GK: Thibaut Courtois
The Belgium goalkeeper was a big asset for the Belgium national team in the 2018 World Cup this year. His saves and three clean sheets in seven games turned out to be very helpful for the Belgian Red Devils and it eventually helped him earn a move to Real Madrid this summer. He may not be the best goalkeeper in the world but among the nominees, he surely deserves to be between the sticks.
RB: Sergio Ramos
The Spaniard no more plays in this position but given the nominees didn’t have a right back it only felt right to place the Spanish captain in his former position. Ramos is arguably one of the finest defenders in the world right now and given that he won the Champions League, he deserves to be in the list.
It is not that difficult when it comes to the position of left back. Marcelo is a natural and obvious choice given the terror he possesses and how effective he has been on the left for both Real Madrid and Brazil. There was no other left back who deserves a place more than Marcelo in this list.
CB: Raphael Varane
Varane was phenomenal in the 2018 World Cup which helped France win the tournament. His reading and composure at the back did wonders for Didier Deschamps as it did for Real Madrid in the Champions League last season. The Frenchman is one of the leading contenders from France to win the Ballon d’Or and surely one of the best center backs in the world right now.
CB: Diego Godin
In all the hype given to footballers these days, it must be said that Diego Godin doesn’t get the credit he deserves. He has been a rock at the back consistently for Atletico Madrid and even with the Uruguay national team he was very strong at the back. His smart display was a key factor in helping Atletico win the Europa league and there’s no doubt about his presence in this list.
CDM: N’golo Kante
There are very few players in the football world right now who have been as consistent as N’golo Kante has been. He was a valuable figure in France’s triumph in the 2018 World Cup and even though his performance did not reap much for Chelsea in the Premier league, the former Leicester man has earned a place in this list.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne
The former Chelsea man was simply amazing last season for Manchester City helping Pep Guardiola and the Blues win the Premier league title. His performance for Belgium in the 2018 World Cup was no short of excellence and it is only just that his efforts on the pitch are rewarded with a mention of him in this list.
CM: Luka Modric
Modric has been a consistent figure on the pitch from a lot of years. His performance for Real Madrid helped them clinch the Champions league for the third consecutive time and it is just not that. Modric captained and marshaled the Croatian national team to a historic presence in the 2018 World Cup final, which surely was a massive achievement. If there is someone who deserves to win the Ballon d’Or, it is Luka Modric and there’s no doubt about his selection in this list.
RW: Lionel Messi
There are not many superlatives that can define the talent and capabilities of Lionel Messi on a football pitch. The Argentine is truly a blessing to watch and even though he did not have the best of times with Argentina in the 2018 World Cup, his performances with Barcelona helped the Spanish giants to win the La liga this season. One of the top players in the world cannot be missed from this list.
LW: Kylian Mbappe
Normally, Mbappe is not associated to play in this position but given how deadly Messi is on the right, Mbappe had to be shifted on the left. Mbappe faced tough competition from Eden Hazard for his position in the list but it is the contribution and the influence of the Frenchman in the World Cup that earned him a spot above Hazard in this list. Mbappe was the difference-maker more than often for France in Russia and his form with Paris Saint Germain wasn’t bad either. Having achieved so much at such a young age, Mbappe had to make it to this list.
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo
It is impossible to skip Ronaldo off this list courtesy the impact he has had for every team he has played so far in his career. He was once again brilliant for Real Madrid last season, helping the Los Blancos win their third consecutive Champions league title before he decided to move to Juventus. He did well in the World Cup with the Portugal national team but unfortunately his efforts weren’t enough for Portugal to go far in the World Cup. But Ronaldo’s goal scoring and creative attributes single handedly help him become a part of this list.