Which stars make up the top five players in the world?

Eden Hazard is now one of the vest players in the world
Eden Hazard is now one of the vest players in the world
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The footballing world is brimming with world class talent but there are five players who are head and shoulders above the rest.

Hazard is one of the trickiest players to have to deal with and this has been seen on numerous occasions in the Premier League, with the midfielder either beating his marker or being chopped down for a free-kick or penalty.

The first is one of the most obvious selections but the prolific Lionel Messi is undoubtedly the best player in the game of football today. It is not hard to make a case for the Argentina international, all you have to do is look at his scoring record for Barcelona and that tells most of the story. The forward has bagged a magnificent 286 goals in 315 La Liga appearances and the 28-year-old was the defining factor in helping the club win the treble last season, their second such success after Pep Guardiola's all-conquering side of 2009.

Messi found the back of the net 43 times in 38 league outings, scored a sensational goal in the 3-1 success over Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final and recorded 10 strikes in the Champions League en route to beating Juventus to lift the trophy. The Argentine, who is a three-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, is also a fantastic team player and is the heartbeat of the Barcelona team, meaning when Messi plays well the Catalans tend to as well.

The second player in the top five is none other than Real Madrid's very own talisman Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal international has been immense for the Spanish giants ever since joining the club back in 2009 and boasts a sensational goalscoring record of 200 in 225 La Liga appearances.

The former Manchester United star is one of those players who has 'that something special' and the forward has on numerous times provided the defining moments in matches. The sheer pace, trickery, finishing and final delivery make Ronaldo one of the most feared in the world and there is no team in world football that wouldn't love to have him in their ranks. The attitude of the Portuguese can sometimes be questioned, with many doubting his overall contribution to the team, but to have scored so many goals and led Madrid to numerous trophies, being selfish on the pitch at times is needed to become the best.

Next on the list is the ever-improving Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard. The 24-year-old arrived at Stamford Bridge back in 2012 and has quickly become an integral part in the first team. The scoring record may be not be as prolific as the previous two mentioned but it is the overall contribution to the team that puts the Belgium international into the top five.

Hazard is one of the trickiest players to have to deal with and this has been seen on numerous occasions in the Premier League, with the midfielder either beating his marker or being chopped down for a free-kick or penalty. The Belgian provides a huge number of assists and his impressive performances were recognised last season after being named PFA Player of the Year. Finding the back of the net has not been a problem either and 28 goals have been bagged over the course of the last two campaigns in the English top flight.

Looking at the fourth player on the list now and it comes in the shape of Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez. The Chile international has arguably enjoyed the greatest debut season in the Premier League since arriving at the Emirates last summer from Spanish giants and Champions League holders Barcelona.

The Gunners bought the 26-year-old for over £30million but the huge price-tag did not weigh heavily on the shoulders of the player and bagging 16 goals in the top-flight is not a bad return to start with. Sanchez also produced a sensational strike in the FA Cup final victory over Aston Villa to lead the team to success in the competition for a second consecutive year. The sheer work-rate of the Chilean is just one of the remarkable talents he possesses while fantastic finishing and a great vision on the pitch makes the forward one of the best players in the game.

Finally, the last player to make the top five is Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann. The France international to some may be a strange selection but his debut season for the Spanish club this season has proven his credentials to the footballing world.

The 24-year-old bagged 22 goals in 37 La Liga appearances and to do all of this, without the kind of midfield support there is at Barcelona and Real Madrid, makes this even more impressive. Atletico are not graced with flair, they are built around a strong, disciplined side under manager Diego Simeone, but Griezmann provided a different outlet up-front.

The Frenchman is a nippy forward but he has a great deal of strength and it is the latter that can sometimes come as a shock to defenders due to his slight build. Griezmann has all the assets to keep improving and, with the likes of Chelsea sniffing around, it shows his stock is continuing to rise.

George Preston,

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