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From the Editor

After a year’s hiatus in 2019 we brought the World Soccer 500 list back in 2020, and it was a huge success with the feature generating lots of positive feedback online from all around the world. The annual article, which was first published by World Soccer in 2015, provides a current snapshot of the global game and includes a real mix of movers and shakers: world superstars, headliners from the past year, young talents to keep an eye on and players that either have or will soon be completing big moves in the transfer window.

As always, it is not a definitive list of the world’s 500 best players, but rather a shortlist of stars making a real impact on football right now; and hopefully it can provoke further debate and discussion amongst you and your friends once you’ve read it. Join the debate online at worldsoccer.com and #WS500 on social media.

Stephen Fishlock, Editor 

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Contents

THE WORLD THIS MONTH

People in the news…on and off the pitch

4 In pictures
10 From the Editor
12 On the radar
13 Obituaries
14 Keir Radnedge Biennial World Cups?
16 Jonathan Wilson Ronaldo’s return
18 Ins & Outs People on the move

EYEWITNESS

20 Afghanistan
24 Spain

FACE TO FACE

28 Patrice Beaumelle

FEATURES

30 World Soccer 500 The 500 most important players on the planet

WOMEN’S FOOTBALL

72 Japan’s new professional league

MY BIGGEST GAME

98 Steve McManaman

WORLD SERVICE

Exclusive reports from our worldwide network of correspondents

77 Falkland Islands Overcoming obstacles
78 UEFA Nations League Finals preview
80 Asia AFC Champions League latest
82 CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals
84 Africa World Cup qualifying wrap-up 

PLUS

76 The month in numbers
86 Global diary
88 Premier League squads
90 Results, tables, fixtures

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