Messi, Ronaldo, Salah & the Top 20 scorers of 2018

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Goal lists the most prolific players of the current calendar year, taking into account goals scored in all competitions for both club and country

The 2018 Goal 50 was announced on Tuesday and, as always, our list of the best players in the world over the previous 12 months has provoked plenty of debate and controversy.

Lionel Messi's fifth-placed finish – his lowest ranking in the award's 11-year history – made most headlines, given the Argentine inspired Barcelona to a domestic double last season and picked up the European Golden Shoe in the process.

His detractors, though, pointed to the fact that the No.10 was unable to prevent Barcelona from once again bowing out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, or help Argentina get past the last 16 of the World Cup.

Still, as 2018 underlined, when it comes to goalscoring, Messi remains among the game's elite, with the 31-year-old having hit 44 goals in all competitions for club and country this year.

His great rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, has scored one fewer, though CR7 fans will be quick to point out that the Portuguese superstar has the slightly superior strike rate, as he is averaging just under a goal a game (0.98).

Surprisingly, though, Algeria international Baghdad Bounedjah scored more goals than Messi in 2018 and boasted an even better goals-to-games ratio than Ronaldo! 

The 26-year-old forward netted a staggering 42 goals in just 27 appearances for Al Sadd in Qatar's Stars League and the Asian Champions League, while he also struck five times in seven outings for his country this year.

No. Player Total Games Total Goals
1 Baghdad Bounedjah  34 47
2 Lionel Messi  47 44
3 Cristiano Ronaldo 44 43
4 Diogo 51 43
5 Robert Lewandowski 48 39
6 Dave Turpel 44 37
7 Luis Suarez 55 36
8 Mohamed Salah 45 35
9 Antoine Griezmann 62 35
10 Jhon Cifuente 37 34
11 Harry Kane 51 34
12 Josef Martinez 37 33
13 Lei Wu 49 33
14 Patrick Hoban 43 32
15 Roman Debelko 48 32
16 Liliu 31 31
17 Zakaria Beglarishvili 39 31
18 Kylian Mbappe 52 31
19 Joe Gormley 35 31
20 Neymar 37 30

Elsewhere, little-known Brazilian Diogo, who plies his trade in Thailand, netted as many times as Ronaldo. However, the Buriram United striker's 43 goals came in more matches, which is why he sits just below the Portugal skipper, in fourth.

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Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski finished as the Bundesliga's top goalscorer last season, so it will come as no surprise to see the prolific Pole in fourth, with 39 goals from 48 appearances, while Luxembourg international Dave Turpel played a pivotal role in Dudelange qualifying for the group stage of the Europa League.

Luis Suarez remains as lethal as ever, as he proved during Messi's recent injury lay-off, and the Uruguayan ranks seventh, with 36 goals, just one ahead of Liverpool and Egypt sensation Mohamed Salah and Atletico Madrid's World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.

Meanwhile, Ecuador's Jhon Cifuente pips Russia 2018 Golden Boot winner Harry Kane to a place in the top 10.

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