World Football: Ranking the Top Five In-Form Players in the World
Form is a large factor in determining the present worth for any player in any league around the world, as consistency on the pitch can mean solid performances on a match-by-match basis.
For the average footballer, it could as simple as this: don't perform, don't play.
Those in top form can easily affect the outcome of the game and, in some cases, single-handedly take over a match.
Of course, it's inevitable that one's form will rise and fall, but those that continually perform at the highest level garner the most attention and more success.
Here are the top five in-form players in the world right now.
One of the reasons that Manchester United raced out to a sizable lead that has recently shrunk to just three points was the consistent play from Nani.
The 24-year-old winger is currently having a career year with United, especially in the Premier League, having accounted career highs in goals and assists in 25 league fixtures.
His 13 assists are the Premiership's best and his nine goals are simply icing on the cake as far as realizing his full potential as a goal scorer and goal creator.
Nani's delivery is currently at its best, and at the rate he is providing chances for his teammates, United look to be well out in front in England's top flight.
One of the up-and-coming strikers in France's Ligue 1 is Lorient's main scoring threat, Kevin Gameiro.
The 5'7" forward currently ranks second in the league with 16 goals to his name, and his form has been on the rise in the last month and a half.
Although his scoring numbers may not be the most impressive statistic, the 23-year-old has netted seven of those goals in his last seven appearances, lending some assurance of a career-high in goals when the season concludes.
Antonio Di Natale
Antonio Di Natale is no stranger to scoring goals after finishing a sensational year in the Serie A last season with 29 of them.
In the 2010-2011 campaign, Di Natale has already recorded 24 goals with nine matches left on the schedule for the fourth-place Udinese, which is still in contention for the final UEFA Champions League qualification spot.
The 33-year-old finds himself in similar conditions after doing most of the scoring workload last season. In his last seven appearances, the 5'7" striker has recorded nine goals and five assists.
If last year was any indication of late-season form, the Serie A's leading scorer last season will be in line to repeat again in 2010-2011.
Regarded as one of the top-two players in the world, it should be no shock to find Cristiano Ronaldo among those in top form.
Ronaldo has already surpassed his La Liga totals from last season (26 goals, seven assists), and Real Madrid still have 10 fixtures remaining on its schedule.
In his last five league matches, the clever-footed forward has recorded five goals and two assists. But it was late last year when his playing level reached its peak. The best of Ronaldo may still have yet to come.
If not entirely convinced of the Portuguese captain's current good form, his 27 goals take a share of the league lead with his counter for the best footballer on the planet.
The one statistic separating Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi is assists.
To supplement Messi's league-sharing lead of 27 goals, the 5'7" magician of a forward also leads La Liga in assists with 15. Not to mention the Argentine has eight UEFA Champions League goals, tops in the tournament.
Minus his previous two La Liga appearances, the 23-year-old superstar has recorded a goal or an assist in his 18 consecutive matches, totaling to 24 goals and 13 assists.
Though Messi may not eclipse the 34 goals he posted last season, he has already surpassed his assist totals from the previous year.
Quite appropriately, he is widely regarded as the world's top footballer, seeing as how his form rarely seems to dip below worry.