Welcome to World Class

The top 5 right forwards in the world 2021 - ranked

Sean Walsh
The world's best right forwards - ranked
The world's best right forwards - ranked / 90min
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We're fast approaching the tail-end of 90min's Welcome to World Class series for 2021.

There's a few positions and issues left to sort out first, though.

For those who aren't familiarised with what we're doing, we've been ranking the five best players in each position, with only right forwards and strikers left to debate - you can find everything you need to get up to speed here.

Now, we're focusing on right forwards (goat emojis at the ready, everyone), and believe us there are some contentious calls - but we want you to get involved as well.

Here's a reminder of how the process works:

  • A world class footballer is defined as one of the top five players in the world in their position.
  • All players can fit into one of 10 on-field positions; GK, RB, LB, CB, DM, CM, AM, RF, LF, ST.
  • All players have been graded across ten different subcategories in the decision-making process - you can find more information on everything mentioned above here.
  • Performances for club and country are considered.

Now let's get stuck in...


5. Serge Gnabry (down 2)

Gnabry's been stirring the pot all year
Gnabry's been stirring the pot all year / 90min

Games played: 39
Minutes played: 2206
Goals: 15
Assists: 5
Chances created: 49
Shots (on target): 81 (40)
Shot conversion rate: 18.5%
Minutes per goal: 147

Serge Gnabry was voted in by our boys on the 90min YouTube channel ahead of Angel Di Maria and Jadon Sancho.

Those two are great, sure, but they don't quite have the same menace about them that Gnabry brings. The only major blemish on his record is that of his injuries - and yet you can see that's hardly a major concern by the amount of games he's played this year.


Gnabry was the fifth and final player added to the list, chosen after a debate between the guys during 90min's latest W2WC show on YouTube. Watch below.


4. Federico Chiesa (new entry)

Chiesa lit up the Euros
Chiesa lit up the Euros / 90min

Games played: 44
Minutes played: 3086
Goals: 15
Assists: 7
Chances created: 54
Shots (on target): 95 (38)
Shot conversion rate: 15.8%
Minutes per goal: 206

Jorginho and Gianluigi Donnarumma may have grabbed the headlines, but it felt like the big winner from Italy's Euro 2020-winning campaign was Federico Chiesa.

Whether you're a football diehard or a casual, the Juventus man was always at the centre of the action whenever you switched the TV over to watch the Azzurri, becoming a household name overnight.

Now a diamond in the rough in a pretty mediocre Juve side, he's been linked with a move to Liverpool - and he certainly wouldn't look out of place in a Jurgen Klopp team.

3. Riyad Mahrez (new entry)

Mahrez has quietly had a great 2021
Mahrez has quietly had a great 2021 / 90min

Games played: 48
Minutes played: 3216
Goals: 17
Assists: 10
Chances created: 77
Shots (on target): 120 (48)
Shot conversion rate: 14.2%
Minutes per goal: 189

Because of Pep Guardiola's rotation (much to the annoyance of FPL users across the globe), it's easy to forget just how good Manchester City's attackers are on an individual level.

Riyad Mahrez's stats are as good as they've ever been and he was a key contributor as City romped to the Premier League title and went close to winning their first Champions League.

He may turn 31 in a couple of months, but Mahrez is as efficient and prolific as he was in that miraculous Leicester side - and now he has plenty of experience to boast.

2. Lionel Messi (down 1)

Despite another sensational year, Messi has dropped a place
Despite another sensational year, Messi has dropped a place / 90min

Games played: 40
Minutes played: 3482
Goals: 32
Assists: 12
Chances created: 86
Shots (on target): 192 (83)
Shot conversion rate: 16.7%
Minutes per goal: 109

Controversial? Of course. But that doesn't mean it's wrong.

Part of our way of evaluating these players is the standard of league they play in, and Lionel Messi was marked down a little as he now plies his trade in Ligue 1.

And yet ironically, it's his form in France which has cost him top spot. The Argentine tore up La Liga at the back end of his time at Barcelona - who look much worse without him - but his slow start to life at PSG has slightly dented his stats, and the Parisians just don't look easy on the eye yet.

These are the only real criticisms you can level at Messi because, well, just look at those stats.

1. Mohamed Salah (up 1)

The Egyptian king
The Egyptian king / 90min

Games played: 46
Minutes played: 3914
Goals: 32
Assists: 10
Chances created: 76
Shots (on target): 163 (78)
Shot conversion rate: 19.6%
Minutes per goal: 122

Messi's loss is Mohamed Salah's gain. The Egyptian is already staking a strong claim for the 2022 Ballon d'Or and is almost the undisputed best player in the Premier League (they should hand him a championship belt like they did in the WWF/WWE).

There's half a chance that Salah could smash his own record of most goals in a Premier League season after he grabbed 32 in his maiden campaign at Liverpool. We're watching one of the all-time greats play for fun at the peak of their powers - enjoy him.


All day, 90min has been asking fans on Twitter for their opinion on who they would rather have in their team on current form - Lionel Messi or Mohamed Salah. See for yourself below, but it was a significant win for Messi in the end, even though it was Salah who topped the 90min metric.

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