Ranking World Football's 20 Best Players in November
In a month that saw some thrilling league, Champions League and World Cup qualifying action, many of the world's top players were able to demonstrate their worth on the big stages.
While the legendary Lionel Messi remains injured, others have shone brightly throughout November to give football fans plenty to shout about.
Here, we rank the 20 best players from around the world in November.
20. Radamel Falcao
He might not be at his breathtaking best at present, but Radamel Falcao is still one of the most dangerous strikers in the world.
His club side, Monaco, sit third in Ligue 1, and Falcao tops the scorers' charts alongside PSG duo Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic with nine goals.
The forward scored for Colombia as well this month in their impressive 2-0 win away over fellow World Cup dark horses Belgium.
Athletic midfielder Paulinho continues to impress for Brazil and Tottenham this season, proving himself a key man for both teams.
His club side might not have enjoyed the best month, but Brazil chalked up another two wins, over Honduras and Chile, with Paulinho excelling in his "transporter" role in both matches.
Atletico Madrid are still fighting for top spot in the La Liga table and are through to the Champions League knockout stages, and Spain midfielder Koke is a major driving force behind their consistent form this season.
The 21-year-old midfielder's eye-catching displays have made him a strong contender to make Spain's World Cup squad next year, and last month, he appeared twice for the national team.
17. Oribe Peralta
Santos Laguna's veteran striker, Oribe Peralta, ensured Mexico's qualification for Brazil 2014 with a stunning haul of five goals in two matches against an overwhelmed New Zealand.
The man who also scored two goals in the Olympic gold medal match in 2012 has given Mexican football fans something to be cheery about after a tough year.
While a starting role for both Chelsea and Brazil may have been in some doubt at the start of the season, Oscar has nailed down a first 11 spot for both teams as his development as a top-level midfielder continues.
Aside from the blip against Basel, Chelsea enjoyed a fruitful month and now sit second on the EPL ladder.
Oscar pulls the strings with the calm composure of a player five years his senior and also chipped in with a magnificent solo goal against West Ham.
15. Ignacio Piatti
San Lorenzo are on the verge of claiming the Argentine Primera crown, and left-winger Ignacio Piatti has been superb in their run at the title.
The former Lecce man has scored eight goals in 18 starts, including three in the month of November, but also creates plenty of chances for his teammates with his elusive wide play.
14. Davy Klaassen
It has been a memorable few weeks for Ajax youngster Davy Klaassen.
The midfield sensation netted against Heracles and ADO Den Haag and ran riot against Barcelona in the Champions League to help his side to a famous upset win.
13. Luis Suarez
Despite a delayed start to his season, Luis Suarez is now up to full operating capacity, and opposition defenses best beware.
The Liverpool star had an action-packed game in the Merseyside derby against Everton and bagged a brace against Fulham, as well as seeing Uruguay through to the big show in Brazil next year.
12. Yaya Toure
After a slow start to the 2013/14 Premier League campaign, the Ivorian colossus is now back to his dominant best.
Yaya Toure was instrumental in a series of commanding Manchester City wins and also guided the Ivory Coast through a World Cup qualifying playoff with Senegal in Casablanca, setting up Salomon Kalou's goal in the 1-1 result, which was enough to book a place in Brazil.
When Milan re-signed Kaka from Real Madrid, club directors were probably hoping, rather than expecting, the Brazilian to produce the kinds of displays that made him a fan favorite in his first stint at the club.
After showing glimpses of his brilliance in his first few games, the 31-year-old put together a string of outstanding matches over the past month to re-establish himself as a match-winner for the Rossoneri.
If he can maintain his fine form for the rest of the season, he may be able to help the team emerge from a difficult period and work their way up the table.
10. Per Mertesacker
Arsenal are showing no signs of slowing up, as they increased their lead at the top of the Premier League table in November.
Everyone knows about their attacking prowess, but it is the steel at the back from their giant German, Per Mertesacker, and his companions that offers a solid platform for all that pretty play.
The only goal the Gunners conceded all month came against Manchester United when Mertesacker was missing due to a stomach bug.
He also managed to score the winning goal for his national team against England at Wembley.
9. Kostas Mitroglou
This Greek gunslinger certainly made his presence felt over the past four weeks.
His crowing achievement was to haul his country into the World Cup with three goals over two legs against Romania, but he was also firing for his club, Olympiakos.
Kostas Mitroglou nabbed the winner against archrivals Panathinaikos to bolster his standing as one of Europe's most sought-after strikers.
8. Vincent Enyeama
The Lille and Nigeria No. 1 does not often get mentioned among the best goalkeepers in world football, but he has been nothing short of brilliant in Ligue 1 this season and was a key factor in Nigeria's successful qualification for the World Cup.
In November, he extended his astonishing record to 12 consecutive clean slates for Lille.
7. Sergio Aguero
He has stated that he wants to become the best player on the planet, and Kun is making moves toward achieving that dream.
Goals are his calling card, and Sergio Aguero grabbed eight more of them in November for club and country.
He currently sits top of the scorers' charts in the Premier League, and it will take some pretty sharp shooting on someone else's part to chase him down.
6. Alexis Sanchez
In the absence of Messi, Alexis Sanchez has stepped up his game in recent weeks to become Barcelona's go-to man in attack.
An excellent month in club colors, however, was eclipsed by one brilliant display for his national team.
Sanchez's superb all-round showing and two goals against England at Wembley are already guaranteed a place in Chilean football folklore.
5. Wayne Rooney
When Wayne Rooney is happy and in form, he is an insatiable beast of a footballer.
And throughout November, Rooney has been on top form. He was unlucky not to get a goal as he orchestrated Manchester United's 5-0 demolition of Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, but he did manage to net four times in four league games.
At his creative best, he is among the finest playmakers in the world.
4. Mario Gotze
The young Germany star is beginning to find his feet at Bayern Munich, and that means the club's rivals in the Bundesliga and Champions League should be very concerned.
Bayern are cruising at the top of the German league table and swatted away title hopefuls Borussia Dortmund this month with a convincing 3-0 victory, in which Mario Gotze was instrumental.
The 21-year-old creative midfielder also impressed in the Champions League for his club this month and was one of Germany's best against both Italy and England.
3. Arturo Vidal
Juventus, Bayer Leverkusen and Colo-Colo fans have long realised that Arturo Erasmo Vidal Pardo is a player of immense class, and the Chilean will have improved his reputation elsewhere as well after a tremendous month.
The midfielder who can seemingly do everything helped the Italian champions to climb to the top of Serie A with a series of superb showings.
His hat-trick against Copenhagen in the Champions League was the icing on the cake.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
He will always be No. 1 in his own mind, but right now, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is, in fact, very close to being the premier player in the game.
The Sweden and PSG talisman scored 10 goals throughout the month, and although he couldn't quite guide his country through their World Cup qualifying playoff with Portugal, his club side sit comfortably top of Ligue 1 and are through to the next round of the Champions League.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Football's ultimate alpha male proved with conviction this month that he is well and truly top dog at the moment.
Though injury has kept him out of action since Real Madrid's win over Almeria on the Nov. 23, Cristiano's impact for club and country in November was immense.
Six goals in three games in La Liga for Los Blancos and a goal against Juventus in the Champions League would be impressive enough, but Ronaldo's performance in Portugal's playoff doubleheader against Sweden will be remembered for years to come.
The irrepressible No. 7 scored a goal in the first leg of the tie in the Estadio da Luz before smashing a memorable hat-trick in Stockholm a week later to almost single-handedly earn his nation a place in the World Cup finals.
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