ESPN name Barça's Leo Messi the world's best forward

The Argentine topped the list ahead of Juventus' Ronaldo and PSG's Mbappe

Leo Messi sigue siendo valorado como el crack que es por el mundo del fútbol
Leo Messi sigue siendo valorado como el crack que es por el mundo del fútbol | Valentí Enrich

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has been named the best forward in the world by ESPN FC's team of experts, topping a list also featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe. 

The ESPN 100 features 10 different categories, so that each position is recognised. There's also a category for the coahes within the 100, which was topped by Manchester City coach Josep Guardiola. 

The forward category was the most fiercly contested. Messi, who was not in the Top Three for FIFA's The Best or the Ballon d'Or this year, was first ahead of Ronaldo and Mbappe. 

"Stop us if you've heard this one before: Messi is the best footballer on the planet, and even at 31, he finds different ways to show it," ESPN explain. 

"His destruction of Tottenham in October prompted many to ask whether it was his best performance ever. Maybe, maybe not: There have been so many contenders. Last season brought several more as he finished with 45 goals. His only regret? Falling short with Argentina." 

Meanwhile, four Real Madrid players topped their respective categories: Dani Carvajal (right-backs), Sergio Ramos (centre-backs), Marcelo (left-backs) and Luka Modric (central midfielders).

THE rAnkings

Here are the top three picks in each category: 

  • Goalkeepers: David de Gea (Manchester United), Jan Oblak (Atlético de Madrid) and Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid).
  • Right-backs: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) and Kyle Walker (Manchester City).
  • Centre-backs: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid) and Diego Godín (Atlético Madrid).
  • Left-backs: Marcelo (Real Madrid), David Alaba (Bayern Munich) and Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona).
  • Central midfielders: Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Ngolo Kanté (Chelsea) and Toni Kroos (Real Madrid).
  • Attacking midfielders: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Isco Alarcón (Real Madrid) and David Silva (Manchester City).
  • Wingers: Sadio Mané (Liverpool), Leroy Sané (Manchester City) and Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
  • Forwards: Leo Messi (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) and Kylian Mbappé (PSG).
  • Strikers: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Sergio Agüero (Manchester City) and Edinson Cavani (PSG).
  • Coaches: Josep Guardiola (Manchester City), Jürgen Klopp (Liverpool) and Diego Simeone (Atlético Madrid). 

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