90min's Definitive European Player Power Rankings: End of Season Review - The Sopranos Special

Aug 6, 2020, 3:32 PM GMT+1
Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski led Bayern Munich to Bundesliga glory | TF-Images/Getty Images

Well here we are. The end of the season.

Be honest, you weren't sure if we'd ever get to this point.

However, we've made it, and now it's time to celebrate in the only way we at 90min's DEPPR headquarters know how - an end-of-season power rankings.

We need something big to mark the occasion. It's time for The Sopranos.

25. Serge Gnabry

Serge Gnabry
Gnabry blossomed into an elite winger this year | Pool/Getty Images

“There's an old Italian saying: you f**k up once, you lose two teeth.”

Serge Gnabry might have lost a few teeth during his disastrous time with West Brom, but now he's one of the world's best wingers.

Tony Pulis, you watching?

24. Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford
Rashford impressed on and off the pitch | Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

"I want to direct my power and anger against the people that deserve it."

On top of being a really good footballer, Marcus Rashford proved this year that he's an even better person.

22 goals, ten assists and millions of disadvantaged children fed during lockdown. A solid year.

23. Mohamed Salah

Mohamed Salah
Salah is now a Premier League champion | Jan Kruger/Getty Images

“You’re a little too worried about what I give you. Worry a little more about what you give me."

Being greedy is an accusation often levelled at Mohamed Salah, who has forged a reputation as a player who might 'not see' a teammate before lining up a speculative shot.

He fired Liverpool to the Premier League title though, so does anyone care?

22. Christian Pulisic

Christian Pulisic
Pulisic was on top form after the restart | Pool/Getty Images

"Talk about a jolt to the system. Try getting shot at. It’ll give you a nice kick start."

Did Christian Pulisic expect to be the undisputed star when he arrived at Chelsea last summer?

Having to carry his teammates at times must have come as a real surprise, although Eden Hazard had been doing it for years before then anyway.

21. Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling
Sterling bagged 20 Premier League goals | Visionhaus/Getty Images

"This isn't painful. Getting shot is painful. Getting stabbed in the ribs is painful. This...isn't painful. It's empty."

Sure, Raheem Sterling has won Premier League titles of his own, but it will have hurt to see Liverpool raising the trophy this season.

20. Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial
Martial impressed as a striker | Michael Steele/Getty Images

"When you’re married, you’ll understand the importance of fresh produce."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has freshened things up at Manchester United, and his decision to play Anthony Martial as a central striker was a stroke of brilliance.

His 23 goals were scary enough, but his new-found partnership with Bruno Fernandes looks set to cause defenders nightmares for years to come.

19. Paulo Dybala

Paulo Dybala
Dybala nearly left Juventus last summer | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

"In my thoughts, I use the technique of positive visualisation."

Once perilously close to the exit door at Juventus, Paulo Dybala stayed positive and proved himself as one of the team's finest players.

If Maurizio Sarri hadn't figured out Dybala was worth keeping, Inter might have been the ones lifting the Serie A trophy.

18. Alexander Sørloth

Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig"Trabzonspor AS v Besiktas AS"
Sorloth was unrecognisable this year | VI-Images/Getty Images

“Even a broken clock is right twice a day.”

Well, well, well...who saw this coming?

A Crystal Palace flop just one year ago, Alexander Sørloth was one of Europe's most prolific strikers this season.

He fired home 33 goals for Trabzonspor in all competitions - Palace only managed 31 in the Premier League all season!

17. Erling Haaland

Erling Haaland
Haaland brought his good form over to the Bundesliga | Pool/Getty Images

“You got any idea what my life would be worth if certain people found out I checked into a laughing academy?”

He might not laugh (or show any form of emotion) during his interviews, but what Erling Haaland does do is score goal after goal after goal.

He ended the season with 44 goals in just 40 games for Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, and he's just 20 years old. 20.

16. Ángel Di María

Angel Di Maria
Di Maria is still taunted by United fans | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

“More is lost by indecision than by wrong decision.”

Was Ángel Di María's move to Manchester United the wrong decision? Definitely.

However, it did lead him to Paris Saint-Germain, where he managed 11 goals and 21 assists this season, so it all worked itself out.

15. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Aubameyang has taken England by storm | Marc Atkins/Getty Images

“You steer the ship the best way you know. Sometimes it’s smooth. Sometimes you hit the rocks. In the meantime, you find your pleasures where you can.”

It's been a bumpy year for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Arsenal went from being awful to winning the FA Cup, but he's just been firing in goals for fun all year.

Now, will he sign da ting?

14. Sadio Mané

Sadio Mane
Mane has exploded under Jurgen Klopp | Pool/Getty Images

“‘Remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation.”

All Liverpool fans had before this season was 'remember when', but that's not the case anymore.

Sadio Mané was in outstanding form as he fired Liverpool to their first Premier League title in 30 years, bagging 22 goals and 12 assists.

13. Kylian Mbappé

Paris Saint-Germain v Celtic - Friendly Match
Mbappe continued his reign of terror in France | Xavier Laine/Getty Images

“For every 20 wrongs a child does, ignore 19.”

It's been a topsy-turvy year for Kylian Mbappé, whose sheer brilliance on the pitch was often masked by the odd tantrum when manager Thomas Tuchel didn't give him what he wanted.

When you've got someone like Mbappé on your team, you learn to live with that.

12. Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz
Havertz is wanted by Chelsea | Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

"This ain't negotiation time. This is Scarface, final scene, f**king bazookas under each arm, 'say hello to my little friend!"

Kai Havertz's form has meant it is negotiation time for Bayer Leverkusen, who are now trying to get as close to £90m as possible from Chelsea.

11. Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes was the catalyst for change at United | Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

“You ever feel like nothing good was ever gonna happen to you?”

It may have felt as though Bruno Fernandes' transfer to Manchester United was never going to happen (despite a summer which featured about 1,000 bogus confirmations).

He finally made it to Old Trafford in January and then proceeded to tear the Premier League apart.

10. Thomas Müller

Thomas Muller
Muller managed 21 assists | Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

“Teddy Roosevelt once gave an entire speech with a bullet lodged in his chest. Some things are just a matter of duty.”

Thomas Müller probably felt he was in the firing line last summer when many fans were certain he was too old and too rubbish, and he then proceeded to shut them up by setting a Bundesliga assist record.

He ended the season with 21 league assists (25 in all competitions) and even chimed in with 12 goals for good measure.

9. Josip Iličić

Ilicic nearly fired Atalanta to glory | -/Getty Images

“If you can quote the rules, then you can obey them.”

Josip Iličić is supposed to be old and bad. Atalanta are supposed to be average.

Josip Iličić managed 21 goals and nine assists. Atalanta weren't far off winning Serie A.

They don't play by the rules.

8. Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema
Benzema was in the Ballon d'Or conversation before the award was cancelled | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

"Like Popeye says, I yam what I yam."

Plenty of Real Madrid fans hated Karim Benzema a few years ago because 'he didn't score enough goals', but he kept his head down and kept doing his thing.

Now out of Cristiano Ronaldo's shadow, Benzema has proven that he truly is one of the best around, and those same critics are now singing his name with delight.

7. Timo Werner

Timo Werner
Werner has already sealed a switch to Chelsea | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

“What use is an unloaded gun?”

Hitman Timo Werner went off on one this past season, firing home 34 goals and 13 assists in all competitions. For the first half of the year, he averaged more than one goal per game.

RB Leipzig looked like potential title winners for a large part of the season, and that was largely down to Werner.

6. Kevin De Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne
De Bruyne equalled Thierry Henry's assist record | David Ramos/Getty Images

“Those who want respect, give respect.”

Those who want assists, give assists.

After a slow 2018/19, Kevin De Bruyne exploded back to his best this year, matching Thierry Henry's Premier League assist record and fighting his way towards the front of the now non-existent Ballon d'Or queue.

5. Ciro Immobile

Ciro Immobile
Immobile was Europe's top marksman | Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

"They say every day’s a gift, but why does it have to be a pair of socks?”

36 goals in just 37 Serie A games.

That kind of record-equalling form earned Ciro Immobile the European Golden Boot award, but he'd probably have preferred to win the Serie A title instead.

4. Jadon Sancho

Sancho has attracted interest from United | INA FASSBENDER/Getty Images

“Next time, there won't be a next time.”

There will (probably) be no next time for Jadon Sancho in Borussia Dortmund.

The Englishman has spent the last three years tearing it up in the Bundesliga, which is why Manchester United are ready to break records to sign him.

3. Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
Messi carried Barcelona at times this season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

“Sometimes it’s important to give people the illusion of being in control.”

Lionel Messi pretty much single-handedly carried Barcelona this season. On the pitch, he was his magnificent self (as per usual), but all is not well at Camp Nou.

Off-field issues between Messi and certain members of the backroom staff contributed to what was a tumultuous season, but you wouldn't have guessed he was unhappy by his performances.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo - Soccer Player
Ronaldo led Juventus to another league title | Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

“Some people are so far behind in a race that they actually believe they’re leading.”

With 31 goals and six assists to his name, Cristiano Ronaldo continued to dominate in Italy. He led Juventus to the title, but you just know he'll be angry to miss out on the Capocannoniere.

1. Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski
Lewandowski was the favourite for the Ballon d'Or | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

“All due respect, you got no f**king idea what it’s like to be Number One."

There's no debate about this one. Robert Lewandowski has been on a planet of his own this year.

51 goals in 43 games is a mental return from somebody who, at 31 years old, is actually supposed to be slowing down.

If the Ballon d'Or was still running this year, the award would surely have been his.

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