Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is not among Europe’s top 10 performing strikers across its five biggest domestic leagues this season, according to a statistical analysis conducted by sporting think tank CIES Football Observatory.
The 32-year-old was recrowned as the best player in the world after picking up his record-equalling fifth Ballon d’Or award last week. That came despite the fact that he has failed to perform at anything like his best so far this season.
Using statistics from domestic games only, Football Observatory have come up with a complex formula that takes various indicators into account, including chance creation, distribution and shooting to determine the most effective players in each position.
And once the numbers are crunched, it reveals Ronaldo to be outside the top 10 players with Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero topping the charts, Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski in second and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile in third.
‘According to our algorithm Ronaldo was only the 12th best centre forward in the big five so far this season, and second in Spain after Rodrigo (Moreno) but ahead of (Luis) Suarez,’ Dr Raffaele Poli of Football Observatory is quoted as saying by Business Insider.
The reason behind Ronaldo’s failure to make the list is one of efficiency, or lack there of. The forward has scored just four goals in La Liga this season but has attempted a mammoth 57 shots on goal. He has also created just 19 chances in 11 La Liga appearances.
Compare his numbers to those of Aguero — he too has created 19 chances in the same number of games, but has scored 11 goals from just 30 shots and provided three assists compared to Ronaldo’s two.
While Ronaldo’s absence from the list may be clear cut, some Liverpool fans may be surprised to see that their new sensation, and the Premier League’s current top scorer, Mohamed Salah is only good enough for 10th place in the list of wingers.
The Egyptian is averaging a goal contribution every 74 minutes with 13 strikes and three assists to show from 16 appearances yet he sits behind the likes of Leroy Sane (six goals, six assists) and Marco Asensio (four goals, three assists).
But, as a winger, Salah’s performance indicators stretch beyond merely shooting and scoring. Indeed, he would be described as a twin or triple-skilled player whereas Ronaldo’s sole focus is to shoot. As a result, other areas of his game see him fall down a list topped by Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
For instance, his passing success rate is just 76 per cent, which puts him well outside the top 150 in the Premier League. Salah is also among the most guilty of poor ball control with an average of three mis-controls per game.
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