CIES Football Observatory


Issue n°227 - 14/05/2018

Best players of the big-5 league season

Issue number 227 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post ranks footballers having played at least 1,800 big-5 league minutes over the season (1,440 for Germany) according to their performance level. Lionel Messi heads the table ahead of David Silva and Paulo Dybala. Six Manchester City players are in the top 10 list.

Robert Lewandowski ranks the table for German Bundesliga players (10th overall), while Edinson Cavani heads the French Ligue 1 rankings (21th overall). Per position, the best-ranked footballers are Marc-André ter Stegen for goalkeepers, Nicolás Otamendi for defenders, David Silva for midfielders and Lionel Messi for forwards. The methodology used is available in this research note.

The English Premier League is the most represented competition in the top 100 positions (30 footballers), while Bayern Munich is the most represented club (11 players). In total, 26 teams have at least one squad member in the top 100 list. The youngest footballers are Kylian Mbappé, Houssem Aouar, Malcom Filipe, Tanguy Ndombélé, Davinson Sánchez and Leroy Sané.

Best performing big-5 league players (2017/18), CIES Football Index

At least 1,800 minutes in domestic league matches (Bundesliga, 1,440). Position*/Age/Club.

* [Gk] Goalkeeper, [Fb] Full back, [Cb] Centre back, [Dm] Defensive midfielder, [Am] Attacking midfielder, [Fw] Forward

CIES Football Observatory

Editors : Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel

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