CIES Football Observatory

Issue n°188 - 15/05/2017

Best big-5 league players: the CIES Football Observatory’s rankings

Issue number 188 of the Weekly Post presents the best players of the 2016/17 big-5 league season. The rankings were elaborated according to the exclusive CIES Football Observatory’s approach to measure player performance on an objective and comparable basis. Lionel Messi outranks Cristiano Ronaldo in the table for wingers.

Three Bayern Munich players top the rankings in their respective position: Manuel Neuer for goalkeepers, Javi Martínez for centre backs (ahead of teammate Mats Hummels), as well as Thiago Alcântara for central defensive midfielders. Only footballers who have played at least 2,000 minutes in domestic league games are included in the analysis.

Alex Sandro and Marcelo (full backs), Kevin de Bruyne (central attacking midfielders), Lionel Messi (wingers) and Dries Mertens (centre forwards) head the rankings for the other positions considered. Except for de Bruyne and Marcelo, all these players are also to be found in the CIES Football Observatory’s 4-3-3 best XI of the season alongside Bruno Peres (right full back), Paul Pogba and Naby Keita (box-to-box midfielders), as well as Cristiano Ronaldo (left winger).

Follow us on Twitter to find out the best XI for each of the big-5 leagues.



At least 2,000 minutes in domestic league games since the start of the season 2016/17

Editors : Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel