I did a story on this yesterday. I got a press release from Goal.com and I had to share.

Lionel Messi has cemented his status as the world’s best soccer player, according to Goal.com’s annual award which ranks the best 50 soccer players on the planet over the past 12 months.

The Goal 50 list, compiled by Goal.com’s team of more than 500 journalists around the globe, sees the Barcelona superstar beat off the challenge from last years’ winner, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Barcelona and Argentina forward claims the title for the fourth time in recognition of an incredible campaign during which he led his club to a treble winning season, contributing 58 goals across all competitions and captained his country to the 2015 Copa América final.

Messi’s personal milestones in 2015 included; The most valuable player at the 2015 Copa América, UEFA best player in Europe, and a host of awards for his performances in the UEFA Champions League including – Goal of the Season and a place in the Squad of the Season. This prestigious award from Goal underlines Messi’s credentials ahead of the forthcoming FIFA Ballon d’Or.

The major European leagues are well represented where 48 of the listed players feature in the major European leagues, with only two other players representing the Rest of the World, Andrea Pirlo (MLS) and Carlos Tevez (Argentina’s Primera División) who makes the list for the very first time at number 8.

World Cup winner and Bayern Munich legend, Phillip Lahm makes the Goal-compiled list for the third successive year, along with no fewer than seven other teammates. There’s no place for England and Manchester United captain, Wayne Rooney who misses out for the third year running. Other notable absentees include Edinson Cavani, England’s most expensive player Raheem Sterling and Real Madrid forward, Karim Benzema.

Goal’s soccer experts have given a thorough examination of players in every territory, judging them on their level of consistency, their big-game performances, their legacy and the success of their team at both club and international levels over the past 12 months.

Goal.com is working with Facebook and Instagram to gain maximum exposure across both social platforms. Exclusive Goal 50 content will appear on Facebook using their native video player, where Goal’s correspondents will be live streaming.

The 2015 Goal 50 winner, Lionel Messi said; “Thank you for the Goal 50 award. I always say that the most important awards are collective ones, the ones where recognise as a team at the end of the season. I am also happy when I receive individual awards like this one, of course. I am very grateful for that”.

2015 Goal 50 List

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
Neymar (Barcelona)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)
Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors)
Paul Pogba (Juventus)
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint Germain)
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona)
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Andrea Pirlo (New York City)
David De Gea (Manchester United)
Antoine Griezman (Atletico Madrid)
Carlos Bacca (A.C. Milan)
James Rodriguez (Real Madrid)
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Yaya Touré (Manchester City)
Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)
Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain)
Alvaro Morata (Juventus)
John Terry (Chelsea)
Claudio Bravo (Barcelona)
Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
David Silva (Manchester City)
Harry Kane (Tottenham)
Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea)
Diego Costa (Chelsea)
Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus)
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)
Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)
Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City)
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
Javier Pastore (Paris Saint Germain)
Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)
Gary Medel (Inter Milan)
Thiago Silva (Paris Saint Germain)
Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)
Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)
Jérôme Boateng (Bayern Munich)
Memphis Depay (Manchester United)

Notes to Editors
The 2015 Goal 50 is a comprehensive list of the best players in the world who are active professional soccer players, compiled by Goal.com’s journalists.
Those who qualify for the list include FIFA-registered professional players of all nationalities in any professional league across the world – or registered players currently without a club, but who are actively looking to sign for a professional club.
The full Goal 50 graphics are available for free use with prior permission from Goal.com.
Goal.com is the world’s largest digital soccer media brand, publishing 37 editions in 18 languages reaching an audience in excess of 60 million fans around the the world every month, producing 1.2 billion page impressions.

For further information contact:
Sabrina Carrozza
PR for Goal.com