As we enter a new year and a new decade, its time to take a look back at the icons of football, and how they performed in the world of the beautiful game for the past 12 month. Along with major impactful events in men’s football, the women of the sport all have their colossal contribution to uplift women’s football. We are listing below the male and female footballer we expect to dominate the game in the new year of 2020.
While there was no short of drama in men’s football this year, there have been a positive progress and uplifting of women’s football in 2019, especially after the FIFA Women’s World Cup, where female footballers took a stand for equal pay in the sport. As we head into 12 months of football, there will be male and female players that will come out on top.
Let’s look at the two categories:
Male footballer that will dominate 2020:
FC Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi won the 2019 Ballon d’Or award, this year for a record sixth time. Although after a lackluster performance in the 2019 CONMEBOL Copa América, and the fiasco that followed, the Argentine forward’s consistent performance in La Liga put him above everyone else. The 32 year old veteran is expected to produce another year of amazing football.
However, talking about age, the man who is showing absolute masterclass at a stupendous age of 34 is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo. Although not winning the Ballon d’Or, the Juventus talisman has been named the Serie A’s player of the year, thanks to his tremendous form. As new year approaches, we expected to see him dominating the Italian league.
Liverpool superstar Virgil van Dijk, has been an inevitable presence in the Reds’ recent path to glory. Already considered the best center back in current English top flight football and one of the best in the world, the Dutch deender is a dominant force in the Red’s defense.
Juventus FC’s Dutch wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt was chosen as the best young talent. The 20 year old center back’s form at Ajax last season gathered eyes all around, and hepled him to land a contact with the Bianconeri.
Our verdict: Lionel Messi
Despite the Copa América controversies and backlash from pundits and football fans, we expect Lionel Messi to dominate the beautiful game for the next 12 months. The 32 year old is already leading the La Liga goal scoring table with 13 goals and 6 assists.
Female footballer that will dominate 2020:
The year of 2019 has been very impactful in the world of women’s football. The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France was the spotlight for the female superstars of the beautiful game to speak up about FIFA’s controversial pay gap scheme, and the leading face of the movement has been the United States icon Megan Rapinoe.
Rapinoe, the Reign FC star, captained the United States women’s national soccer team to lift the world cup trophy in France, and was rightfully deserving to receive the Ballon d’Or Féminin award.
English right back Lucy Bronze, who has been in tremendous form with Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyonnais, came in second. Megan’s compatriot Alex Morgan secured third place, who both were joint highest goalscorers in the World Cup with 6 goals, along with England striker Ellen White.
Our verdict: Megan Rapinoe
The female Ballon d’Or winner Megan Rapinoe has been the front face of women’s football in the past year, and also received the Golden Boot and Golden Ball awards at the World Cup. Imagining the year of 2020, and Rapinoe will be the master of the world of women’s football for another year for sure.