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Golazo 100, men's soccer players ranked: Real Madrid, Liverpool, Napoli stars appear on countdown from 60-41

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Day three of the Golazo 100 and we're moving up into the top half of the list with numbers 60-41 now made official. The further up the rankings we rise the more and more midfielders and forwards dominate the list, with this section including two of the top scorer's in last season's Bundesliga, Victor Boniface joined by several of his Bayer Leverkusen team mates after their unbeaten domestic season. There is also a smattering of the bright young things that helped guide Real Madrid to Champions League glory, one of the most expensive defenders of all time and three England internationals, the first of many in our top 50.

We'll be revealing even more of that next week, culminating in the inaugural winner of the Golazo 100 on Wednesday. Read on for our full schedule as we bring you all the names you want to know:

  • Golazo 100 part 1: 100-81
  • Golazo 100 part 2: 80-61
  • Golazo 100 part 3: 60-41
  • Saturday, June 8: Top Americans to watch for 2025
  • Sunday, June 9: Top 40 lookahead
  • Monday, June 10: 40-21
  • Tuesday, June 11: 20-11
  • Wednesday, June 12: 10-1

Now, onto the next 20 names in our countdown:

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60. Granit Xhaka -- Midfield, Bayer Leverkusen

Though his feisty side might still shine through on occasion, Granit Xhaka, the once-hot-blooded former captain of Arsenal, was the cool head who guided Bayer Leverkusen beyond their wildest dreams last season. The player that Xabi Alonso wanted to set standards both on and off the pitch ended up breaking records, making and completing more passes while registering more touches than anyone else in a Bundesliga campaign.

That Xhaka found league glory a year after his near miss was not even the half of it. After years where he only ever seemed to divide opinion, the 31 year old has found contentedness at a club that deeply values him. Had you taken a walk around the Olympiastadion before the DFB Pokal final you would have found No.34 shirts outnumbered perhaps only by Florian Wirtz's Nos. 10 and 27. They are over the moon to have Xhaka at Leverkusen and Xhaka is living a dream at the fourth club of his career. -- James Benge

59. Frenkie de Jong -- Midfield, Barcelona

The Dutch midfielder had some ups and downs over the past few years, but in the end, despite the multiple interested parties abroad (Manchester United in particular), he always opted to stay at FC Barcelona and trust that he'd have the opportunity to excell. Under Xavi, step by step, he started to have more of a central role at the club and played 20 La Liga games, featuring whenever he was healthy. Now, with Hansi Flick taking charge at Barcelona, there are even more questions about his future. There is no doubt about the talent of De Jong, that's why he's ranked so high, and his potential at the club, but maybe he just needs to find the right place and right manager to make that extra step that we are all waiting for. – Francesco Porzio 

58. Ousmane Dembele -- Right Wing, PSG

It was a successful first season in Paris for the France international who was back in Ligue 1 for the first time since his Stade Rennais days and celebrated his first domestic silverware with a Championnat and Coupe de France double. Ousmane Dembele's six goals and nine assists across all competitions might have been a bit lower than initially anticipated, but it was a campaign of adaptation for the 27-year-old who has returned home as a recognized international and star name of significant value. Paris Saint-Germain's No. 10 has been the main creative fulcrum for Luis Enrique's side and was a key factor in a run to the UEFA Champions League semifinals with goals in both legs of the quarterfinal triumph over former club Barcelona the undoubted high point for Dembele and his teammates. Part of a renewed French core to this Paris squad which will obviously take a hit as Kylian Mbappe leaves for Real Madrid, Dembouz will be even more important for the Ligue 1 champions next year and could also play a starring role for Les Bleus in Germany this summer at UEFA Euro 2024. With Mbappe now gone at Parc des Princes, Dembele has the chance to step up and show even greater maturity than that generally exhibited so far since his return to France as one of the figureheads of this new-look Parisien outfit. -- Jonathan Johnson

57. Eduardo Camavinga -- Midfield, Real Madrid

The role of being the utility player is often unglamorous, but to be that versatile on a team as dominant as Real Madrid requires a quiet brilliance. At just 21 years old, Eduardo Camavinga exemplifies just that, whether he plays his preferred defensive midfield role or slots in anywhere across the back line.

Camavinga spent much of the last season as the anchor of Real Madrid's midfield, the perfect springboard for the team's showstopping performances in attack en route to La Liga and UEFA Champions League success. He posted a 91.3% passing accuracy in the domestic league during the 2023-24 season, ranking within La Liga's top 20 for players with 500-plus minutes. He posted similar numbers in the Champions League and was a major source of consistency during the final, taking the second-most touches of his teammates as they won their 15th European title.

The Frenchman's preference in midfield allows him to demonstrate some attacking flair, the team's ever-present trademark even as a new generation of Galacticos hit the Spanish capital. He created nine chances in 11 Champions League games and notched one assist in the group stage. The fact that he already has two Champions League titles to accompany his on-field excellence makes him amongst the game's greatest rising talents, as well as a silently crucial piece of the puzzle for Real Madrid and France's future success. -- Pardeep Cattry

56. Aurelien Tchouameni -- Midfield, Real Madrid

It was a frustrating end to the season for the France international who saw injury scupper his chances of an on-field role in Real Madrid's unprecedented 15th UEFA Champions League win and could yet threaten his ability to participate in UEFA Euro 2024 as part of Didier Deschamps' initial squad selection. Aurelien Tchouameni has added a new string to his bow this past year by filling in as a central defender for Carlo Ancelotti as Los Blancos weathered an enormous injury crisis, which meant the 24-year-old needed to job share with the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Nacho Fernandez while David Alaba and Eder Militao spent most of the campaign out injured along with world class goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The former AS Monaco man has come on leaps and bounds since his 2022 arrival and forms part of the French contingent along with Eduardo Camavinga and Ferland Mendy which will add Kylian Mbappe to its ranks at Santiago Bernabeu this summer. Once fully fit, Tchouameni will be back to midfield with greater regularity now that the metronomic Toni Kroos has played his last game with the Spanish giants and a trio made up of the Frenchman and compatriot Camavinga as well as Federico Valverde with the possibility of Jude Bellingham also dropping back into a more central midfield berth. -- Jonathan Johnson

Don't miss CBS Sports Golazo Network's Morning Footy, now in podcast form! Our crew brings you all the news, views, highlights and laughs you need to follow the Beautiful Game in every corner of the globe, every Monday-Friday all year long.

55. Gabriel -- Center Back, Arsenal

Arsenal's successful evolution into a defensive powerhouse under Mikel Arteta has lined up with the upward trajectory of Gabriel, one half of a center back pairing that allowed the Gunners to book back-to-back second place finishes in the Premier League.

The Brazil international has evolved into one of the game's best modern-day center backs, ranking within the Premier League's top 20 for touches and attempted passes during the 2023-24 season and posting a passing accuracy of 89.1% as part of an Arsenal back line that collected 14 clean sheets in league play. Gabriel has plenty of range, too -- he was key as the Gunners absorbed all of Manchester City's pressure in their 0-0 draw in March, while demonstrating an attacking flair after scoring four goals this season, demonstrating a clinical ability on set pieces.

Gabriel's versatility means he delivers just about everything in a top-choice center back, which feels appropriate since the 26-year-old is emerging as one of Arsenal's mainstays and shows no signs of slowing down four years into his stay in North London. -- Pardeep Cattry

54. Marcus Thuram -- Forward, Inter

Nobody expected the impact Marcus Thuram would have at Inter in his first Serie A season. The French international arrived as a free agent last summer and scored 15 goals in 46 games played across all competitions, but his impact was absolutely outstanding and his presence was one of the key ingredients that led Simone Inzaghi's Inter to win the Serie A title. Thuram scored some crucial goals, such as the one against city rivals AC Milan in the game that decided the title on April 22. His chemistry with Argentinian striker Lautaro Martinez improved game after game and there is no reason to believe it can't improve further over the next season. At Inter, Thuram found the place and the environment he needed to become one of the best strikers across Europe. He's also one of the names to watch this summer at the UEFA Euro 2024, where he will play with France. – Francesco Porzio 

53. Alexander Isak, Forward, Newcastle United

Despite only playing 30 matches this season, Alexander Isak improved his scoring for Newcastle United coming in third in the Premier Leauge golden boot race with 21 goals. The Magpies underperformed this season as a whole due to injuries and their lack of depth, while also competing in Champions League, but Isak's scoring helped Newcastle stay in the top half of the league. Just as comfortable with the ball at his feet or receiving it to shoot, Isak is someone who gives Eddie Howe flexibility to setup his team and will also be one of the players that Newcastle will rely on in order to return to the Champions League after missing out on European soccer altogether this coming season. -- Chuck Booth

52. Serhou Guirassy -- Forward, Stuttgart

After being relegated to the 2. Bundesliga in 2016-17, it seemed like Stuttgart were going to continue to tumble but they bounced right back to the Bundesliga and a few years later, Serhou Guirassy joined from Stade Rennais to lead the line. Only scoring 11 goals in his debut season, it didn't seem like much to write home about, but then he exploded. Even missing time with a hamstring injury, his 28 league goals led Stuttgart to a second placed finish in the Bundesliga and an unlikely Champions League berth. In a team that is comprised of undervalued players from around the world, the Guinean late bloomer may be among one of the most underrated strikers in the world. With only his first double digit league scoring season, he's another player who will have to prove this this year wasn't a one hit wonder, but if he does Stuttgart are going to be a tough out in Champions League play. -- Chuck Booth

51. Josko Gvardiol -- Left Back, Manchester City

The most impressive thing about Manchester City's dominance in England is their ability to integrate new talent into the roster, and the latest newcomer to excel on the blue side of Manchester is Josko Gvardiol, who is already worth the £77 million fee the club paid RB Leipzig for his services last summer.

Gvardiol may have needed an adjustment period, but it was not a particularly long one, establishing himself as City's go-to left back in their Premier League title-winning run. After some inconsistent passing games early on in the season, his passing accuracy rose to 88.3% as he began to successfully implement Pep Guardiola's trademark style of play. The versatile defender now fits in wonderfully in City's pass-heavy defense, a role that also requires him to move into the midfield at times. He created 18 chances along the way in Premier League action, ranking in the top 10 amongst left backs in England's top flight.

With his first Premier League winners' medal already secured, it's hard not to be optimistic about the 22-year-old's growth as he obtains more experience working with Guardiola. He's another one of the game's rising stars, especially considering his wide skill set includes an impressive ability to place a stellar pass. -- Pardeep Cattry

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50. Ollie Watkins -- Forward, Aston Villa

A stunning individual and collective season with Aston Villa has just closed for the England international with 22 goals and 13 assists across all competitions and a possible squad role for UEFA Euro 2024 to now look forward to in Germany this summer. It might not have ended quite how Unai Emery and his players had hopes with a painful UEFA Europa Conference League semifinal exit laying bare just how heavy the physical toll had been on the Villans' squad, which at times was relying on Ollie Watkins' goals to single handedly wins games and keep totting up enough points to stay ahead of Tottenham Hotspur in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification. Villa did get that main ambition over the line which means that the 28-year-old will play UCL soccer next year and one of Emery's main aims for this summer will be to add a complementary attacking profile alongside that of Watkins so that the team are not as over-reliant on the former Brentford man as they have been. Under contract now until at least 2028, this next season is going to be fascinating not just for Villa but also for the Englishman as it could really present either a big collective opportunity or a timely individual one just before the age of 30 and logically the peak of his attacking prowess. -- Jonathan Johnson

49. Bruno Guimaraes -- Midfield, Newcastle United

The heart and soul of the Newcastle midfield and regularly linked to Manchester City, the former Lyon man has quietly become one of the most well-rounded midfielders in the game. His ability to play as a deep-lying midfielder or even higher up centrally, he possesses a top-level ability to deliver the most perfect of passes forward and is a regular goal scorer. Equally as important, he relishes the opportunity to go in for a tackle and does it with power and precision, recovering the ball and getting counter attacks going. His seven-goal campaign this past season sees him with 17 goals in just two and a half seasons at the club. He had just three goals for Lyon from 2019-2022.

For Brazil, especially after the era of Casemiro and Fred, he will be vital to any success of the Selecao this summer in the Copa America. He has the opportunity to be the new face of that Brazil midfield in a vital era as they look to regain their South American dominance. -- Roger Gonzalez

48. Leroy Sane -- Winger, Bayern Munich

Although it was not the best season for the Germany international individually or collectively as part of a Bayern Munich side which was knocked off of its Bundesliga perch by Bayer Leverkusen, this summer could be a bit brighter on home soil in UEFA Euro 2024. Leroy Sane is in the provisional squad selected by Julian Nagelsmann who knows him well from their time together in Bavaria, but the new boss has not been afraid to axe inconsistent players and the 28-year-old could be considered that despite a 10-goal and 12-assist season. A stunning goal against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinals was a reminder of his quality when he really turns it on, but he will have to prove himself again under Thomas Tuchel's replacement Vincent Kompany. Sane could do with a strong campaign on home soil with Die Mannschaft for both his club and international future as he approaches the age of 30. -- Jonathan Johnson

47. Pedri -- Midfield, Barcelona

He's dealt with his fair share of injuries as of late, but when Healthy, there is Ballon d'Or potential there for the Barcelona budding superstar. Since joining from Las Palmas in 2020, he's got 20 goals in 143 Games and was viewed as the face of Barca after Lionel Messi's departure to PSG. Pedri is versatile, wants the ball at his feet, can carry the ball into space or place the ball perfectly there. It's his elite passing that sets him apart because of his quick movement and cleverness. He only need a millisecond to produce a devastating, line-splitting pass. To really understand how special he is, just look at what his most recent coach has said.

"He understands the game," former Barca manager Xavi, one of the greatest midfielders in recent decades, said, per Coaches Voice. "He makes a difference with passes, he doesn't lose the ball … He is decisive. He is one the best that has come through here. We have to take care of him."

Also a key member of the Spain national team, one that is far from the level of the title-winning teams from 2008-2012, Pedri will need to be at his absolute best for Spain to have a realistic chance of winning. -- Roger Gonzalez

46. Kyle Walker -- Right Back, Manchester City

Seven years after joining Manchester City with hopes of taking his career to the next step, Kyle Walker's remarkable consistency is the defining feature of his ongoing spell with the Premier League champions. Rare are the days that Pep Guardiola will not call upon him in a big game, and equally as rare are the days on which Walker is not the perfect choice for the role assigned to him.

City's longtime right back enjoyed another season as a key player in Guardiola's tactically complex game plan. Walker ranked in the Premier League's top 20 for both touches and passes, posting a 90.4% passing accuracy overall and a stellar 91.6% in the attacking third, doing so while still boasting a reputation as one of Europe's speediest right backs, even at 34 years old.

Walker's consistency is now his trademark, especially after overcoming Guardiola's doubts within the last year. The Englishman did not start City's win in the 2023 UEFA Champions League final, weeks after Guardiola publicly said Walker did not fit into his current tactical plans. Walker's resiliency is full of layers, and after rebounding from recent disappointment, is also enduring. -- Pardeep Cattry

45. Victor Boniface -- Forward, Bayer Leverkusen

It's a shame that Victor Boniface couldn't stay healthy for the entire season and had to miss AFCON with Nigeria, but his debut Bundesliga season was a resounding success, winning the league and the DFB Pokal with Bayer Leverkusen. Able to score and create, Boniface was involved in 22 goals scoring 14 and assisting eight more in league play while also chipping in goals in other competitions as well. Only 22, his best years are certainly in front of him which is where things could get quite fun for Xabi Alonso and the squad. Boniface's rise has been a swift one and with his strength defenders can't keep up when he's on the pitch. Keep this up and 14 league goals may be the lowest tally that he registers for the remainder of his career. -- Chuck Booth

44. Jeremie Frimpong -- Wing Back, Bayer Leverkusen

Nominally a wing back, it is perhaps more effective to think of Jeremie Frimpong as a wide forward who tracks back. His cheese is really earned by what he offers to Bayer Leverkusen when they have the ball, a one man ball progression machine down the right flank who averages more progressive passes received than Jack Grealish, more progressive carries than Kingsley Coman.

He gets the ball up the field and then he makes big contributions in the penalty area too. No one in all the Bundesliga logged as many touches in the box as Frimpong while his expected goals per shot was more that of a poacher than a winger. There are only so many sides where this sort of player profile can excel but Xabi Alonso built a system that turned the 23-year-old into a superstar, albeit the sort where potential suitors need to consider system fit very carefully. 

With a $43.5 million release clause this summer someone may well test Frimpong's willingness to stay at Leverkusen. For even half the offensive output he has given the Bundesliga champions this season, that would be a bargain price. -- James Benge

43. Thibaut Courtois -- Goalkeeper, Real Madrid

The Belgian goalkeeper has dealt with injuries and still had the quality to play in the Champions League final for Real Madrid, beating Borussia Dortmund 2-0. He missed 42 games after tearing his ACL in August, came back and tore a meniscus in March, missed six more games. Showing ultimate toughness, he was back and ready for the UCL final and showed no signs of slowing down, making four saves in yet another clean sheet. Making it this high on our list, considering his lack of minutes, speaks volumes about his quality. The towering former Chelsea man has been Real Madrid's No. 1 goalkeeper since 2018, creating numerous iconic moments, with this latest achievement part of a long list of honors. In the last two UCL finals and one UEFA Super Cup, he has not conceded a single goal. Next season, expect him back and even better. After being omitted from the Belgium squad at Euro 2024, he should be well rested come next season when the expectations will be to repeat as  UCL winners, especially after adding Kylian Mbappe. When in top form, he's the best goalkeeper in the world. He'll likely regain that throne next season.

42. Khvicha Kvaratskhelia -- Left Wing, Napoli

Kvaradona, as the Napoli fans call him, had a difficult time this year at the club. After winning the historic Scudetto last season, he suffered like all the other Napoli players, the challenges of a season where the Azzurri ended up tenth without qualifying for European comPetitions. Kvara, after a year where he dominated the league struggled but that doesn't prevent clubs such as PSG to be attracted to sign him this summer. If he will stay, the new Napoli manager Antonio Conte will try to revive his skills at the club where his European career at high levels started. He's one of those players that probably need the right tactical asset to express at his best, as he did under Luciano Spalletti and became the player everyone wanted to see playing Football. – Francesco Porzio

41. Trent Alexander-Arnold -- Right back, Liverpool

Since becoming a full time starter at right back for Liverpool, seven league goal contributions is the fewest that he has registered in one season and it's still an impressive number for a defender. While Alexander-Arnold does have some issues with defensive positioning, when you can create like he does with double didget goal contributions in the league during four of the last six seasons, a few times being caught out on a counter attack is okay to deal with. Playing more midfield and different roles for England, it remains to be seen if that will be something that transitions to Liverpool under Arne Slot, but it's clear that the defender is one of the most important creators on the Reds and keeps the attack ticking along. With Liverpool back in Champions League, that creativity will be back on the stage that it deserves but Alexander-Arnold will hope that the pushes England to a Euros title first. -- Charles Booth

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