should not be ruled out now that a slide in form has been arrested with a good first term under Luis Enrique which brought Marquinhos his ninth Ligue 1 title and a third UEFA Champions League semifinal outing. — Jonathan Johnson

77. Artem Dovbyk — Striker, Girona

There’s bursting on the scene and then there’s what Artem Dovbyk did this season, winning the La Liga golden boot with Girona behind 24 league goals. Coming into the team as a relative unknown after moving from SK Dnipro-1, the Ukrainian quickly established himself as a dominant threat in the air for Girona helping them qualify for a Champions League berth this season. Six of those goals were scored with his head this season maximizing his 6’2″ frame and showing how important timing can be in those moments. Like many of the names on this list, Dovbyk will be leading his team at Euros which will only be their fourth ever appearance at the tournament. 

With improving talent, they’ll have a chance to do better than their quarter finals finish at the 2020 edition of the tournament, but they’ll need more goals from Dovbyk to do it as his next step will be proving that this breakout season is repeatable and not a flash in the pan. At only 26 years old, there are plenty of reasons to believe that this is only the start for the Ukrainian. — Chuck Booth

76. Mats Hummels — Center Back, Borussia Dortmund

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Borussia Dortmund’s Cinderella run to the 2024 UEFA Champions League final was built on the back of a strong defense, and at the heart of their resolve in the back was veteran Mats Hummels.

The 35-year-old was able to steer Dortmund out of trouble as they slayed several giants of Europe en route to Wembley Stadium, including Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid. He made 81 recoveries in 13 games, ranking within the top five in the Champions League during the 2023-24 season. His adaptability to the modern demands of the game, though, was his most admirable attribute — Hummels still fit in amongst the best center backs of the game over the course of the season, ranking within the top 10 for touches with 930 and the top 15 for attempted passes with 708, posting a passing accuracy of 87.6%.

Nearly a decade removed from his central role as Germany won the World Cup, the five-time Bundesliga champion almost ushered in a career renaissance with reminders of his quality. Hummels’ long-standing reputation as an elite defender was on full display in Europe this season, serving as the picture of longevity in the process. — Pardeep Cattry

75. Alphonso Davies — Left Back, Bayern Munich

The posterboy of MLS players transitioning to – and thriving in – Europe, Davies has gone from a 15-year-old winger who was coming into his own to becoming one of the best left backs in the world with Bayern Munich. Davies has exceeded every expectation set for him and then some, yet he can still go even further being only 23. With his pace, Davies can keep up with the best wingers in the world while also delivering chances into attacking areas and still is able to flip back to being a full time attacker when on international duty for Canada.

After the disappointment of the World Cup in Qatar where Canada crashed out during the group stage of the tournament, it’s something that Davies and the team can use as motivation ahead of the Copa America and 2026 World Cup looking to put the Canucks on the map. For more on Concacaf’s representation, or lack thereof, check here— Chuck Booth

74. Kai Havertz — Forward/Midfield, Arsenal

When he left Chelsea in the summer of 2023, Kai Havertz knew what he didn’t want. He had grown tired of being a center forward, dueling with burly defenders, his back to goal and precious few opportunities to stretch his creative muscles. So it was with bitter irony that after half a season when it looked like his troubles had followed him from west London to north, Havertz found his joy again… as a center forward.

It is easy to see why the position might be more appealing at Arsenal, not least the altogether more settled nature of the club. Surrounding the German is elite talent with clearly defined roles, capable of feeding him chances and profiting off those he creates. The result has been goals in a flurry, since he got the striking gig permanently in the 3-1 win over Liverpool on February 4 he delivered nine goals and six assists, as many goal involvements as anyone in the Premier League except Cole Palmer. There was a time when the chant “Kai Havertz scores again” seemed a high stakes gambit on a player who could hardly buy a goal. Now it looks like prophesy. — James Benge

73. Julian Alvarez — Forward, Manchester City 

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The Argentina international completed football last season by winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup, adding those incredible achievements to numerous others such as World Cup, Copa America and Copa Libertadores.The 24-year-old native of Calchin, Alvarez has at least 17 goals in each of his last four seasons (two at River Plate, two at City). His 17-goal haul last season was surpassed this campaign with 19 strikes. 

Overshadowed by Erling Haaland, this is a $100 million player (in terms of value and potential) who is just an occasional starter for Manchester City. For the World Cup champs, he’s much more. 

Alvarez had seven goals in 2022 for Argentina, and despite not scoring in 2023, he’s likely the favorite to join Messi in attack over Lautaro Martinez thanks to what he pulled off at the 2022 World Cup, scoring two crucial goals against Croatia in the semifinals. 

Alvarez isn’t near his prime and has the potential to score 30 goals a season as the starting No. 9. Expect him to only rise on this list. — Roger Gonzalez

72. Theo Hernandez — Left Back, AC Milan

Although it might not have been the season that Milan were hoping for, the versatile France international helped the Rossoneri to second place in Serie A and clocked the second best number of minutes out of the entire squad. With 12 goal involvements across all competitions, Theo Hernandez is a rare example of consistency among attack-minded fullbacks and he is likely to be a regular for Didier Deschamps at this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024 in Germany. The Marseille-born 26-year-old is coming up on five years in Italy, having honed his skills in Spain and could be tempted to return to his homeland to sample domestic soccer there as his brother — Lucas — has done to great effect in Paris. The two will not reunite with Les Bleus because of injury, but expect Theo to be a big attacking plus for the French on the left as they attempt to go all the way. — Jonathan Johnson

71. Gavi — Midfield, Barcelona

With 29 caps for the Spanish national team at only 19, Gavi is one of the players leading the charge of the current crop of academy graduates from La Masia. Despite the dysfunction around Barcelona as a club — he’s about to see his third permanent manager since debuting in 2021 — Gavi has still shined in midfield when healthy. Able to pop up all over the midfield or on the wing, Gavi is great at being a defensive presence and at setting up his teammates but if forgotten about he can show up in the box to get a goal too. Alongside Barcelona’s other impressive youth players, better times are coming for the club despite the lack of spending power, but consistency is needed at the top sooner than later. — Chuck Booth

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70. Lamine Yamal — Right Wing, Barcelona

The youngest player on this list by a long shot at only 16, everything about Lamine Yamal makes you believe that he’ll be a star. Fearless on the ball and able to shoot and create from everywhere, I can’t think of a time that I’ve seen someone so young with the confidence that he has and records are already falling as he has become the youngest player to ever appear in a Champions Leauge quaterfinal, the youngest player to debut and score for the Spanish national team and the youngest player to ever provide an assist in Champions League play among other records. The wild thing is that he’s only getting better by the day. Plenty of steps still need to happen for him to grow into his role and become a bonafide star before he’s even 18. Like other members of Barcelona, consistency and patience will be needed, but things are trending in the right direction. — Chuck Booth

69. Federico Dimarco — Defender/Winger, Inter

The Italian international should be considered among the best left wingers in the world. Dimarco improved drastically over the past two seasons under Simone Inzaghi and became an icon of the team he supported since his childhood, Inter. He also scored six goals in all competitions in the season that just ended and he’s a key player for Inzaghi’s side. Dimarco is a complete player, with his technique and his pace on the left side of the pitch making him the kind of player that can change the course of a game in any moment. Dimarco will also play as a starter at the UEFA Euro 2024 and became a crucial player also for the national team, especially since Luciano Spalletti took charge in 2023.  – Francesco Porzio 

68. Paulo Dybala — Forward, Roma

The Argentinian striker joined AS Roma in the summer 2022 and since then was able to restore his reputation after the many injuries that slowed his growth as a footballer over the past few seasons. However, thanks to the work he started under Jose Mourinho at Roma, he came back at the level he used to be and he’s now a key player for the Giallorossi. This season he scored 15 goals in all competitions but it was not enough to convince Argentinian head coach Lionel Scaloni to call him up for the upcoming 2024 Copa America. Next season, his third one at AS Roma, he has to deliver even more and possibly win a trophy with the team now coached by Daniele De Rossi. – Francesco Porzio 

67. Alessandro Bastoni — Center Back, Inter

He’s not just one of the most influential defenders of this era, he’s a playmaker playing in the left of a three-back defense, an assist-man and also a goal scorer when he has a chance. It’s not a coincidence that multiple European clubs are monitoring him for the future, but Inter have no intention to sell him. Bastoni improved a lot since he joined Inter and former manager Antonio Conte decided to count on him immediately. Under Simone Inzaghi, Bastoni’s leadership made him one of the key stars of the side that just won the Italian Serie A. – Francesco Porzio

66. Achraf Hakimi — Right Back, Inter

After a difficult year on and off the field, the Morocco international took things back to basics under Luis Enrique and produced an improved season in the French capital which nearly ended with a UEFA Champions League final berth. Achraf Hakimi is one of Europe’s leading right-sided attacking fullbacks and having the former Inter, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund man on one side with Nuno Mendes on the other is a pretty enviable situation for Paris Saint-Germain’s Spanish tactician. The 25-year-old has been with the French champions for three years now and has grown extremely close with the departing Kylian Mbappe, so it will be interesting to see how the French superstar’s departure impacts his friend. Hakimi could thrive as one of the new leaders in Paris given his experience and influence, but also could go back to looking as lost as he did towards the end of last season when PSG were falling apart at the seams. There could also be an Olympic Games outing for the Moroccan in Group B which could impact his summer plans and Hakimi remains one of the leading names in his position which was illustrated by five goals and six assists all told. — Jonathan Johnson

65. Xavi Simons — Midfielder, RB Leipzig

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A breakout season with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands has been followed by an impressive developmental campaign in Germany with RB Leipzig which now has the Dutch international on the verge of potentially breaking out into genuine superstardom at this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024. Xavi Simons is part of an Oranje group which could spring a surprise or two in a group which also features France, Austria and Poland, but the 21-year-old’s future remains up in the air with Paris Saint-Germain head coach Luis Enrique keen to have the ex-Barcelona prodigy available for the post-Kylian Mbappe era. With 10 goals and 13 assists across all competitions and a first full term of UEFA Champions League soccer under his belt, Simons has been one of the revelations of this past year anywhere on the continent and a strong Euro could tempt suitors to try to test PSG’s resolve to keep him while Leipzig will be desperate to have him for another year or so to continue his rapid rise. — Jonathan Johnson

64. Emiliano Martínez — Goalkeeper, Aston Villa

The Aston Villa man will be in the UEFA Champions League next season after Unai Emery’s miracle turnaround of the Birmingham-based giants resulted in a top four finish in the Premier League and a seat at European soccer’s top table. Emi Martinez is widely regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the game right now and the Argentina international will have the chance to showcase that once again this summer with Copa America on U.S. soil. The 31-year-old might have missed out agonizingly on the UEFA Europa Conference League final with Villa despite his individual heroics in a penalty shootout against Lille OSC to reach the semifinals, but his role in the Villans’ restoration as one of the EPL’s leading lights has not gone unnoticed. — Jonathan Johnson

63. John Stones — Defender, Manchester City

Like most signings at Manchester City, it took a bit for John Stones to ease into his role, but once he did he was able to prove that he’s one of the best defenders in England going from playing on the backline to also stepping into midfield when needed. It’s his presence that helped Pep Guardiola’s men smother their opposition but whenever he was absent with an injury, City’s performances with Stones off the pitch also showed his importance. Stones struggled with a hip injury this season that limited him to only 28 appearances in all competitions, but he still did what he could to contribute when available chipping in a goal and two assists alongside his solid defensive performances to help City to a fourth consecutive Champions League title. — Chuck Booth

62. Alexis Mac Allister — Midfield, Liverpool 

The World Cup winner has had an astronomical rise from his time at Argentinos Juniors and Boca Junior to Brighton and now at Liverpool. Seven goals for the Reds this season as part of a revamped midfield, he continues to improve and looked fantastic in his first season at Anfield. With a knack for rocket golazos from range, he can also provide the crucial pass for key goals, just like to Angel Di Maria in the 2022 World Cup final. A sure-fire starter for Argentina at this summer’s Copa America, he’s part of that next generation for the Albiceleste, as promising as any other country’s talent pool. Expect huge things from him moving forward, especially under new Liverpool coach Arnie Slot. He has all the tools needed to be one of the most versatile midfielders in the game. — Roger Gonzalez

61. Marc ter Stegen — Goalkeeper, Barcelona

Barcelona were off the pace in La Liga this season and have just gone through a painful divorce with Xavi after a brutal end to the campaign which saw a UEFA Champions League run abruptly ended by Paris Saint-Germain in the quarterfinals. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been a rare model of consistency for the mostly chaotic Catalan giants these past few years yet it might have gone unnoticed that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Germany international’s move to Catalonia. Part of the host nation’s squad for this summer’s UEFA Euro 2024, the 32-year-old will have the chance to put a difficult Blaugrana campaign behind him although he might not start ahead of Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer under Julian Nagelsmann. Ter Stegen remains one of the finest shot stoppers around and his ability to periodically remind everyone of that would probably be enhanced if Barca were more stable on and off the field. — Jonathan Johnson

The post Golazo 100 men’s soccer players, ranked: Countdown continues with Barcelona teens and Concacaf’s top player first appeared on CBS Sports.


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