Best players of the first trimester 2021

The CIES Football Observatory has developed a unique methodology to compare the performance of players irrespective of their position. Issue number 331 of the Weekly Post highlights the outfield footballers with the highest score for domestic league matches played since the 1st of January 2021 for each of the 98 big-5 league clubs. Only players fielded for at least two thirds of minutes during this period are included in the rankings.

The greatest value overall was recorded for Lionel Messi: 92.5 out of 100! Eliminated from the Champions League, the Argentinean striker and FC Barcelona can now focus on the Liga. However, the departure of Luis Suárez will be a major obstacle to the title race. The Uruguayan has indeed the top performance score (84.3) at Atlético Madrid, while Toni Kroos (87.5) leads the table for Real Madrid ahead of Karim Benzema (85.3).

In the other four main European leagues, the highest CIES FO performance index values were registered for Robert Lewandowski in the Bundesliga (89.5), Cristiano Ronaldo in the Serie A (89.3), Guillermo Maripán (86.3) in the Ligue 1 and Jorginho Frello in the Premier League (89.4). In the latter competition, Chelsea’s midfielder outranks Rubén Dias (89.4), Wilfred Ndidi (85.2) and Luke Shaw (83.4). The technical profiles of all big-5 league players are available here.

Best player per team, big-5 leagues

CIES Football Observatory Performance Index, first quarter 2021