Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan is ranked 77th (up from 85th last year) in The Guardian’s choice of the world’s top 100 footballers for 2015.
Led by Zico, Javier Zanetti and Gheorghe Hagi, the panel of 123 experts from 49 nations compiled a countdown of the greatest male players on the planet.
Lionel Messi tops the ranking, followed by Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
“The problem for Henrikh Mkhitaryan is that, with Bayern Munich so utterly dominant in the Bundesliga, it may be difficult for him to keep improving in his current surroundings. He is not doing a bad job of looking a cut above most of the competition though. After a 2014/15 season blighted by injuries and patchy form – which could also be said more broadly for his club, Borussia Dortmund – the Armenian attacking midfielder has been excellent in their revival under Thomas Tuchel and had scored eight goals by 5 November. Liverpool were heavily linked in the summer, and those murmurs may get louder given the identity of their new manager; if Dortmund cannot run Bayern close this year a new challenge may well be in order,” The Guardian writes.