Cristiano Ronaldo only ranked 29th in list of Europe’s best forwards as Real Madrid star’s great rival Lionel Messi tops charts

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Messi and Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo ranks an astonishing 29th according to statistics
• Lionel Messi ranks first out of the top forwards in Europe
• Eden Hazard and Mesut Ozil are the joint-top attacking midfielders
• Manchester City’s Gael Clichy has been crowned Europe’s best full back
• CIES Football Observatory compile the rankings by focussing on shooting, chances created, take-ons, distribution, recovery and rigour

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is currently Europe’s 29th best forward in while Barcelona’s Lionel Messi ranks first, a study has revealed.

CIES Football Observatory have compiled the best-performing players in five positions this year, crunching the numbers by focusing on shooting, chances created, take-ons, distribution, recovery and rigour.

The rankings throw up unexpected results with Manchester City’s Gael Clichy crowned the best full back, and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil the joint-top attacking midfielder with Chelsea’s Eden Hazard.


Cristiano Ronaldo ranks 29th in a table of the best forwards in the top five European leagues in 2015


CIES Football Observatory Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are:
Shooting: ability to take advantage of goal opportunities through accurate shooting
• Chance creation: ability to put team-mates in a good position to score
• Take-on: ability to create dangerous situations by successfully challenging opponents
• Distribution: ability to keep a hold on the game through efficient passing
• Recovery: ability to minimise goal opportunities for opponents through proficient interception
• Rigour: ability to minimise goal opportunities for opponents through robust duelling


Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi ranks first in CIES Football Observatory’s statistics

Ronaldo has scored just six goals in La Liga this year after winning the Ballon d’Or in mid-January, and rival Messi has swept the Real Madrid forward aside with 19 as Barcelona sit top of the table by four points.

Messi, with the top score of 100 in the rankings, is followed by Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben (92), Wolfsburg’s Bas Dost (77) and Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez (71).

Then come the Barclays Premier League’s top scorers. Chelsea’s Diego Costa (61) and Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane (57) have 19 goals apiece, and rank fifth and sixth as a result.

Kane shares sixth spot with Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus (57) as he continues to surprise at White Hart Lane, having earned his senior England debut against Lithuania.

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Messi 2

Barcelona’s Messi ranks first in the list of the top 10 forwards, compiled by CIES Football Observatory

Arjen R

Arjen Robben (right) comes second while his Bayern Munich team-mate Xabi Alonso (centre) is in another list

Diego Costa     Harry Kane2

The Premier League’s top goalscorers Diego Costa (left) and Harry Kane come fifth and sixth in the list

1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona (100)
2. Arjen Robben, Bayern Munich (92)
3. Bas Dost, Wolfsburg (77)
4. Luis Suarez, Barcelona (71)
5. Diego Costa, Chelsea (61)
=6. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur (57)
=6. Marco Reus, Borussia Dortmund (57)
8. Lucas Barrios, Montpellier (56)
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Borussia Dortmund (55)
10. Christophe Mandanne, Guingamp (54)

As for centre backs, since January 1, Bayer Leverkusen’s Emir Spahic ranks first with a score of 100, but the Premier League is represented by three players in the top 10.

Runner-up is Manchester City’s Martin Demichelis (89), while Manchester United’s Chris Smalling (76) and Marcos Rojo (68) are fourth and eighth respectively.

Third-placed Mats Hummels (79) has long been courted by those at Old Trafford, and for good reason it seems. Louis van Gaal may well get the Borussia Dortmund defender this summer after Sportsmail revealed he promised Sir Alex Ferguson he would move to Manchester three years ago.

As for full backs, it’s more good news for those at the Etihad. Clichy ranks first with a score of 100 ahead of Real Madrid’s Marcelo (75), while his team-mate Pablo Zabaleta (70) comes fifth.

Emir S

Bayer Leverkusen’s Emir Spahic is ranked top of the centre backs in Europe since January 1

Martin D    Mats Hummel

Martin Demichelis (left) ranks second in the top 10 centre backs while Mats Hummels (right) is third

Clichy    Marcelo

Gael Clichy (left), pictured at the Liverpool All-Star match, is the best full back, while Marcelo is runner up

TOP 10 CENTRE BACKS                                                TOP 10 FULL BACKS
1. Emir Spahic, Bayer Leverkusen (100)                       1. Gael Clichy, Man City (100)
2. Martin Demichelis, Man City (89)                           2. Marcelo, Real Madrid (75)
3. Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund (79)               =3. Marcio Rafinha, Bayern Munich (72)
4. Chris Smalling, Man Utd (76)                                    =3. Wendell Nascimento, B Leverkusen (72)
5. Thiago Silva, PSG (71)                                                   5. Pablo Zabaleta, Man City (70)
=6. David Luiz, PSG (69)                                                  =6. David Alaba, Bayern Munich (69)
=6. Stefan de Vrij, Lazio (69)                                          =6. Jordi Alba, Barcelona (69)
8. Marcos Rojo, Man Utd (68)                                         8. Layvin Kurzawa, Monaco (68)
=9. Konstantinos Manolas, Roma (64)                       9. Dusan Basta, Lazio (67)
=9. Neven Subotic, Borussia Dortmund (64)               10. Juan Bernat, Bayern Munich (65)

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Over to central and defensive midfielders, where Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin (100) takes the crown despite his club’s struggles in the Bundesliga.

Runner-up is Juventus ace Paul Pogba (96) with Manchester City’s Fernandinho (94) third. Xabi Alonso, at the age of 33, represents Bayern Munich in eighth place with a score of 79.

Finally, to the attacking midfielders. The Premier League dominates this category with Chelsea’s Hazard and Arsenal’s Ozil sharing the top spot, each with the top mark of 100.

Then comes Manchester City’s Jesus Navas (86), joined by team-mate David Silva (77) in seventh.

Fourth and fifth are occupied by former Premier League players in Wolfsburg’s Kevin de Bruyne (85) and Borussia Dortmund’s Shinji Kagawa (84).

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Nuri     Pogba

Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin ranks first in central and defensive midfielders, while Paul Pogba is second

Hazard     Ozil

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard (left) and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil rank joint-first with the top mark of 100 in their category

1. Nuri Sahin, Borussia Dortmund (100)                          =1. Eden Hazard, Chelsea (100)
2. Paul Pogba, Juventus (96)                                               = 1. Mesut Ozil, Arsenal (100)
3. Fernandinho, Man City (94)                                           3. Jesus Navas, Man City (86)
4. Lucas Biglia, Lazio (89)                                                    4. Kevin de Bruyne, Wolfsburg (85)
5. Ilkay Gundogan, Borussia Dortmund (87)                   5. Shinji Kagawa, Borussia Dortmund (84)
6. Marco Verratti, PSG (85)                                                 6. Marek Hamsik, Napoli (79)
7. Clement Chantome, Bordeaux (84)                               7. David Silva, Man City (77)
8. Xabi Alonso, Bayern Munich (79)                                   8. Maximilian Meyer, Schalke (73)
9. Bastian Schweinsteiger, B Munich (78)                      =9. Roberto Pereyra, Juventus (72)
10. Arturo Vidal, Juventus (77)                                            =9. Javier Pastore, PSG (72)

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