Lionel Messi’s crowning glory as the winner of the Goal 50 in 2012-13 has strengthened his position as the all-time king of the award.
The Argentine heads a star-studded list of the most consistent selections in the six-year history of the prize, but his position as a three-time winner is not the only noticeable trend when assessing the top 20 players of all time in the Goal 50.
Messi is one of eight players to have played for Barcelona during the six years since the award’s inauguration, with a total of 14 having played in La Liga at one point or another. That compares with six who have played in the Premier League and four Bundesliga stars, while just two have appeared in Serie A during that time.
Eight of the 20 have been coached by Jose Mourinho during their careers, with Arjen Robben and Frank Lampard having been part of his Chelsea squad, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Samuel Eto’o with the Portuguese at Inter and Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Sergio Ramos and Iker Casillas among his Real Madrid staff during his three years in Spain.
There were more Brazilians than any other nationality in the 2012-13 Goal 50, yet the only Samba star in the all-time top 20 is Dani Alves, who wasn't among those to make this year's list. Instead their are six Spaniards, reflecting the world champions' international dominance of late.
Unsurprisingly there are plenty of honours to be boasted by those listed, with a total of 205 winners medals on display. Every one of the players has won at least four major trophies with club and country during the last six years, with Luis Suarez and Mesut Ozil at the lower end of that scale. Xavi and Andres Iniesta, meanwhile, have each collected 18 through their endeavours with Spain and Barcelona.
Particularly notable is the inclusion of 10 players who were not among the Goal 50 in 2012-13. In no other season have so many of the 20 missed out, suggesting that the last 12 months have represented the beginning of a potential shift at the top of the game.
Below is the full list of the 20 most successful players in Goal 50 history.
|THE TOP 20 | Goal 50's all-time greats