Gone are the days when wingers primarily operated as non-stop crossing machines. In 2022, wingers are responsible for and capable of doing a lot more.
They can shoot from anywhere, take players on, create chances, and score extraordinary goals to win matches for their teams. Having a gifted winger or two is often the difference between a losing side and a winning one.
Today, we will take a look at some wingers who have had the world at their feet this season (2022-23). Read on to find out the world’s top five wingers at the moment:
#5 Vinicius Junior — Real Madrid
Real Madrid left-winger Vinicius Junior emerged as one of the best players in the world in the 2021-22 season. He dazzled viewers with his pace, beat defenders with his dancing feet, and, most importantly, scored and created goals at will.
He finished the 2021-22 season with 22 goals and 20 assists in 52 games across competitions, winning the Champions League trophy, La Liga title, and the Spanish Super Cup.
goals for Vinícius this season and we’re only just in November. We are witnessing greatness, not a one season wonder.
The Brazilian star has produced his fair share of impressive displays this season, but he has not been as razor-sharp in front of goal as he was last season. Vinicius has featured in 19 games for the Whites this term, scoring 10 times and claiming five assists.
Had he stopped overthinking inside the box and tried to get his shots away a little quicker, Vinicius would have been considerably higher on this list.
#4 Mohamed Salah — Liverpool
Widely hailed as the best forward in the Premier League, Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah won the Premier League Golden Boot (23 goals) and the Playmaker Award (13 assists) last season. He was practically unstoppable at times, bringing even the best defenders to his knees.
Salah has not been as prolific in the Premier League this season, scoring only four times and providing three assists in 12 appearances so far. The Egypt international, however, has been in blistering form in the UEFA Champions League, netting seven times in six appearances. Only Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) ace Kylian Mbappe has scored as many in the competition this season.
Mo Salah and Kylian Mbappé led the way in the group stage
With the right-winger struggling to score for fun in the Premier League, Liverpool have slipped down to ninth place in the Premier League standings. It will be interesting to see if Salah can carry his European form over to England and boost the Reds’ chances of a top-four finish in the league.
#3 Neymar — Paris Saint-Germain
PSG superstar Neymar spent most of the 2021-22 campaign nursing his injuries. The Brazilian ace appeared in only 28 games for the Parisians across competitions, scoring 13 goals and recording eight assists.
All of Neymar’s goals came in Ligue 1 (22 games), which helped PSG regain their title from 2020-21 winners Lille. Neymar, however, came up short in the Champions League last season, failing to score even once in six games.
In Kerala India, they put up both Neymar (35 feet) and Messi (30 feet) cutouts.
What dedication 🏽
The Brazil skipper has seemingly pledged to turn his fortunes around this season. Under Christophe Galtier, Neymar has not missed a single game due to injuries, playing like a man on a mission. In only 18 appearances, Neymar has scored twice and claimed 11 assists, handsomely crossing his last-season haul.
The left-winger’s good run of form bodes well for both PSG and Brazil. While the Parisians are aiming to win their first-ever Champions League trophy at the end of the season, Brazil are eyeing their sixth FIFA World Cup in Qatar this year.
#2 Khvicha Kvaratskhelia — Napoli
Napoli have been the surprise package of the 2022-23 season. Beating the odds, the club from Naples, Italy, have emerged as the best team in Serie A, sitting at the summit with a five-point lead over second-placed Atalanta.
Napoli’s excellence has been on display in the Champions League as well. They topped their Champions League group (Group A) ahead of last season’s runners-up Liverpool, winning five of their six group-stage games. Every Napoli player has played their hearts out this season, but the team’s leading goal contributor, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, deserves a special shoutout.
I genuinely haven’t enjoyed watching someone play football as much as I enjoy watching Khvicha Kvaratskhelia play football for years. He’s instinctive, untamed, anarchic and, most of all, he’s really, really good fun. nytimes.com/2022/10/26/spo…
Joining from Dinamo Batumi in the summer, the Georgian left-winger has impressed onlookers with his decision-making, pace, ability to beat defenders, and sharpness in front of goal. The Napoli no. 77 has recorded eight goals and 10 assists in 17 games this season, emerging as the joint-leading scorer alongside Victor Osimhen and the leading assist-provider.
#1 Lionel Messi — Paris Saint-Germain
Branding Lionel Messi a right-winger might not do him justice, but it is the closest one could come to defining his natural position. The Barcelona legend, who joined PSG as a free agent in the summer of 2021, can play as a no. 10, make an impact from wide areas, and can even drop deep to link up with midfielders.
After a slow debut season at PSG, during which he scored 11 goals and claimed 15 assists in 34 appearances across competitions, Messi has seemingly come to his own. Gone is the hesitancy and directionlessness of his debut season, Messi has recaptured the confidence that made him the best in the world at Barcelona.
🏅NEW RECORD : Lionel Messi has currently become the QUICKEST player to provide 40 Assists in the history of UEFA Champions League (UCL).
Messi needs 15 less matches than Ronaldo to reach this milestone. Another UCL record broken by Messi.
Since the start of the 2022-23 campaign, Messi has scored 12 times and claimed 14 assists in 18 appearances across competitions, becoming PSG’s leading goal contributor. His link-up play with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar has been extraordinary this season and is making the Parisians rightly hopeful of a successful Champions League campaign.
To read more news, click here.