Lionel Messi, Nabil Fekir and Toni Kroos are considered by the CIES Football Observatory as three of the 10 best footballers in the five major European leagues so far in this calendar year.
The independent football research body has developed a methodology to compare the performance of the players regardless of their position on the pitch.
Their approach is divided into two large blocks. The first is related to technical characteristics, which measures numerous data (shots, ball recoveries, creation of scoring chances, successful passes etc) and another that takes into account both the position of each player and his team’s style of play.
In their weekly analysis, the CIES Football Observatory has taken into account data of all the footballers of the 98 teams which participate in the five major European leagues – LaLiga Santander, Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 – and have played at least 66 percent of their teams’ minutes since January 1, 2021.
Messi tops the ranking with an index of 92.5 points out of 100, while Fekir is tied with Kroos on the sixth position of the list with 87.6 points each.
Meanwhile, neither Karim Benzema (85.3 points), Alexander Isak (84.4 points) nor Luis Suarez (84.3 points) have made the top 10.
Ronaldo ranked fifth
Robert Lewandowski is second behind Messi with 89.5 points, followed by Chelsea midfielder Jorginho (89.5 points), Manchester City centre-back Ruben Dias (89.4 points), Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo (89.3 points), Eintracht Frankfurt striker Andre Silva (87.4) points, Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne (87 points) and Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho (86.4 points).
Monaco centre-back Guillermo Maripan is ranked 11th with 86.3 points, being the only Ligue 1 representative among the top 11.
Meanwhile, the Spaniards who have managed the best placing on the list are Lazio’s midfielder Luis Alberto (84.6 points), Villarreal striker Gerard Moreno (83.6 points) and Sevilla forward Suso (82.3 points).