World Football's 20 Best Players of October
It's been a terrific month of action for football around the globe, including Champions League group stage matches and World Cup 2014 qualifiers.
This is highly subjective, given the difficulty in quantifying the best players across so many different leagues; therefore, I encourage you to join the debate below and contribute your own suggestions to share with us all.
Moreover, this is not a definitive list. Rather, it is 20 players who have impressed me immensely over the last month and deserve recognition for this.
Kerzhakov, Neymar, Hart, Pogba and Joaquin
Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Zenit
Poached the goals–while Hulk sulked–to drag Zenit back into contention for the league and Champions League.
Added another gem to his catalogue of spectacular goals against Atletico Mineiro.
Joe Hart, Manchester City
Put on one of the most amazing goalkeeping displays of the year against Borussia Dortmund to save City from defeat.
Paul Pogba, Juventus
Scored a golazo against Napoli and completely dominated Bologna, scoring an injury time winner. He's 19 years old.
Scored the winner in their crucial Champions League match against Milan—all but guaranteeing their passage to the next round—as well as inspiring the side that has become a little too dependent on young Isco.
Lucas Moura, Sao Paulo
Lucas Moura is just weeks away from joining Ligue 1 leaders PSG, but he is currently flourishing for Sao Paulo in the Brasileirao.
The Brazilian international scored a brilliant hat trick in October and has been in scorching form, as the Tricolor Paulista won six of their eight matches last month.
Carlos Saucedo, San Jose
Carlos Saucedo may be 33 years old, but he is having a terrific season.
I feel his wonderful performance for Bolivia in their 4-1 victory over Uruguay merits some recognition, which keeps La Verde in with a chance of qualifying for the World Cup.
Saucedo has also been firing in the goals for San Jose, who currently lead the Bolivian Professional Soccer League.
Lewis Holtby, Schalke
Lewis Holtby is beginning to emerge as one of German football's most outstanding talents, starring for Schalke this month and contributing to Die Königsblauen's rise up the Bundesliga table—peaking with a remarkable victory away to their fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Holtby is full of running and dynamism, with a terrific ability to pick a pass.
Jackson Martinez, Porto
The Colombian striker enjoyed a wonderful month, which included an early candidate for goal of the season against Sporting.
Martinez was also able to inspire Porto in the Champions League by scoring a brace to maintain the Dragoes' perfect record.
Waris Majeed, Hacken
Waris Majeed is ready to become a superstar.
The Ghanaian's performances almost single-handedly kept Hacken in the title picture in Sweden, ultimately falling short at the final hurdle.
Waris' best performance came in a 5-1 victory over Syriankska, scoring three and playing an integral part in the others, prompting reports that Spartak Moscow are ready to sign him at the end of the Allsvenskan.
Jeremain Lens, PSV
Jeremain Lens was influential in PSV's superb run of four successive league victories in October.
Lens was also a massive part in the Dutch side's demolition of Napoli in the Europa League, and he also scored for Holland in their 4-1 victory over Romania.
Overall, Lens has four goals and six assists from his seven games last month, making him one of the most deadly wingers in world football.
Erik Lamela, Roma
Erik Lamela is finally producing for Roma on a regular basis, with five goals in the four matches he played in October.
The Giallorossi star is keeping Zdenek Zeman's side in contention in most games, despite being horribly exposed defensively.
It is therefore baffling to many why Lamela is not included in the latest Argentina squad.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG
Ibrahimovic enjoys being the main man, which is exactly what he is with PSG right now.
The Swede is dominating Ligue 1—just like he did in Serie A and just about everywhere else he has played—meaning that the Parisiens are a lock for the title as long as he stays fit.
Ibra also inspired one of the greatest comebacks in modern history when Sweden drew 4-4 with Germany after trailing 4-0.
Robin Van Persie, Manchester United
Robin van Persie has hit the ground running for Manchester United and the Dutchman continued his amazing form into October.
Van Persie scored a vital goal at Stamford Bridge as United triumphed against Chelsea to close the gap to top spot to one point.
If van Persie can maintain his fitness, Sir Alex Ferguson will feel confident that the Red Devils can claim the title.
Mario Goetze, Borussia Dortmund
Mario Goetze is just one of a cluster of Dortmund players who were in sensational form last month.
Goetze pushes out Marco Reus for a place on this list, due to his wonderful creativity and dazzling quick feet that make him a nightmare for defenders.
Goetze has dazzled for Dortmund with intelligent movement and the ability to bring his teammates into play with terrific vision.
Stephan El Shaarawy, Milan
Without El Shaarawy, Milan would be in the relegation zone, which demonstrates the 20-year-old's importance to the squad.
The Azzurri international has stormed into the lead in the capocannoniere race, scoring seven times in 10 games this season for the Rossoneri.
Massimiliano Allegri ought to thank El Shaarawy for basically keeping his job, as Milan have been mostly abject outside of the former Genoa player's form.
Juan Mata, Chelsea
Juan Mata has been outstanding over the last couple of weeks and helped integrate Oscar and Eden Hazard seamlessly into the Blues' magical trio of attacking midfielders.
The Spaniard has everything: a wonderful range of passing, cool finishing and a sensational attitude.
Roberto Di Matteo has a wealth of attacking options, but Mata's inclusion in the lineup ensures there is a certain fluidity between the midfield and attack.
A brilliant brace against Tottenham and a marvellous free kick against Manchester United make him one of world football's best players right now.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Another phenomenal month for the Portuguese superstar who continues his remarkable goalscoring record.
Two goals in the Clasico, a hat trick against Ajax and a sublime chip versus Dortmund in the Champions League show what a big game player he is, scoring nine goals in five matches overall.
Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid
Falcao is not only carrying Atletico Madrid, but similar to Messi, the 26-year-old is now dominating on the international stage with Colombia.
Falcao's goals have ensured Atletico remain joint-top of La Liga, and two more in the Cafeteros' victory over Paraguay mean that his form in October has led many to describe him as world football's best number nine.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona
Messi continues his phenomenal impact on world football, scoring 10 goals in all competitions in October.
Not only is the Argentine inspiring Barça still, but the Albiceleste are now completely Messi-dependent, after three goals in two matches versus Uruguay and Chile ensured Argentina effectively secured qualification for the World Cup in 2014.