Football matches have been played at high speed in 2023. Due to the fact that the 2022 FIFA World Cup was held almost halfway through the domestic season, clubs had to navigate through a list of fixtures eventful since its end.
It’s the kind of thing that tests players as the intensity can get a bit too much for some to handle. But these days, footballers are better equipped to handle such schedules. Several top players have really come on their own in 2023.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top seven players of 2023 so far.
#7 Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr)
Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr at the end of December after mutually parting ways with Manchester United. Ronaldo is one of the greatest footballers of all time, but after retiring from Europe’s top five leagues at the age of 38, he was no longer expected to make headlines.
But Ronaldo only made headlines in Saudi Arabia with a string of excellent performances for his new club Al-Nassr. In just seven appearances for Al-Nassr so far, all in 2023, the Portuguese legend has scored eight goals and provided two assists.
He’s already scored two hat-tricks for his new club and has shown the fans he still has what it takes.
#6Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)
Many Arsenal players have stepped up this season and that is one of the main reasons why they are the favorites to win the Premier League title this season. Young winger Bukayo Saka is one of Mikel Arteta’s most important players and the 22-year-old is already one of the best wingers on the planet.
His low center of gravity helps him execute tight turns and Saka is extremely unpredictable with the ball at his feet. He can also find the back of the net from a variety of positions and angles and is also adept at setting up his teammates to score goals.
In 12 games in all competitions for the Gunners in 2023 so far, Saka has scored four goals and provided three assists.
#5 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is the star of the 2022-23 season. He is amazing with the ball at his feet and has mesmerized fans with his exquisite technical skills and understanding of the game. Kvaratskhelia has already earned the nickname ‘Kvaradona’, a nod to the legendary Diego Maradona.
Although he still has a long way to go before being level with Napoli legend Maradona, Kvaratskhelia’s impact on the Partenopei this season has been incredible.
He scored goals and created them in almost equal measure. His performances have largely contributed to making Napoli the strongest team in Serie A.
In 10 appearances in all competitions for Napoli so far in 2023, Kvaratskhelia has scored four goals and provided five assists.
#4 Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain)
After his Herculean efforts at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Lionel Messi returned to domestic action for Paris Saint-Germain on January 11 against Angers. He scored in that match and has since been among the late goals.
Messi has come up against each other on several occasions over the past few weeks as PSG navigated their toughest phase yet under Christophe Galtier. In 10 appearances in all competitions for PSG so far in 2023, Messi has scored six goals and provided two assists.
#3Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Victor Osimhen has become one of the best center forwards on the planet this season. He’s been in prolific goalscoring form and looked almost unstoppable in the new year.
Osimhen’s blistering pace and movements make him an elusive presence for opponents. In 2023, the Nigeria international has made 13 appearances for Napoli, scoring 12 goals and providing one assist.
#2 Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Following his Golden Boot winning exit at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Kylian Mbappe returned to club football in emphatic fashion. The Frenchman has continued to be a threat to opposition defenders and has been Paris Saint-Germain’s main man this year.
Mbappe is football’s next big thing and is widely tipped to win multiple Ballon d’Or awards in the future. In nine appearances in all competitions for PSG so far in 2023, the 24-year-old has scored 10 goals and provided two assists.
#1Marcus Rashford (Manchester United)
Whether or not Marcus Rashford maximizes his potential is a question on everyone’s mind. From the way he’s run his business in 2023, Rashford appears to be on track to realize his prospects.
Rashford has been in superb form since the start of the year. Aside from a shocking and rather haphazard 7-0 loss to Liverpool, he has been a reliable performer for Erik ten Hag’s side.
In 18 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United so far in 2023, Rashford has scored 13 goals and provided five assists.