Ranking World Football's 20 Best Players in September
We've been treated to some cracking football this past month, with the world's finest continuing to prove why this is the greatest game on the planet.
But who have been the standout players in September?
Here are Bleacher Report's 20 best, without prejudice to position or country.
As always, this list is intended to spark debate, rather than end it.
20. Hernanes, Lazio
Italian side Lazio's Brazilian playmaker Hernanes continued his ongoing audition for the world's biggest clubs this past month.
His performances in attacking midfield for the Roman club have stood tall above a team still yet to really click into top gear.
Key Stat: two Man of the Match displays within a week, against Chievo and Genoa.
19. Benoit Cheyrou, Marseille
A key player in Ligue 1 leaders Marseille's central midfield, Benoit Cheyrou has been a rock at the heart of a mightily tough team.
The defensive-minded player has formed an effective partnership alongside Charles Kabore, providing the grit to counter Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew's guile.
Key Stat: on average, 48 passes per game.
18. Neymar, Santos
Forget his red card against Gremio at the weekend, the mercurial genius Neymar had a quality month of September for both club and country.
He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying the kid's alright.
Key Stat: three goals for Santos, four for Brazil.
17. Stevan Jovetic, Fiorentina
The jewel in Italian club Fiorentina's crown, the dazzling Stevan Jovetic rose above a difficult month for club, whilst also impressing for the on-fire Montenegrin national team.
The tricky forward is sure to continue to attract interest from Europe's best, though whether or not the Viola are willing to sell him in January is another question.
Key Stat: a goal and an assist in his game-winning performance in the 2-0 win over Catania to relieve the pressure on Vincenzo Montella's side.
16. Alexander Meier, Frankfurt
Eintracht Frankfurt's loyal midfielder, Alexander Meier, is more than deserving of a mention for his recent displays for the German club.
The Bundesliga side have been the surprise package so far, currently sitting in second having only dropped a possible two points from 18.
Key Stat: four goals and two assists in five games.
15. Christian Benitez, Club America
Diminutive forward Christian Benitez first caught the attention of European football fans during his up-and-down loan spell at Birmingham City in 2010/11.
He's now found a home at Mexican side Club America, where he's banging in goals for fun.
Key Stat: two goals in Club America's last two games.
14. Brad Friedel, Tottenham Hotspur
Old enough to be many on this list's father, 41-year-old veteran Brad Friedel has been key to Tottenham's resurgence of late, displaying fine reflexes that seem to defy his age.
If his current form continues, new signing Hugo Lloris will struggle to get a game in the Premier League this season.
Key Stat: Did I mention he's 41 years old?
13. Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid
Radamel Falcao ended August in style, scoring six goals in the space of four days against Athletic Bilbao and in the UEFA Super Cup thrashing of Chelsea.
The Colombian has had a pretty good September too, making scoring look easy whenever he's taken the field.
Key Stat: four goals in three games.
12. Steven Defour, Porto
Steven Defour has been a rock in Porto's central midfield this month, continuing to prove that Belgium have some of the most talented young players in the world.
The Portuguese club currently sit joint top of the Portuguese league, level on points with rivals Benfica.
Key Stat: one goal and 93 percent passing success in the Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb.
11. Andrea Pirlo, Juventus
Football's god of passing, no player in Europe reads the game better than Juventus' creative midfielder, Andrea Pirlo.
The Turin club has been superb in September, maintaining their position as Italy's best. Pirlo remains as key as ever to the success of Antonio Conte's side.
Key Stat: W 4 D 2 L 0 (Juventus).
10. Rene Adler, Hamburger
Though he looks like the fourth Hanson brother, German keeper Rene Adler is all man.
The last garrison behind a pretty terrible defence, Hamburger's poor back line at least allows Adler to regularly show off his excellent shot-stopping abilities as he's bombarded with shot after shot.
Key Stat: Man of the Match in a 2-0 loss against Werder Bremen.
9. Hugo Campagnaro, Napoli
The Serie A is probably the best league in Europe for a sub-six foot central defender to thrive in—Hugo Campagnaro is the latest in a long line of under-sized players in the position.
Napoli have been quality at the back in September, with Campagnaro the standout alongside Alessandro Gamberini and Paulo Cannavaro.
Key Stat: four clean sheets in Napoli's last four games.
8. Lionel Messi, Barcelona
The No. 8 position on this list may seem a little low for Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi, but you've got to give others a chance!
Playing in more of key, playmaking role for La Blaugrana, the Argentinian continues to defy those who suggest there are flaws in his game.
Key Stat: four goals and three assists in five games.
7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, PSG
Success follows the journeyman Zlatan Ibrahimovic around like a bad smell.
Though the Ligue 1 is arguably a step down from the Serie A in terms of quality of football, Zlatan hasn't let that stop him from maintaining his proflic strike rate, helping PSG to a 100 percent winning record in September.
Key Stat: six goals in five games.
6. Szabolcs Huszti, Hannover 96
The man with the unpronouncable name, Szabolcs Huszti has been tearing up the left wing for Bundesliga side Hannover 96 this season.
An assist-machine, he can now be deservedly recognised as one of the finest crossers in the game today.
Key Stat: three goals and seven assists in five games.
5. Martin Demichelis, Malaga
Tough-as-nails Argentine central defender Martin Demichelis earns a spot in the top five for his commanding performances in an improving Malaga team.
The Andalusia club currently has the best defensive record in La Liga, in no small part thanks to Demichelis' effectiveness.
Key Stat: the Malaga defence has conceded one goal in five games.
4. Santi Cazorla, Arsenal
Arsenal's recent tactical renaissance could not have been achieved without the playmaking talents of Spanish attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla.
If the Gunners are able to find a decent goalscorer to get on the end of a few of his passes, a run at the Premier League title would be by no means out of the question.
Key Stat: on average, 91 percent passing success in the English Premier League.
3. Ignacio Scocco, Newell's Old Boys
The versatile Ignacio Scocco (he can play on either wing, in attacking midfield or more commonly, up front) has had a blinder of a month for Argentine side Newell's Old Boys.
The club has risen to the top of the league standings, with Scocco's goals vital on numerous occasions.
Key Stat: five goals in four games.
2. Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich
In total, Thomas Muller has played over 560 minutes of football this past month. But not once has he looked off the pace.
The dominant Bayern Munich has swept aside all in their path so far this season, with forward Muller instrumental in the team's attacking play.
Key Stat: three goals and four assists in five games.
1. Marouane Fellaini, Everton
There is no team in world football currently utilising the flanks better than Everton of the Premier League.
But with the mammoth Marouane Fellaini to aim at in the area, why not send cross after cross in towards him?
In short, the Belgian midfielder has bullied Britain's best with his towering strength and surprisingly visionary passing. The best in September.
Key Stat: Everton currently lie in second place in the English Premier League.