The First No Longer? Messi Ranked Only Second in The Guardian's '100 Best Footballers' List

© REUTERS / BENOIT TESSIERSoccer Football - Ligue 1 - Stade de Reims v Paris St Germain - Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims, France - August 29, 2021 Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi
Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Stade de Reims v Paris St Germain - Stade Auguste-Delaune, Reims, France - August 29, 2021 Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.12.2021
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While Bayern Munich striker and Polish national football team captain Robert Lewandowski occupied the top spot in the list, Egypt national football team captain and Liverpool FC forward Mohamed Salah ranked third.
While Argentinian football star and PSG forward Lionel Messi is often regarded as one of the best, if not the best, football player today, a new ranking list published by The Guardian suggests that one footballer has managed to surpass him, at least this year.
The newspaper’s “100 best male footballers in the world” for year 2021 ranks Messi as second, with Bayern Munich striker and Polish national football team captain Robert Lewandowski occupying the top spot on the list.
Third place went to Mohamed Salah, Egypt national football team captain and Liverpool FC forward.
The ranking was compiled by the newspaper based on submissions from some 219 judges who were “sent a longlist of more than 300 players drawn from leagues on every continent and asked one simple question: who have been the best male players in the world in 2021?”
"We asked our judges to choose 40 names each and rank their selection in order from 1-40, No 1 being their choice of the best player," the newspaper explains.
The number one choice of each judge nets a player 40 points, with each subsequent choice netting 1 point less than the previous one, to only a single point for the 40thplace. All votes are then tallied and "added together to give a raw score."
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the English Premier League soccer match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow road in Norwich, England, Saturday, Dec.11, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
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The newspaper notes, however, that "to minimise the influence of outliers in the list, the highest score awarded to a player was then deducted to give a final score."
The judge’s panel included notable "coaches, broadcasters, reporters, correspondents and editors from around the world", as well as 24 current and former professional footballers who "have won a combined 1,071 international caps."
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