The Top 5 Smartest Footballers

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By Football Tripper
Last Updated: January 5, 2021

Ronaldo and Messi for Portugal and Argentina


Who are the most intelligent footballers who play the game?

Several competent new faces have continued to take the world of football by storm. Most fans have their own opinion about their smartest performers, but few names will always stand out. Although footballers’ education level is never mentioned as a contribution to their success, research shows that succeeding in the game requires some level of cognitive brain function.  Below is a list of the top 5 smartest footballers currently playing the game.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Messi is renowned for his goal-scoring prowess. His positional sense allows him to always go for the ball when he feels that he can get it. He runs with the ball and passes it more effectively than any other player. He is also one of the players who have scored the most goals in their soccer careers.

He is La Liga’s top scorer, having contributed the most goals to the team than the rest of the players. No other players run with such acceleration as Messi. Once the ball gets to his feet, he can quickly go from zero mph to 100 mph without struggling.

The manner of passing the ball to other players is also outrageous, and his finishing is always precise and well calculated. His impact on the teams he has represented in the past remains incomparable.

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Neymar Jr. (Paris Saint Germain)

Neymar has had one of the strangest soccer careers so far. Although he had a rough time in 2019 – with suspensions, injury and poor form, Neymar continues to be celebrated as one of the incredibly talented footballers.

The Brazilian footballer is an extreme or second striker who achieved his first 100 goals in 2012. He created headlines in 2017 when he joined Paris Saint Germain from Barcelona, becoming the most expensive footballer in history.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

The footballer has remained at the top of the smartest individuals playing the game for years, and could probably continue to do so for more years.

Ronaldo has also assisted or scored in each of the Juventus Series A matches in 2020. This performance enabled the team to remain unopposed by others. Ronaldo has represented three different leagues in the football game. In all the three, his performance has remained exceptional.

He remains the only player who has scored in the Italian, English, and Spanish leagues, and the World Cup. H is also a five-time Ballon d’Or winner and a definite player to watch in the next few years.

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Robert Lewandowski is a world-class striker that has led the line of football for many years. Although he may go down as one of the most underappreciated individuals who play professional football, his contribution to Bayern’s success can never be ignored.

Robert has, over the years, scored 231 goals in Bayern’s 276 competitions. Of the 231 goals, 34 were scored in 31 games between 2019 and 2020. He is only three goals short of his best-ever season tally. In 2020 he was ranked the second scorer of all time in Bundesliga.

Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)

Eden is known for his smart dribbling abilities. Over the last decades, the plater has completed more dribbles successfully than any other Premier League Players. Eden has maintained the same standards at La Liga, where he scored an average of 4.4 dribbles per game, ranking second to Lionel Messi.

During his career, Eden has continuously displayed unmatchable talent across various seasons, and soccer professionals believe that he still has great potential to take the world by storm.

The Belgian footballer has an outstanding track record at EPL, having steered the team to success in the Europa League in 2019 before making headlines as a Real Madrid player.


Several forums use different criteria to select the smartest footballers. Some of the factors considered include a track record of success, number of goals, accuracy when passing the ball to other players, and overall discipline. The names that top the list also keep changing as more and more new players join renowned teams. Interestingly, the fan base also contributes to a player’s ranking. Since the best players always have millions of fans worldwide, it is often easy for them to remain at the top of the list.

Football Tripper Logo

By Football Tripper
Last Updated: January 5, 2021