Stat Attack: Why Messi Is Number One


Following Lionel Messi’s five goals for Barcelona against Bayern Leverkusen, the Castrol EDGE Rankings confirm Pep Guardiola’s claim that “Messi’s the best, there’s no one else. He’s unique”.

Messi (1st) continues to dominate the Castrol EDGE Rankings ahead of his rival attackers. This season, Messi has scored an incredible 40 goals in 31 La Liga and Champions League appearances at an average of a goal every 68 minutes.  This is considerably better than Cristiano Ronaldo (6th), who has scored 34 goals in 30 games at an average of a goal every 78 minutes.  Messi also has 13 assists to his name – four more than Ronaldo and Karim Benzema (3rd) and five more than Robin van Persie (4th).

While Messi is generally considered peerless, Mario Gomez (2nd) remains the only player to rival him in the scoring department, with his 24 goals coming with a 69.5% shooting accuracy (superior to Messi’s 68.7%) and a 29.3% chance conversion rate (only marginally behind Messi’s 29.9%). Aside from this and average minutes per shot (where he sits behind Cristiano Ronaldo), the Argentine genius outdoes his rivals in every department.

Top 6 players in Castrol EDGE Rankings – League/Champions League data 2011/12

Player Lionel Messi Mario Gomez Karim Benzema Robin van Persie Dzeko, Edin Ronaldo, Cristiano
Club Barcelona Bayern Munich Real Madrid Arsenal Manchester City Real Madrid
Appearances 31 29 28 34 23 30
Mins 2728 2339 1808 2837 1243 2643
Goals 40 24 17 29 13 34
Mins per Goal 68 97 106 98 96 78
Shots on Target 92 57 43 70 29 74
Shots (excl. blocked) 134 82 73 114 59 156
Mins per Shot 20 29 25 25 21 17
Shooting Accuracy 68.7% 69.5% 58.9% 61.4% 49.2% 47.4%
Chance Conversion 29.9% 29.3% 23.3% 25.4% 22.0% 21.8%
Assists 13 4 9 8 3 9
Chances Created 82 30 44 70 32 55
Mins per Chance Created 33 78 41 41 39 48
Mins per Shot Involvement* 13 21 15 15 14 13

In the Premier League, Edin Dzeko (5th) continues on his way up the Rankings. The Bosnian striker had his fair share of doubters after his first six months with Manchester City. However, he has kicked on this season and currently boasts a better minutes per goal ratio than Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie. Dzeko has found the net every 96 minutes in the league and Champions League this season, compared to 98 minutes for the Dutchman. However, van Persie is a more complete player, having delivered eight assists for his teammates this season as opposed to three for the Bosnian striker, despite Dzeko creating a chance every 39 minutes compared to van Persie’s 41.

Castrol EDGE Rankings – Top Ten Performing Players

Stat Attack: Why Messi Is Number One

Stat Attack: Why Messi Is Number One

Do you rate Messi as the best player ever? Why / why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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