When two football teams face off on the field, winning is regarded as a top priority. With both teams wanting to go home with a win, it all comes down to who wants it more or who has the better players. Most importantly, who has players capable of deciding the outcome of the match on their own?
Match winners are the most important group of players on any football team. This is due to their ability to ensure victory even when their teams fail to impress. These players deserve to be recognized for their efforts in creating clear-cut chances, scoring crucial goals, and setting up their teammates in critical situations.
The football world is blessed with many great talents who are currently making an impact for club and country. In order to honor them, we’ve decided to rank the top five match winners in the sport right now.
Liverpool’s Mo Salah
Since joining Liverpool from Roma in the summer of 2017, Mohamed Salah has been a huge force in the Reds’ attack. Given everything he’s given the club over the last few seasons, his €42 million transfer fee now appears to be a steal.
The Egyptian is currently one of the world’s most prolific finishers. As Liverpool continues to pursue glory, he consistently provides answers in front of goal.
Salah has started the new season with a bang, scoring five goals and assisting two more for the Reds in five appearances across all competitions. Jurgen Klopp’s team is tied for first place in the Premier League with Chelsea, thanks to his influence.
Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland
Despite being only 21 years old, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland is regarded as one of the best match winners in the world. The striker remains a major threat in front of goal, tearing opposition defenses apart and rendering goalkeepers helpless.
This season, Haaland has undoubtedly been the most decisive footballer in Europe. In eight appearances for the BVB across all competitions, the Norwegian has an impressive record of 11 goals and four assists.
Last season, the attacker led the Champions League in scoring with 10 goals in just eight games. This season, he’s returned to the tournament on a high note, scoring once to help Dortmund beat Benfica 2-1 in their first match.
Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski
Over the last few years, Robert Lewandowski has dueled the game’s most influential superstars and established himself at the top of the football world. Every opposing defender in Europe would prefer to avoid Bayern Munich’s striker.
Lewandowski recently won the European Golden Shoe award for his prolific season last year, in which he scored 41 goals in 29 Bundesliga appearances. It was a record-breaking performance in which he surpassed the late Gerd Muller for the most goals in a single season. This season, he’s returned with a bang, continuing his match-winning performances for the Bavarians.
So far, the Polish striker has 11 goals to his name, with seven coming in the Bundesliga, two in the Champions League, and two in the DFL-Supercup. Only time will tell how many goals he will score this season if he continues to fire on all cylinders.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi does not require an introduction. Over the last two decades, the Argentine has been one of the world’s most dominant footballers. The playmaker simply can’t stop deciding the fate of matches, whether it’s to score goals, set up teammates, or produce that killer pass that leads to something.
That was evident when he entered the Copa America to represent his country this summer. Apart from leading Argentina to victory, Lionel Messi dominated the tournament. He finished with the most goals and assists, and he was named tournament MVP.
After joining Paris Saint-Germain last month, the attacker is still adjusting to life in Ligue 1. But you can’t afford to write off a player who has 672 goals and 301 assists in his club career.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo’s public image as the most decisive footballer on the planet right now is undeniable. He is possibly the greatest goalscorer in history. The Portuguese midfielder returned to Manchester United this summer for the second time, and he’s spent the last few weeks reminding the Premier League of his class.
Ronaldo made his second debut for Manchester United against Newcastle United, scoring twice to lead the Red Devils to a 4-1 victory. He followed it up with another goal against Young Boys in the Champions League last week before scoring again at the weekend.
Manchester United are now hoping to win a trophy this season as a result of the attacker’s decisive performances. They are currently third in the Premier League table, trailing only the top spot on goal difference.