Lewandowski and Kroos end on a high in kicker’s attacker rankings

The third and final part of the Kicker Sportmagazin summer 2016 rankings has been released, unveiling the best in the categories of offensive winger, strikers and Germans playing abroad.

A reminder of the ranking criteria: A player is evaluated not based on his potential or his career achievement but on the performances from the 1st of January till the 10th of July (Euro final), receiving a minimum of nine grades for games played in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, Europe or internationals. The evaluation is also based on the position he held the most over that same period.

Offensive wing

When a club like Manchester United pays 42m Euros for a player who has only one year remaining on his contract, this means he has been doing a great job. Henrikh Mkhitaryan had a combined total of 55 goals and assists in all three competitions he disputed this past season; his vision, technical finesse, distilled passing, versatility and deadly finish did not go unnoticed.

However, Mkhitaryan was not creative, fast, and decisive enough in games Dortmund would have expected him to leave his mark on: against Liverpool in the Europa League and in the Pokal final against Bayern; lacklustre performances which cost him World Class

Franck Ribéry makes his comeback in the rankings after an 18-month absence due to injury. His experience still speaks volume, and showed he still belongs to the elite of Bundesliga players.

World class

None

International class

  1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan – Borussia Dortmund
  2. Franck Ribéry – FC Bayern
  3. Karim Bellarabi – Bayer Leverkusen

Further consideration

  1. Julian Brandt – Bayer Leverkusen
  2. Marco Reus – Borussia Dortmund
  3. Leroy Sané – Schalke 04
  4. Kingsley Coman – FC Bayern
  5. Kevin Volland – TSG Hoffenheim
  6. Julian Draxler – VfL Wolfsburg
  7. Nicolai Müller – Hamburger SV
  8. Marc Uth – TSG Hoffenheim
  9. Filip Kostic – VfB Stuttgart
  10. Marcel Risse – 1. FC Köln
  11. Douglas Costa – FC Bayern
  12. Caiuby – FC Augsburg

 

Mention: Leonardo Bittencourt – 1. FC Köln; Christian Clemens – 1. FSV Mainz 05; Jairo – 1. FSV Mainz 05

 

Brandt was involved in eleven goals since the restart; he demonstrated with his ball control, great technique and good shots from outside the area that his potential is unlimited. Reus shone in the Europa League, but less so in the Bundesliga; his two appearances with the Mannschaft were appalling, and his absence at the Euro did not help. Draxler was off to a slow start before picking up late in the season, compensated with a place in the starting eleven against France in the Euro.

Costa could not confirm his form seen in the first-half of the season; coming often second best in one-on-ones, and lacking composure in front of goal. Commiserations for Robben: The absence of the Orange at the Euro not only forced him to watch the competition from home, but also denied him of one “graded” game that would have helped him make the cut; he was the best noted Bundesliga player in his position.

Strikers

There was a long debate in the pressroom as to whether Robert Lewandowski should be retained in the World Class category. He had his critics at the Euro because of the low number of goals produced. But an expert would recognized he was aligned alongside Milik in the Polish attach, playing in a deeper position compared FC Bayern where he occupies the role of the sole striker up front.

He finished top scorer of the Bundesliga, was at the end of 19 goals in all competitions in addition to the 23 scored he scored prior to the winter break, and produced the goods in the Champions League

Pierre-Émerick Aubameyang could not replicate his “World Class” display from the prior half of season because of the low number of goals, mainly in the Bundesliga with only seven. Claudio Pizarro showed he is still a phenomenal class act at the age of 37; his 12 goals were the guarantee of Bremen staying up.

World class

  1. Robert Lewandowski – FC Bayern

International class

  1. Pierre-Émerick Aubameyang – Borussia Dortmund
  2. Claudio Pizarro – Werder Bremen
  3. Raffael – Borussia Mönchengladbach
  4. Sandro Wagner – SV Darmstadt 98
  5. Chicharito – Bayer Leverkusen

Further consideration

  1. Andrej Kramaric – TSG Hoffenheim
  2. Anthony Modeste – 1. FC Köln
  3. Alfred Finnbogason – FC Augsburg
  4. Lars Stindl – Borussia Mönchengladbach
  5. Moritz Hartmann – FC Ingolstadt
  6. Thorgan Hazard – Borussia Mönchengladbach
  7. André Schürrle – VfL Wolfsburg
  8. Adrian Ramos – Borussia Dortmund
  9. Jhon Cordoba – 1. FSV Mainz 05
  10. Klaas Jan Huntelaar – Schalke 04
  11. Stefan Kiessling – Bayer Leverkusen

Mention: Salomon Kalou – Hertha BSC; Dario Lezcano – FC Ingolstadt; Eduardo Vargas – TSG Hoffenheim

Raffael is an artist of a player who can destabilize a defense with one genial quick action. Wagner confirmed his role as focal point with Darmstadt; his ten goals and three assists ensuring survival. Schürrle lacked consistency but his nine goals towards the end of the season lifted him up the table.

Germans playing abroad

Watching him play brings many questions: Was his pass a genius one or all his passes so accurate? Does he have an amazing game vision or is he overlooked because of his discrete playing style? Is his calmness synonymous of serenity or nervousness? Erase any doubt you may have: Tony Kroos is simply a fine strategist operating in the shadows of the stars, and therefore deserves his place in the World Class

He is capable of influencing and changing the rhythm of a game, and detecting situations and opportunities to make them decisive, as seen in the Champions League and at the Euro. His absence easily affects his attacking colleagues of Real Madrid and the Mannschaft. That’s why all managers he had worked under appreciate him.

Sami Khedira had a key role in Juventus, helping them win every game he took part in. But his four goals and three assists were not enough to take out of International Class. At the image of his Arsenal team, Mesut Özil could not reproduce the form seen earlier in the season. Uphill went the fortunes of Mario Gomez who scored 26 goals in the Turkish league to help Besiktas win the league title; he kept on going at the Euro with two goals. ter Stegen’s consistency in the Champions League & Trapp’s contribution to Paris St-Germain’s Ligue 1 title ensured both keepers earn a place in that same category

World class

 Defensive midfield

Tony Kroos – Real Madrid

International class

Goalkeepers

Kevin Trapp – Paris St. Germain

Marc-André ter Stegen 24 FC Barcelona/Spanien K

Defensive midfield

Sami Khedira – Juventus

Offensive midfield

Mesut Özil – Arsenal

Strikers

Mario Gomez – Besiktas

Further consideration

Central defenders

Robert Huth – Leicester City

Shkodran Mustafi – FC Valencia

Antonio Rüdiger – AS Roma

Defensive wing

Andreas Beck – Besiktas

Defensive midfield

Emre Can – Liverpool

Offensive wing

Lukas Podolski – Galatasaray

Strikers

Miroslav Klose – Lazio

Mention

Goalkeepers: Alexander Walke – Salzburg

Central defenders: Per Mertesacker – Arsenal; Philipp Wollscheid – Stoke City

Striker: Amin Younes – Ajax Amsterdam

Rüdiger overcame is adaptation period at Roma and reduced his rate of mistakes; a great hope for the future if he could get rid of his occasional foolishness. Huth does not represent what a modern defender looks like but his physical presence winning every ball in the air helped surprise package Leicester win the Premier League.

Podolski was one of the few positive signs in a weak Galatasaray season; his winning cup final goal saved their season, going as an immortal in the history of the club. Klose showed Lazio all his qualities; his seven goals and six assists helping them end in decent Serie-A position. No place for Schweinsteiger: His double inner ligament injuries prevented him of any action with Manchester United; his appearances at the Euro were not enough to earn him a mention.

[su_label] Post editor: Zahra[/su_label]