OREANDA-NEWS.  PSG's Argentine striker Lionel Messi has topped ESPN's annual ranking of the world's best forwards.

Manchester United striker Cristiano Ronaldo came in second place, while PSG forward Kylian Mbappe came in third.

The ranking is based on a vote of 77 experts, including journalists and former footballers, who chose among 300 candidates and could offer their version.

ESPN's top ten forwards include Lionel Messi (Barcelona/PSG), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus/Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (PSG), Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Neymar (PSG), Son Heung-Min (Tottenham), Memphis Depay (Lyon/Barcelona), Kai Haverz (Chelsea), Dusan Tadic (Ajax), Gerard Moreno (Villarreal).

Messi scored 41 goals and dished out 14 assists in 56 games in 2021. He moved from Spanish Barcelona to PSG in the off-season. Messi won the Spanish Cup and is La Liga top scorer with Barcelona this year. He also won the trophy for the first time with Argentina in 2021, winning the America's Cup.

Messi won the Ballon d'Or on 29 November as France Football's Player of the Year for 2021. The Argentine won the award for the second time in a row and the seventh time in history, which is a record. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo was second on that list of contenders for the award.