This is the eighth article in a series looking at the top 5 footballers in each position in the last decade. Those will ultimately be combined to form the best starting XI of the last decade. It has to be mentioned that a footballer’s overall impact on the maximum number of years in the decade is to be considered.
5) Karim Benzema: The prolific French target man has spent the entire decade with Real Madrid, for whom he has won 18 trophies. He has been a part of the La Liga Team of the Season and has won French Footballer of the Year 3 times, UCL Top Assist Provider, and Best French Player playing Abroad. He finished the decade with 259 goals and 145 assists for club and country.
4) Zlatan Ibrahimovic: The greatest Swedish footballer of all time have played for the likes of Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, and LA Galaxy throughout the decade. He has won 18 trophies across various countries and has been selected in FIFA FIFPro World XI, UEFA Team of the Year twice out of 4, UEFA Ultimate Team of the Year, UEFA Euro Cup Team of the Tournament, UCL Squad of the Season, Europa League Squad of the Season, Serie A Team of the Year twice, ESM Team of the Year twice out of total 4, Ligue 1 Team of the Year 4 times, Paris Saint-Germain Team of the History, MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI. He has won Golden Foot, UCL Top Assist Provider, Serie A Foreign Footballer of the Year twice out of his total 5, Serie A Footballer of the Year once out of 3, Serie A Top Goal Scorer, Ligue 1 Best Foreign Player thrice, Ligue 1 Player of the Year thrice, Ligue 1 Top Scorer thrice, Swedish Forward of the Year 10 times out of 14, Swedish Male Athlete 3 times out of 4 and has been the top scorer of Coupe de la Ligue, Coupe de France, and EFL Cup. He registered 346 goals and 129 assists throughout the decade.
3) Sergio Aguero: The Argentina international spent the first year of the decade enjoying his final year with Atletico Madrid. He has since then gone on to spend the entire decade with Manchester City with whom he has lifted 13 trophies. He has been included in the PFA Team of the Year twice and has won Manchester City Player of the Year twice, Football Supporters’ Federation Player of the Year, and Premier League Golden Boot. He accumulated 316 goals and 94 assists for club and country.
2) Luis Suarez: The immensely talented striker from Uruguay has played for the likes of Ajax, Liverpool, and Barcelona throughout the decade. He has won 15 trophies for the 3 clubs along with a Copa America for Uruguay in 2011. He has been a part of the PFA Team of the Year twice, UCL Team of the Season twice, La Liga Team of the Season twice, and FIFA FIFPro World XI. He has won IFFHS World’s Best Top Division Goalscorer thrice, Copa America Player of the Tournament, Liverpool Player of the Season twice, Liverpool Player’s Player of the Season, PFA Player’s Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year, Premier League Player of the Season, Premier League Golden Boot, FSF Player of the Year, European Golden Shoe twice, Pichichi Trophy, Copa del Rey Top Scorer, La Liga World Player of the Year and Barcelona Player of the Season. He finished the decade with 343 goals and 203 assists.
1) Robert Lewandowski: The Polish center forward spent the first 4 years of the decade playing for Borussia Dortmund and the latter part for their arch-rivals Bayern Munich. He has won 19 trophies for the 2 clubs in 10 years. He has been a part of UCL Squad of the Season thrice, UEFA Team of the Year, Bundesliga Team of the Season 8 times, and VDV Team of the Season 8 times. Individually, he has won IFFHS World’s Top International Goal Scorer of the Year, Bundesliga Player of the Season twice, VDV Player of the Season 4 times, Bayern Munich Player of the Season once, Polish Footballer of the Year 8 times, Bundesliga Top Scorer 5 times, DFB-Pokal Top Scorer 5 times, UEFA Men’s Player of the Year, UCL Top Scorer, UCL Top Assist Provider, UCL Forward of the Season and has also been the top scorer in FIFA World Cup Qualification as well as Euro Cup Qualification. He amassed 349 goals and 99 assists for club and country in this timeframe.