Who managed to impress footballs stingiest judges?

The 11 players to receive perfect 10/10 L'Equipe ratings

2021/05/05 17:29
Connor Andrews

There are very few people harder to impress in football than the editors of France’s leading sports paper, L’Equipe.

And last night was no exception, with the completely pointless Mauro Icardi receiving a 2/10 rating during PSG’s 2-0 loss to Manchester City, with the drab Neymar and Alessandro Florenzi only receiving a mark higher.

But it’s the other end of the scale where L’Equipe have earned their fame, with the newspaper covering every French and European match for decades, but in that time they’ve only ever handed out eleven 10/10 ratings.

Even Kylian Mbappe missed out this year with his stunning hat-trick performance against Barcelona, while Erling Haaland hasn’t been close despite making the competition his own over the past two seasons.

Here, we run down those 11 performances, all from the top drawer...


Serge Gnabry for Bayern Munich vs Tottenham Hotspur 2019

Speed demon Gnabry hit four goals away from home as he made London his own last season. The former Arsenal winger who was benched by Tony Pulis at West Brom showed the world how frightening Bayern’s collection of wingers are, with Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman also helping the Bavarians win a European treble last term.

Lucas Moura for Tottenham vs Ajax in 2019

Just after everyone’s heart rates had finally settled down from Liverpool’s astonishing comeback from 3-0 down against Barcelona less than 24 hours earlier, the following semi-final looked dead and buried as Ajax climbed to a 3-0 aggregate lead. Then in 35 second-half minutes, Lucas Moura completed one of the most bonkers hat-tricks the game has ever seen, with his third the last kick of the game to send Tottenham to the final in Madrid.

Dusan Tadic for Ajax vs Real Madrid in 2019

With the Champions League trophy residing in the Spanish capital for a historic three consecutive seasons, young and plucky Ajax appeared to be out of the competition due to a 2-1 first-leg defeat against Real Madrid, but then the Dusan Tadic show began. It was going to take something extraordinary to down the champions, and that’s exactly what Ajax provided, with Tadic laying on two ludicrous assists as well as a goal in the 4-1 win.

Neymar for PSG vs Dijon in 2018

We move away from the Champions League now to the French league where PSG put in one of the best performances the country has ever seen, destroying Dijon 8-0. Neymar was the whole show during the humiliation, scoring four goals and assisting a further two.

Carlos Eduardo for Nice vs Guingamp in 2014

An eighth-minute opener from Claudio Beauvue looked to continue an excellent season from French minnows Guingamp, but then an enigmatic Brazilian wearing the number three shirt stepped up to fire in a ridiculous free-kick, and it didn’t stop there. Carlos Eduardo added four more goals to his tally in a 7-2 rout where he looked like one of the best players in the world, quickly earning himself a big-money move to Saudi Arabia.

Robert Lewandowski for Borussia Dortmund vs Real Madrid in 2013

A pair of Spain v Germany semi-finals in 2013 looked set to favour Real Madrid and Barcelona with their European pedigree, but instead, the Bundesliga took over, and in particular, Robert Lewandowski. In his penultimate season before moving to Bayern Munich, the Pole took himself to the top of the game with Dortmund, scoring four goals in one game against Real to help advance to the final.

Lionel Messi for Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen in 2012

Between 1997-2013, L’Equipe only gave out a pair of 10/10s, with both going to Lionel Messi. The second of which came against Bayer Leverkusen, as the Argentine scarred Bernd Leno for life, toying with the German as he found his way past five times in the 7-1 win.

Lionel Messi for Barcelona vs Arsenal in 2010

Messi’s first perfect score came against a sorry Arsenal side, as the wizard began his approach for G.O.A.T status, scoring four times as he sent Barca into the Champions League quarter-finals.

Lars Windfeld for Aarhus vs Nantes in 1997

A rather unremarkable keeper who put in an extraordinary performance, Lars Windfeld never made it internationally for Denmark due to Peter Schmeichel’s dominance, but he still managed one sublime night in the UEFA Cup, helping his side past Nantes with a string of jaw-dropping stops.

Oleg Salenko for Russia vs Cameroon in 1994

The only player to ever score five goals in a World Cup match, Oleg Salenko claimed the tournament’s golden boot in ‘94 with one outrageous game vs Cameroon. After Russia conceded the game’s opener, Salenko went on to put away five goals in the 6-1 win. However, Russia were already out of the tournament after losing their opening two group matches, and Salenko would never earn another cap.

Franck Sauzee for France U21s vs Greece U21s in 1988

One of only two Frenchmen to receive a 10/10 by the French publication, Sauzee received the honour when he won his national side the ‘88 youth World Cup, scoring two belters in the 3-0 final win over Greece.

Bruno Martini for France U21s vs Greece U21s in 1988

The second 10/10 recipient from the ‘88 U21 final, and the joint first to ever receive the gong, Fabian Barthez’ predecessor for the French national team put himself on the international radar by keeping an unlikely clean sheet in the final with a superb display.

Dusan Tadic
NameDušan Tadić
Born1988-11-20(32 -yrs-old)
PositionForward (Left Wing) / Forward (2.º avançado)


Apuramento WC2022: Sérvia x Portugal
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