90min’s Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 13

It’s week 13 of this season’s Definitive European Player Power Rankings, and we at HQ would just like to congratulate Liverpool on winning the Premier League. We’re paying our respects by not including a single one of their players this week, because they’ve got enough on their minds. 

Besides, it’s Peep Show time. Peep Show is crass silliness. Who’d associate a domestic league champions with crass silliness?


15. Raúl Ruidíaz (New Entry)

Raúl Mario Ruidíaz

“The Beastie Boys fought and possibly died for my right to party, so…”

You know who’s probably still partying right now? Raúl Ruidíaz rounded off one of the all-time great ​MLS Cup playoff runs on Sunday with a goal and an assist in the final against Toronto FC, helping his Seattle Sounders side to a 3-1 win and their second MLS Cup. 

Ruidíaz contributed seven combined goals and assists in the Sounders’ four playoff games, including crucial strikes in the Western Conference final against LAFC and their dramatic first round win over Dallas in extra time. Go all out, Raúl. Rent a snake. You’ve earned it. 


14. Marcus Thuram (New Entry)

Marcus Thuram

“But you’ve got to give it a go. Norwich are never going to win the league, but they still turn up every week don’t they? The pricks.”

Borussia Monchengladbach play in the ​Bundesliga, which means that Borussia Monchengladbach aren’t going to win the league. But they’re still turning up every week, and Marcus Thuram’s helped them to…it says here ‘lead the league by four points’???

He’s scored or assisted in his last five games in all comps, been man of the match in three of them, and he’s Lilian Thuram’s son. Plane. 


13. Karim Benzema (Re-Entry)

Karim Benzema

“I answer to a higher law. The law of ‘if it feels good, do it’.”

Scoring two goals in an ‘Eff You’ win over Galatasaray in midweek? That feels good. Scoring another two away at Eibar a few days later? That feels good. 

Scoring 41 goals in all competitions since Cristiano Ronaldo left ​Real Madrid, while his former hunting partner’s racked up ‘just’ 34? Oh, you know that feels good. 


12. Erling Håland (Re-Entry)

RZ Pellets WAC v FC Red Bull Salzburg - tipico Bundesliga

“Oh my God, there’s a baby in there, about the size of a croissant. A terrifying, life-altering croissant-baby!”

Oh my GOD, there’s a baby in Salzburg, about the size of…well, about the size of a mountain. A terrifying, paradigm-altering mountain-baby who just scored his 13th, 14th and 15th league goals of the season this weekend. And his seventh Champions League this week. And he’s scored those 22 goals in 16 games. 


11. Memphis (Up 2)

Olympique Lyon v SL Benfica: Group G - UEFA Champions League

“I have entered the abyss. I’ve bought a house in the abyss. I’m getting my post forwarded to the abyss.”

Memphis (re-)entered the power rankings last week, and scored against Benfica in the Champions League to celebrate. 

Then he got injured. Now he is entering the abyss. He’s bought a house in the abyss. We might make it through this entire section without me mentioning that I hate the city of Lyon and basically see it as the abyss. Oh, no we won’t. 


10. Fede Valverde (New Entry)

Federico Valverde,Luka Modric

“Life is all pain. Pain, rejection and gloom. Why do we even pretend that there’s anything other than a yawning blankness at the heart of…hey! 33% extra free! I’m doing excellent shopping. My depressed state of mind is making me even more frugal than normal.”

Real Madrid aren’t having fun. They keep getting gubbed in the Champions League by teams they’d have cruised past a couple of years ago, they’ve only won one of the last seven league titles, and they haven’t won the Copa del Rey in half a decade.

But hey! Fede Valverde looks great, and he came in for barely anything at all! Scored against Eibar and all! 


9. Lucas Perez (New Entry)

Lucas Perez

“These are the good times, love; after the initial nausea passes, but before the grinding comedown. Lovely.”

31 years old. Just off a failed season at West Ham, shortly after a failed spell at Arsenal. Lucas Perez has scored in seven La Liga games in a row, and nobody’s entirely sure how or why. And he’s done it for Alaves, for crying out loud. 

These are the good times, Lucas. After the initial nausea (being a West Ham player) passes, but before the grinding comedown (the reality of being over 30 years old). Lovely. 


8. Jamie Vardy (Up 1)

Jamie Vardy

“You’re disgusting. But I like it. Like going to a strip club with the Pope.”

Nothing more need be said about *sigh* the Premier League’s most reliable goalscorer against good teams. 


7. Hakim Ziyech (Up 4)

Hakim Ziyech,Simon Gustafson

“Oh yeah. Justice is done. Not actual justice, but, what I wanted to happen. Which is basically the same thing.”

Not my words, certainly not the mind-words (thoughts?) of Jeremy Usborne, but the words of referee Gianluca Rocchi when he sent off most of Ajax’s first-team squad against Chelsea in midweek. 

Hakim Ziyech? Not bothered. Pulled the strings of that game from start to his substitution in the 72nd minute, then bossed a 4-0 win against Utrecht on Sunday. That’s five assists in three games, mark you.


6. Radja Nainggolan (Re-Entry)

Radja Nainggolan

“Hey! Wow, I’m actually good at this. Maybe I’m a natural – yeah, I’m a jogger! Of course, there had to be a sport for me, I just never realised. Legs like two great steam locomotives, pumping away, I’m unstoppable – JESUS, is that a stitch? F**k, I’m gonna be sick, I need to walk. Oh, I think I’m gonna puke, I’m literally going to die, ugh, what an idiotic boob I was back ten or eleven seconds ago.”

DISCLAIMER: Radja Nainggolan is an otherworldly footballer and might actually be the best midfielder in Serie A right now. He scored a goal and popped out three assists against Fiorentina. 

He also gives the impression of being the least fit 31-year-old currently playing professional football. He’s not. But he seems it. 


5. Timo Werner (Up 2)

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-HERTHA BERLIN-LEIPZIG

“Well, I mean, people say it like it’s a bad thing, you know, running away from your problems. But if your problems never catch up with you, what’s the hitch?”

We talked in last week’s award-winning edition about Timo Werner, and how he’s really really really really really really really fast. Then his Leipzig team went to Hertha Berlin this weekend and he scored two more goals, and got an assist. 

Timo Werner’s problems (aka defenders) will never catch up with him, and now he’s got seven goals and four assists in his last three domestic games and hahahahahahhaha how is that true that’s ridiculous. 


4. Lionel Messi (Re-Entry)

Lionel Messi

“I’m just a normal functioning member of the human race and there’s no way anyone can prove otherwise.”

Lionel Messi is not normal, nor is he a member of the human race. And we can prove otherwise, we’ve got all the footage – it’s called…watching Lionel Messi play football. 


3. Christian Pulisic (-)

Christian Pulisic,Emerson

“The secret ingredient [waves hand] is crime.”

Chelsea are third in the Premier League, have won six league games in a row and brought in Christian Pulisic this summer (technically, kinda). 

He’s scored five goals in their last three league wins. 

They have a transfer ban. 

The secret ingredient is crime. 


2. Ciro Immobile (Up 2)

Ciro Immobile

“No teas for the beastmaster, thanks. He feasts on the blood of his prey.”

Seven league games in a row, Ciro Immobile’s scored in. Ten goals in them, plus three assists and a couple of Europa League goals to keep him ticking over. Two more goals and an assist this week. No limoncello for the beastmaster, thanks. He feasts on the blood of Italian defences. 


1. Robert Lewandowski (-)

Robert Lewandowski

“So, a candle stuck in a wine bottle apparently doesn’t cut it anymore. Now for a special night you have to have Class-A drugs and…fisting.”

Last week, this section read: ‘Robert Lewandowski has started 14 games for Bayern this season across the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal, and has scored in all 14 of them.’

Robert Lewandowski has now started 16 games for Bayern this season across the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal, and has scored in all 16 of them. 

A goal just doesn’t cut it anymore. Now for a special night, Lewandowski has to score off his back and…an overhead kick.


For more from Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at @ThatChris1209!


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