Soccer players do not just play the game. They also influence millions of hearts all around the world. Some soccer players are celebrated as gods in some places as they might have impacted their lives to some extent.
Who doesn’t love soccer? Of course, people look forward to players going wild on one ball. But what makes it even more remarkable and entertaining is its popular soccer players.
Some people have different reasons to enjoy soccer, which may include a passion for the game and many other factors; most of us enjoy soccer to see our favorite player win the game.
Players are the entertainers and gods of the soccer world.
Therefore, knowing about popular soccer players naturally makes the game more enjoyable and entertaining.
Popular Soccer Players of 2021
What makes a soccer player popular? Passion, Talent, Charm, teamwork, or the ability to draw an audience to the game.
Check out if your favorite player is on the list of the most prominent and popular players in 2021. Let’s have a look at the list of the 13 popular soccer players in the year 2021.
Here is a quick overview of all the popular soccer players of 2021:
|Name||Club / Country|
|1. Kevin De Bruyne||Manchester City / Belgium|
|2. Lionel Messi||Paris Saint-Germain / Argentina|
|3. Robert Lewansowski||Barcelona / Poland|
|4. Neymar Jr.||Paris Saint-Germain / Brazil|
|5. Kylian Mbappe||Paris Saint-Germain / France|
|6. Harry Kane||Tottenham Hotspur / England|
|7. Erling Haaland||Manchester City / Norway|
|8. Bruno Fernandes||Manchester United / Portugal|
|9. Romelu Lukaku||Inter Milan / Belgium|
|10. Cristiano Ronaldo||(free agent) / Portugal|
|11. Thomas Muller||Bayern Munich / Germany|
|12. Jan Oblak||Atletico Madrid / Slovenia|
|13. Joshua Kimmich||Bayern Munich / Germany|
13. Joshua Kimmich
One of the popular soccer players of today’s generation, Joshua Kimmich, is known for being a defensive midfielder or right-back.
His flexibility, passing, shooting, tackling, and aggressiveness have earned him a reputation in soccer. Although young, he is one of the popular players in soccer.
Horst Hrubesch considers him a rising star and describes him as an intelligent player with both attacking and defensive skills.
During the 2019-2020 season, after winning the continental treble with Bayern Munich, he was named the UEFA Champions League Defender of the Season.
Furthermore, he has been advancing further, leading him from playing as a defensive midfielder to selecting in UEFA Euro 2020.
He also made an appearance in a 1-2 loss against Japan in the Qatar World Cup 2022.
12. Jan Oblak
No one can compete with his ability as a soccer goalkeeper. Jan Oblak is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in soccer history.
The captain of the Slovenia national team was one of the most expensive goalkeepers in 2014. The Spanish club Atletico Madrid player is popular for his impossible saves, quick reactions, and as well as his game-reading and ball-handling ability.
His work rate, superb positioning, footwork, shot-stopping ability, and calmness have all been commended in the media. Oblak was named LaLiga Player of the Season in 2020–21 after Atlético Madrid won the league title.
Jan kept 18 clean sheets in 38 games and had an 80 percent save percentage for the season. As a result, he will become one of the most popular players in 2021.
He has made 18 appearances for the club in the 22/23 season all competition, keeping 6 clean sheets.
However, Slovenia international will not make his appearance in the Qatar World Cup 2022, since his team did not qualify for the tournament.
11. Thomas Muller
Muller is one of the best effective attackers of today’s generation. At the age of ten, Muller made his debut, and since then, the German attacker has played as an offensive midfielder, second striker, center forward, and on either flank.
The Bayern Munich player has created many histories, such as the record for most trophies won by a German player, with 32 trophies.
Furthermore, Bayern Munich won another Bundesliga Championship in 2020/21 thanks to 11 goals and an incredible 18 assists in 32 games.
So far, in the 22/23 season, he has made 15 appearances, scored 3 goals, and made 6 assists in all competitions.
In the Qatar World Cup 2022, he could not make an impact in the first game against Japan, where his team faced a 1-2 loss.
10. Cristiano Ronaldo
You might not be satisfied with Ronaldo’s ranking. However, we are talking about the list of the most popular soccer players of 2021, not the best player of all time.
Ronaldo’s influence is so significant that no one can deny that Ronaldo is a living legend. If you disagree with it, why not ask the Coca-Cola company? Even Coca-Cola cannot deny the fact.
Known as a GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) himself, Ronaldo’s achievement might make you jealous and feel low regarding your life stage.
Furthermore, the Portuguese player is the first to reach 500 million followers on Instagram.
Although Juventus didn’t win the Europa Cup, Cr7 didn’t stop striking 95 goals for Juventus. Ronaldo was affiliated with different clubs, such as Manchester United and Real Madrid.
Ronaldo joined Manchester United as a young player from Sporting Lisbon; he scored 118 goals and helped to win the Champions League and three Premier League titles in a row for Manchester.
Then he transferred to Real Madrid. In Real Madrid, he became one of the top goal scorers with 450 goals.
In Serie A, he averaged a goal every 97 minutes in the 20/21 season. On August 31, 2021, Ronaldo signed a contract with Manchester United.
However, on November 22, 2022, Ronaldo terminated his contract with Man United by mutual agreement. And now, he is a free agent.
There is a lot of expectation of him for this Qatar World Cup 2022. His first game in the competition is against Ghana.
9. Romelu Lukaku
There’s no other joy than to see Romelu Lukaku perform. Romelu is one of the strikers for the Serie A club Inter Milan and the Belgium national team. The Belgian player can play as a striker or a poacher and beyond such a winger due to his tactical adaptability.
Beyond his physical traits and goal-scoring abilities, he is a well-rounded striker with pace, athleticism, good link-up play, technical attributes, and vision.
Since the first time in 2009–10, the team won Serie A again in 2020–21. Lukaku has a total of 24 goals and 11 assists in the league in 2020–21.
Moreover, he became the title-winning team’s leading scorer and the league’s second-highest scorer, following only Ronaldo.
Although he is included in the 26-man squad of the Belgium national team for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, he was not included in their first game due to his Biceps femoris muscle injury.
8. Bruno Fernandes
There is a reason why Bruno Fernandes is massively popular and is considered one of the best players in the world. Since joining Manchester United in January 2020, the Portuguese international has played a key part in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s turnaround.
He beat Frank Lampard‘s record for most goals scored by a Premier League midfielder in a single season in 2020/21, scoring 28, one fewer penalty than the Chelsea legend had that year.
For the 22/23 season, he has made 20 appearances for the club in all competitions so far. He scored 3 goals and 3 assists.
He is included in the 26-man squad of the Portuguese national team for the Qatar World Cup. On November 24, Portugal faces Ghana in their first game in the competition.
7. Erling Haaland
Erling Haaland, often known as the Terminator, is an exceptional player who can only be described with a word, terrifying.
Haaland is the Champions League’s leading scorer, averaging a goal per game. And keep in mind that he is just 22 years old, and consider how much growth he will show in the coming days.
Despite being only 22 years old, the Norwegian sensation has established himself as a top striker.
For the German giants, after joining from Red Bull Salzburg in January 2020, Haaland scored 47 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions.
On July 1, 2022, the premier league club, Manchester City, signed the beast for $63 million. After joining City, he has made 18 appearances, making 3 assists and finding the back of the net 23 times.
It would not be unfair to say he is a nightmare for the premier league’s goalkeepers.
Since, Norway did not qualify for the World Cup 2022. We will not see the aggressiveness of the Man City’s forward.
6. Harry Kane
Kane keeps improving and shows the world that this is just a start. Kane is one of the finest players who can play as an out-and-out nine or drop-off option.
As a player, he’s now maturing in his unique style. And there is no denying that Kane is truly an outstanding player and will develop further.
Kane is England’s one of the best strikers who won the Premier League golden boot for the third time in his career. In addition, he topped the assists chart as he matured into an efficient withdrawn striker for the Spurs.
Moreover, his ability to hold the ball, work tirelessly, and create an opportunity makes him the best of the best players, and he is a born leader.
His stats for the 22/23 season in all competitions (as of this writing): 15 appearances, 12 goals, and 1 assist.
In the Qatar World Cup, Kane appeared in their first match against Iran, where the English team won 6-2, and Kane made two assists.
5. Kylian Mbappe
Kylian Mbappe is a professional soccer player from France recognized for his 2018 FIFA World Cup performance and one of the most popular soccer players in the world since his Monaco days.
Mbappe made history by being the youngest Frenchman to score in a World Cup. He scored four goals during his World Cup campaign, earning him the FIFA World Cup Best Young Player Award.
He is one of the most loved soccer players in the world. People are fans of his incredible intelligence, maturity, and how he handles the game.
He can bend his skills into whatever his team needs, regardless of how the game is shifting: he is the pace on the break, the breadth in attack, or a pure poacher if Paris Saint-Germain demands it.
In addition, Kylian, so far, has made 237 appearances for PSG, scoring 190 goals and making 93 assists.
Mbappe made an assist and scored a goal in their first game against Australia at the Qatar World Cup.
Every household may have heard this name. Neymar Jr is a superstar and Brazilian soccer player. Neymar, like the Brazilian soccer team’s legacy, does not let his reputation down.
Many people love to criticize him, but he has 75 goals in international appearances, making him 2nd top goal scorer behind Pele is itself legendary.
The young soccer player is famous for his exceptional dribbling abilities, acceleration, and speed.
In addition, his unique playing style drew a lot of acclaim from soccer fans and pundits alike. He has been compared to Pele, while Pele praised him for his achievements on the pitch.
So far this season, Neymar has made 20 appearances for the club in all competitions, scored 15 goals, and made 12 assists.
In the Qatar World Cup, Brazil will be facing Serbia. The Brazilian squad is packed with talented players and is one of the favorites to lift the trophy.
3. Robert Lewandowski
The word that describes Robert Lewandowski is simple. However, Barcelona player has a habit of doing everything more simply.
With another incredible season, Lewandowski has sealed his place in history as possibly the greatest finisher of all time.
In the Bundesliga, the Polish scored an incredible 41 goals, surpassing Gerd Muller’s 49-year-old record, which appeared untouchable. And where it only took about 30 games to showcase his talent.
In addition, Lewandowski won the Bundesliga Player of the Season for the sixth time in his career, which is impressive.
On July 19, 2022, Barcelona signed the forward for $47 million. For Barcelona, he has made 19 appearances, scoring 18 goals and making 4 assists.
Robert Lewandowski is in the 26-man squad of the Poland national team for Qatar World Cup 2022. Their first game against Mexico ended with a 0-0 draw.
2. Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is the one and only one who has set a bar too high for other players. An Argentine genius who made it is another living legend of this generation.
According to soccer experts, Messi is regarded as one of the finest passers, dribblers, and goal scorers globally and is still at the top of his game at the age of 35.
The beginning is always a struggle; at age 11, Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder. But eventually, that didn’t stop him from his passion.
The Barcelona player started his outstanding performance through the 2005-06 season and won a spot in Argentina’s World Cup team.
After that, he continues to strive for history. The man has made about 783 goals in 1073 games. And this is not new for him since he has been known as a goal machine throughout his lifetime.
He has been associated with Barcelona, PSG, and his own country, Argentina.
According to the research conducted by CIES Football Observatory, Messi’s electrifying form has made him the greatest player in Europe’s top five divisions during the first trimester of 2021.
Argentina lifted the Copa America 2021 trophy.
In the Qatar World Cup, Argentina lost their first game of the tournament against Saudi Arabia (1-2). However, Messi scored a penalty in the 10th minute of the game.
1. Kevin De Bruyne
Manchester City always brings out the best player in the world. Kevin De Bruyne, the magician himself whose achievements are unstoppable and uncountable.
He climbed into the top 10 of the Premier League assists table last year, proving that a club doesn’t need a dependable striker to win but a reliable goal provider.
Moreover, Bruyne is the only midfielder in English soccer history to win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award twice in a row. This Belgium player is often described as one of the best players in the world.
He possesses flexibility and a complete package that captivates and entertains the audience. You cannot miss seeing this soccer superstar perform.
For the premier league club, Manchester City, he has made 326 appearances and made 134 assists while scoring 89 goals.
Kevin De Bruyne was included in the Belgium national team for the Qatar World Cup. In their first game of the tournament against Canada, Belgium won the game 1-0.
You Want To Learn About Chinese Soccer Players? Top 10 Best Chinese Soccer Players Of All Time>>