So no one told you 90min’s DEFINITIVE European Player Rankings was gonna be this way
Your club’s a joke, they’re broke
Your Fantasy team’s D.O.A
It’s like the International Break is always stuck in second gear
And it’s felt like a day, a week, a month
Or even a year, but
90min’s DEFINITIVE EPPR will be there for you (When San Marino emerge from the tunnel)
90min’s DEFINITIVE EPPR will be there for you (Like we’ve been there before)
90min’s DEFINITIVE EPPR will be there for you (‘Cause you’re there for us too)
It’s the international break, so obviously we’re going global. Like, the most successful TV show of all-time global. Like, six people, an ugly naked guy, an outrageous apartment, ‘How you doin?’, ‘Could it be any funnier?’, ‘We were on a break!’ global.
So yes, because we are currently in the midst of a ‘break’, it’s ‘Friends‘ time. And it’s Season Two, cause, let’s be real, it’s the earlier the better when it comes to these pals.
15. Marko Arnautovic (New Entry)
“Oh, look, look, a low budget puppet show!”
Austria beat Latvia 6-0. Marko Arnautovic scored twice. This offered Marko Arnautovic, now of Chinese Super League obscurity, the rare chance at a spot in these here rankings.
But don’t be fooled. He was just channelling the spirit of EPPR patron saint and quasi-compatriot Ashley Barnes. That’s because, just like Barnes’ absence from this week’s list, the Burnley man was the big spectre in Salzburg. Why the Austrians never pick him, we’ll never know.
Why Gareth Southgate hasn’t taken advantage of this fact? WE MUST KNOW SOON.
14. Michy Batshuayi (New Entry)
“‘Well, that’s kinda outta the blue.’
‘THIS IS NOT OUT OF THE BLUE! THIS IS SMACK-DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BLUE!’”
Huh. Michy Batshuayi scored a brace. For Belgium. Despite being a ghost at Chelsea. That’s kind of out of the blue, isn’t it? I mean, isn’t Romelu Lukaku the best striker in the world now?
Sure, it was against the plumbers and postmen of San Marino, but still, nay bad Batman. Nay bad. More performances like that, and he’ll be smack-dab in the middle of Frank Lampard’s plans, probably.
13. Ryan Babel (New Entry)
“Richard’s really nice and everything. Uh…It’s just that we don’t know him really well, you know, and plus, he’s, you know…old- [Monica glares at Chandler] -er than some people. But, uh, younger…than some buildings!”
People doubt him. People laugh at him. People deem him washed. But, at 32, Ryan Babel is still younger than plenty of buildings, and he’s good enough to run rings around German defenders.
His pace is as electric as ever, his passing crisp as could be and well, even when his finishing falters, those aforementioned German defenders are more than willing to oblige. See Jonathan Tah’s own goal. Ta, Jonathan. Ta.
12. Gareth Bale (New Entry)
“Chandler, I’m unemployed and in dire need of a project. You wanna work out? I can remake you.”
“Oh, you know, I would, but that might get in the way of my lying-around time.”
Gareth Bale is in dire need of a project. A project, that is, that doesn’t include laboriously working on his putting. And so, it was with great pleasure that he pushed aside the rigours of his short game to play some football he actually cared about for Wales.
And, guess what, he was actually quite good, with his putt-like header sealing all three points for the Dragons against, err, Azerbaijan.
Welcome back, Gary! [Insert undetermined Gary Player joke]
11. Neymar (New Entry)
“Oh, I know. This must be so hard. ‘Oh, no! Two women love me. They’re both gorgeous and sexy. My wallet’s too small for my fifties, and my diamond shoes are too tight!’”
Fresh from a hiatus of his own, Neymar is now definitively BACK, with a goal and an assist for Brazil against Colombia, after what was undoubtedly an arduous summer.
I mean, seriously, has anyone checked if the lad is okay since his enforced imprisonment in Paris? Quelle horreur! Another year of trophies and lavish parties! Is there nothing we can do? No Notre Dame-esque GoFundMe?
10. Frenkie de Jong (New Entry)
“We’ve gotta get some sleep.”
“Yeah, it’s really 6:00 tomorrow night our time.”
“Well, listen, don’t tell us what’s gonna happen though, ’cause I like to be surprised.”
The year is 2021.
Frenkie de Jong has just won his second Ballon d’Or.
9. Kingsley Coman (New Entry)
“Now, wait a minute. I claimed you in the name of France four years ago!”
Now, wait a minute. Brace-scoring Kingsley Coman was a prodigy four years ago. How is that he is still prodigious all these years later? Why is it that he is now allowed to enjoy a second breakout with Les Bleus?
How is this fair? Why would Albania allow this news cycle to occur! Why!
8. Georginio Wijnaldum (New Entry)
“Ohohooow, someone’s flossing.”
ICYMI, Gigi Wijnaldum is the third Dutchman on this list. This is because, in beating Germany 4-2 (for, like, the sixth time this year), they undoubtedly laid claim to the best result of the break.
And it was the Liverpool man who, with the fourth and final goal, capped off a fine, fine Oranje performance with a fine, fine goal, capping off a fine, fine performance off his own.
Man was flossing. Flossing I tell ya.
7. Luis Muriel (Up 4)
“All right, that’s it! He just comes in here, ‘Johnny New Eggs’ with his moving the mail and his ‘See ya, pals!’ [imitates Eddie’s salute] And now there’s no juice. There’s no juice for the people who want the juice and need the juice. I need the juice!”
This was, via Google translate, what Luis Muriel had to say about Neymar at half time of Colombia’s clash with Brazil.
Sure, the forward would ultimately add a goal to his first-half assist but, thankfully for Muriel – who you will notice is the first non-new entry of this week – he found his juice in the second half, completing the first-ever brace from a Colombian against Brazil. That’s elite stuff.
Luis don’t need the juice no more. Luis got the juice. Twice over.
6. Cristiano Ronaldo (New Entry)
“Whoa, whoa…you don’t believe in evolution?”
Remember the name! *checks notes* Cri-sti-ano Ro-nal-do. It’s a first time for Cristiano in these here rankings, and I’m sure the wee lad won’t forget it any time soon. What a moment!
This is, of course, sarcasm! Could I BE any funnier? No, I don’t think so. But then I’m not the only one failing to conform to the norms of life.
Cristiano’s been at this for decades, and he’s showing no signs of stopping. In doing so, he’s thwarting evolution itself, at once evolving into a higher form with each step he takes on the pitch, while also inhibiting the evolution of all around him.
5. Teemu Pukki (Up 2)
“I’m sorry – we don’t have your sheep.”
Thing is, however good this Ronaldo fella is, he’ll never be better than Teemu Pukki. And, as per apparently every account on Twitter, this has now been backed up statistically.
Since the start of the 2018/19 season (which, let’s face it, was when football began in earnest), the Finn has 10 more goals than Ronny, one more assist, two more braces and more than double the amount of goals from open play.
As for the goal against Italy, that was the last wheezing exhale of the hype bus as it left the station. The bandwagon is now full. The sheep must find some other mode of transportation.
4. Raheem Sterling (-)
“Some girl ate Monica!”
“Shut up, the camera adds ten pounds.”
“Ah, so how many cameras are actually on you?”
It’s an age-old adage – the camera adds ten pounds (or an actual correct metric weight measurement, if you’re so inclined). But, when it comes to Raheem Sterling, the mainstay of these here rankings thus far, it just adds goals.
And, worryingly for the rest of the competition, the cameras can’t get enough of Raheem at the minute.
3. Paco Alcacer (New Entry)
“You know, if we were in prison, you guys would be, like, my b*tches.”
After notching six goals in his first five games for Borussia Dortmund, Paco Alcacer took that form back to his homeland, and gave it a glo-up and everything.
The number nine notched three in two for La Roja. That’s good.
2. Harry Kane (Re-Entry)
“Is this how it’s going to work? Ross equals boss? What is this? 1922?”
Lol, no, in this bit, Ross does not equal Ross Barkley.
This is how it’s going to work. Harry Kane equals boss. What is this? It’s 1966 reborn, baybee.
1. Joe Jacobson (New Entry)
“You are not gonna believe this: I have just been discovered!”
Yes, seeing as it’s the international break, we thought it was only right to put some respek on the international stage’s name by naming Joe Jacobson, of Wycombe Wanderers and the Greatest Hat-Trick in Football History fame, 90min’s DEFINITIVE European Player of the week.
Here at EPPR HQ, we pride ourselves on plucking the latest talents from the rich realms of obscurity and thrusting them into the limelight they so deserve and, in JJ, we may have the best example yet.
A hat-trick composed of a free-kick and two corners? That’s – wait for it – legendary. Oh wait, that’s a different and very much derivative show. Pivot! Pivot! Pivot! Ah, yes, we’re back, and if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that JJ doesn’t share goals.