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Ranking the top 10 best performing Portuguese players this season

Ranking the top 10 best performing Portuguese players this season

Portuguese players have performed to a high standard across the continent this campaign, be it in their home country, or abroad. 

Here, we take a look at the ten best Portuguese players based on this season alone.

10. Jose Fonte

Aged 35, Jose Fonte is set to play in the Champions League for the very first time in his career - with Lille.

Captaining the side that finished one place and one point above the relegation zone last season to 2nd in the league standings this campaign, Fonte has been an outstanding performer in the heart of the Lille defence and, in all honesty, is unfortunate to be only in 10th on this list.

He's not one of Portugal's best players anymore, and doesn't even make the starting lineup for the Seleção, but he has undoubtedly been one of Portugal's top performers this season at club level.

9. Pizzi

It's somewhat shocking that there are still a few people out there that don't rate Pizzi all that highly - stats don't tell the full story of course, but when a central/right midfielder chips in with 12 goals and 19 assists in the league alone, you know this is a special player indeed.

Pizzi has been one of Benfica's standout performers this season in a league campaign that has been nothing short of phenomenal since Bruno Lage took over. Indeed, the 29-year old has played every single one of Benfica's Primeira Liga matches this campaign. Crucial.

8. Diogo Jota

In what has been a stunning season for Wolverhampton Wanderers, on the brink of qualifying for the Europa League, their hopes resting on Manchester City lifting the FA Cup, Diogo Jota has been truly sensational in the second half of the season.

Since moving into that second striker role alongside Raul Jimenez, he has not only been scoring for fun as the stats clearly show, but he has been the source of constant torment for opposition defences with his pace and dribbling prowess.

He seems a shoe-in to be a regular in Portugal squads in the years to come, and would be even higher on this list had he shown this type of form since the start of the season.

7. Ricardo Pereira

When Porto sold Ricardo Pereira in the summer, it was clear that there were big shoes that needed filling - and he has only continued to improve since he arrived at Leicester City.

Both the fans' player of the year and the players' player of the year, Ricardo Pereira has been stunning for Leicester all season long, slotting into the Premier League with ease, delighting fans along the way with his attacking endeavour from right back as well as his defensive solidity. No further illustration of Portugal's quality at right back is needed when Ricardo Pereira isn't guaranteed a place in the squad, let alone the starting XI.

6. João Felix

Felix has been the revelation of Portuguese football this season - perhaps the revelation of football across the globe. The 19-year old came into the team this season and impressed practically from day one - and has only continued to do so since. 

His passing and link-up play with Seferovic and co has been a delight to watch, his vision and weighted pass allowing him to play exquisite through-balls, while the power and accuracy he generates when putting his laces through the ball is a sight to behold.

It is no wonder that he is already being rated as a 100 million euro player, one of very few to potentially break that economic barrier. 

5. João Moutinho

Moutinho - what is left to say? Playing in the Premier League for the first time in his career, the 32-year old has continued to perform to the standard we have become all too familiar with, and has continued to show just exactly why he is the third most capped player in Portuguese footballing history.

His composure in the middle of the park, his passing range, his positional awareness and leadership - I don't need to tell you what type of player Moutinho is. But perhaps what has surprised Wolves fans most is his defensive ability to go with his angelic footballing style. He's not afraid to do the dirty work when necessary, and is an all-round star in the middle of the park.

£5million. Ridiculous. 

4. Rafa Silva

João Felix this, João Felix that - but Rafa Silva's the guy club's should be looking at. His performances for Benfica this season have been second to none, and that includes the 19-year old star Felix. 

Rafa has finally been showing exactly why he is Benfica's second most expensive player in history, showcasing that form he demonstrated for Braga - and some more on top of that. 

His pace, his dribbling ability, his tenacity, and with it his end product, he is a world-class winger on his day - which he seems to be every time he steps out onto the pitch right now. World class is a term thrown about a bit too frequently in this day and age, but Rafa fits the bill when he's playing to the best of his ability.

5 goals in his last 3 games, 10 goals in his last 10, Rafa isn't only dazzling, but he's contributing vital goals to Benfica's title challenge. 

3. Cristiano Ronaldo

By Cristiano Ronaldo's outrageously high standards, this has been a relatively average season for the former Real Madrid star - and yet he has still probably been at least Portugal's third best performing player this season at club level, showing just how superhuman the most capped Portuguese player of all time really is.

The 34-year old is, perhaps surprisingly, not the top scorer in Serie A this season, with *only*  21 goals in 29 matches. But he hasn't just contributed a significant number of goals to Juventus' latest title defence, and has instead completely discredited all those who claim he is a selfish player who offers nothing more than goals, instead chipping in with 13 assists this campaign too.

Also worth noting that Ronaldo has been used extensively on the left wing this season by Juventus - at the age of 34, it should be pointed out - making his goal tally even more impressive.

2. Bernardo Silva

But Bernardo Silva has surely outperformed the greatest player Portugal has ever seen this season. It's not easy to get regular game time in Pep Guardiola's Manchester City team, what with the depth and quality he has at his disposal and his clear willingness to rotate almost on a weekly basis.

And yet Bernardo Silva doesn't only play in virtually every Manchester City match there is, but he has also very probably been their best performing player this campaign, in one of the greatest Premier League sides we have ever witnessed.

Guardiola has himself confessed his admiration for Bernardo Silva on numerous occasions, reserving the highest of praise for the 24-year old winger, who could play for "any team in the world" according to perhaps the best manager on the planet. You don't get a better review than that, from a better manager than that.

1. Bruno Fernandes

And yet Bernardo Silva has arguably not been the best performing Portuguese player this season either. That place has to surely be reserved for Bruno Fernandes, who may require a chiropractor at the end of this season having been carrying the weight of Sporting CP on his shoulders for the past 9 months.

Of course the Primeira Liga is not as strong as the English Premier League, of course Bernardo Silva faces tougher opposition than Bruno Fernandes on a weekly basis - but the numbers the latter has racked up from midfield this season are nearly impossible to comprehend, and you dread to think where 3rd place Sporting would be without him this season... 

Bruno Fernandes currently has, with two games of the season remaining at the time of writing, 31 goals and 17 assists in 50 appearances this campaign. 31 goals. 17 assists.

Even more extraordinarily, in his last 15 league matches, he has 13 goals and 8 assists, and has only failed to directly contribute to a goal in two matches in that time. Superlatives are lacking to do this guy justice. It's no wonder that he's being linked with a move to Manchester City.

What do you think of the ranking? Do you disagree with any of our choices? Did we miss anyone out? Let us know what your top 10 would be. 

Ricardo Pereira. Photo author: Матч завершен. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.

Ricardo Pereira. Photo author: Матч завершен. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en.

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