Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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The Top 5 Right Forwards In The World, In Order

We’re fast approaching the tail-end of 90min’s Welcome to World Class series for 2021.

There’s a few positions and issues left to sort out first, though.

For those who aren’t familiarized with what we’re doing, we’ve been ranking the five best players in each position, with only right forwards and strikers left to debate-you can find everything you need to get up to speed here.

Now, we’re focusing on right forwards (goat emojis at the ready, everyone), and believe us there are some contentious calls – but we want you to get involved as well.

Here’s a reminder of how the process works:

  • A world class footballer is defined as one of the top five players in the world in their position.
  • All players can fit into one of 10 on-field positions; GK, RB, LB, CB, DM, CM, AM, RF, LF, ST.
  • All players have been graded across ten different subcategories in the decision-making process – you can find more information on everything mentioned above here.
  • Performances for club and country are considered.
  • We want you to have your say – check out details on how to get involved below.

Now let’s get stuck in…


4. Federico Chiesa (new entry)

Chiesa lit up the Euros
Chiesa lit up the Euros
Games played: 44

Minutes played: 3086
Goals: 15
Assists: 7
Chances created: 54
Shots (on target): 95 (38)
Shot conversion rate: 15.8%
Minutes per goal: 206

Jorginho and Gianluigi Donnarumma may have grabbed the headlines, but it felt like the big winner from Italy’s Euro 2020-winning campaign was Federico Chiesa.

Whether you’re a football diehard or a casual, the Juventus man was always at the centre of the action whenever you switched the TV over to watch the Azzurri, becoming a household name overnight.

Now a diamond in the rough in a pretty mediocre Juve side, he’s been linked with a move to Liverpool – and he certainly wouldn’t look out of place in a Jurgen Klopp team.

3. Riyad Mahrez (new entry)

Mahrez has quietly had a great 2021
Mahrez has quietly had a great 2021
Games played: 48

Minutes played: 3216
Goals: 17
Assists: 10
Chances created: 77
Shots (on target): 120 (48)
Shot conversion rate: 14.2%
Minutes per goal: 189

Because of Pep Guardiola’s rotation (much to the annoyance of FPL users across the globe), it’s easy to forget just how good Manchester City’s attackers are on an individual level.

Riyad Mahrez’s stats are as good as they’ve ever been and he was a key contributor as City romped to the Premier League title and went close to winning their first Champions League.

He may turn 31 in a couple of months, but Mahrez is as efficient and prolific as he was in that miraculous Leicester side – and now he has plenty of experience to boast.

2. Lionel Messi (down 1)

Despite another sensational year, Messi has dropped a place
Despite another sensational year, Messi has dropped a place
Games played: 40

Minutes played: 3482
Goals: 32
Assists: 12
Chances created: 86
Shots (on target): 192 (83)
Shot conversion rate: 16.7%
Minutes per goal: 109

Controversial? Of course. But that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

Part of our way of evaluating these players is the standard of league they play in, and Lionel Messi was marked down a little as he now plies his trade in Ligue 1.

And yet ironically, it’s his form in France which has cost him top spot. The Argentine tore up La Liga at the back end of his time at Barcelona – who look much worse without him – but his slow start to life at PSG has slightly dented his stats, and the Parisians just don’t look easy on the eye yet.

These are the only real criticisms you can level at Messi because, well, just look at those stats.

1. Mohamed Salah (up 1)

The Egyptian king
The Egyptian king

Games played: 46
Minutes played: 3914
Goals: 32
Assists: 10
Chances created: 76
Shots (on target): 163 (78)
Shot conversion rate: 19.6%
Minutes per goal: 122

Messi’s loss is Mohamed Salah’s gain. The Egyptian is already staking a strong claim for the 2022 Ballon d’Or and is almost the undisputed best player in the Premier League (they should hand him a championship belt like they did in the WWF/WWE).

There’s half a chance that Salah could smash his own record of most goals in a Premier League season after he grabbed 32 in his maiden campaign at Liverpool. We’re watching one of the all-time greats play for fun at the peak of their powers – enjoy him.

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