The calendar year of 2021 is almost at an end, with the year seeing a number of top performances from players across the world. Europe as a continent has given some of the greatest players in the history of the sport and it is no different at the current point of time.
Here, we take a look at the five best European footballers in 2021.
1. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich/Poland)
Robert Lewandowski has established himself as the best striker in the world over the past three years and 2021 was no different as the Polish hitman was brilliant on the field, especially for Bayern Munich.
The 33-year-old broke Gerd Muller's long-standing Bundesliga record by netting his 43rd goal in the league and for many was unfortunate not to win the 2021 Ballon d'Or award.
2. Jorginho (Chelsea/Italy)
The calendar year of 2021 was the best in Jorginho's career as the midfielder played a key role in Chelsea's Champions League and Italy's 2020 European Championship triumph.
The 30-year-old was a controlling presence in midfield for both club and country, with his performance in the final of the Euro 2020 one of the best in recent history and his performances saw him finish third in the 2021 Ballon d'Or rankings.
3. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid/France)
Karim Benzema has become Real Madrid's talisman ever since Cristiano Ronaldo left in the summer of 2018, with the striker reaching unplayable levels on the pitch.
The 34-year-old's performances saw him get a recall to the France national squad and at the time of writing he has already netted 20 goals and registered eight assists in all competitions this season.
The striker has taken his game to a higher-level in recent times with the hopes of Los Blancos winning a trophy resting on his broad shoulders.
4. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain/France)
Widely considered as the best young striker in the world, Kylian Mbappe bounced back from a poor 2020 European Championship to take up the goalscoring mantle for Paris Saint-Germain while also ensuring that he is the highest assist provider in Ligue 1.
The 23-year-old has become the attacking and creative focal of his side and it will be interesting to see whether he leaves for Real Madrid in summer or decides to remain in France.
5. Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund/Norway)
Erling Haaland is a player on the wishlist of every top club, with the youngster continuing to average roughly a goal a game for club and country - his consistency remarkable for a player so young.
The 21-year-old has been brilliant for Borussia Dortmund in his short spell with them and his influence is so much that the club struggled when he was injured and eventually got knocked out in the group stage of the Champions League in his absence.
Like Mbappe, it will be interesting to see where he eventually ends up come next summer.