Footballers had a long month in October. At both the club and international levels, there was a lot of action. During the international break, the World Cup qualifiers and the final rounds of the UEFA Nations League were held.
France won the continental tournament by defeating Belgium in the semi-finals and Spain in the final. There was also Champions League action, as well as domestic cup action, and there was plenty of drama.
Some of the game’s biggest names have continued to deliver at the levels we’ve come to expect of them. Meanwhile, a few elite players have yet to find their groove in the new season. Things will start to heat up in Europe’s top five leagues now that November has arrived.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at five of Europe’s best players in October.
Number 5: Fabian Ruiz (Napoli/Spain) Serie A
André-Frank Zambo has been signed. Napoli has benefited greatly from the loan of Anguissa from Fulham. The presence of Anguissa has helped to free up Fabian Ruiz, who has worked his way back to being a top-tier midfielder.
Napoli’s midfield has been incredible this season, and they currently sit atop the Serie A table, having conceded just three goals in 11 Serie A games. The midfield partnership of Anguissa and Ruiz has contributed significantly to Partenopei’s transformation into a difficult team to break down.
Ruiz has the freedom to venture forward with Anguissa alongside him, and we’ve seen him play some fantastic football. He also scored a stunning goal as Napoli defeated Bologna in the final week of October. The Spaniard has been superb in possession and highly accurate with his passing.
Ruiz has improved this season, and Napoli will do well to keep him next summer if he maintains his current form.
Number 4: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United/Portugal) Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo has had a tumultuous month. Even though the 5-0 loss to Liverpool and the 4-2 thrashing at Leicester were tough to swallow, Ronaldo had his moments in October.
He scored a hat-trick for Portugal against Luxembourg in the World Cup Qualifiers, bringing his international goal total to 115. The Manchester United forward also came up big against Atalanta in the Champions League.
He scored the game-winning goal after Manchester United had fallen behind 2-0 to the Serie A side. Ronaldo also scored a thumping volley and set up Edinson Cavani for a spectacular assist as Manchester United defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 on the road.
Ronaldo scored six goals and assisted once in seven appearances for club and country in October.
Number 3: Karim Benzema (France/Real Madrid) La Liga Santander
Karim Benzema has clawed his way into the Ballon d’Or race for 2021 after a string of mesmerizing performances for both club and country this season. Following his performance at Euro 2020, Benzema came up big for France in the UEFA Nations League.
He scored a goal in each of the semi-finals and finals as France won the World Cup. The 33-year-old also scored and assisted in Real Madrid’s 5-0 Champions League thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk.
Benzema is one of the most versatile strikers in the world, and he has stepped up his game this season. This season, the Frenchman has been in excellent form and appears to be playing some of the best football of his career.
Number 2: Thomas Muller (Germany/Bayern Munich) Bundesliga
Thomas Muller, one of the most consistent footballers of his generation, has been at his creative best in the new season. It’s difficult to find players who can impose themselves on a game as much as the German international can when he’s on the form.
Except for the humiliation at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB Pokal, Muller has had a fantastic month. He had a hat-trick of assists and scored a goal as Bayern Munich defeated Union Berlin 5-2 in the Bundesliga.
Muller scored three goals and provided seven assists in eight appearances for club and country in the month of October. The 32-year-old has demonstrated why he is almost as important to the Bavarians as Robert Lewandowski.
Number 1: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool/Egypt) Premier League
It’s not even debatable. In the new season, and especially in October, Mohamed Salah is miles ahead of the competition. He was unstoppable and even scored a hat-trick against bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The best part about Salah’s October was that his hat-trick on enemy territory was just the cherry on top. In just five appearances for Liverpool in all competitions last month, he scored seven goals and provided four assists.
He scored outstanding solo goals against Manchester City and Watford. The Egyptian international also had a standout performance against Atletico Madrid, scoring twice as Liverpool defeated them 3-2 at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Salah has been on another level this season, and if he can keep it up and win a few trophies, he will be a strong contender for the Ballon d’Or next year.