Cristiano Ronaldo ranks an astonishing 29th according to statistics.
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
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.
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.