Lionel Messi – Barcelona
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way first. Without Lionel Messi, Barcelona would be nowhere near as good as they are. That’s not to say they couldn’t still perform to a high level, but Messi keeps them in the conversation for the best team in the world. Messi leads the stats for chances created, shots, goals, and assists. But of course he does, he’s Lionel Messi.
Virgil Van Dijk – Liverpool
It’s no coincidence that as soon as Virgil Van Dijk established himself at Liverpool, they became one of the best teams in the English Premier League. With Van Dijk in the team, Liverpool had the best defensive record in the league, and the Duch defender was their most-used player alongside goalkeeper Alisson Becker. In the entire 2018-19 season not a single player was capable of dribbling past Van Dijk, including players like Messi, Hazard, Mbappe, and Sterling.
Thiago – Bayern Munich
Once again Bayern Munich lifted the Bundesliga in 2019, but they wouldn’t have done so without the contributions from their midfielder Thiago. The Spanish player links the defense and the midfield plus he’s an expert in bypassing opposing players with his passes. Thiago missed just four Bundesliga games this year and in them, Bayern drew two games and lost the others.
Eden Hazard – Chelsea
Now that Real Madrid finally signed the Belgian playmaker, it’s going to be interesting to see how Chelsea copes. In the 2018-19 season Hazard was their top goalscorer with 16 and he was their top assist maker with 15. Chelsea lifted the Europa League and came third in the Premier League last season, but without Hazard dribbling past people to score or assist, that doesn’t happen. Next season could prove how significant Hazard was to Chelsea as they try to replace his contributions.
These teams can’t deal with missing these players, and they have proven to be the most indispensable for the biggest clubs.