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

PlayerLionel MessiMario GomezKarim BenzemaRobin van PersieDzeko, EdinRonaldo, Cristiano
ClubBarcelonaBayern MunichReal MadridArsenalManchester CityReal Madrid
Mins per Goal6897106989678
Shots on Target925743702974
Shots (excl. blocked)134827311459156
Mins per Shot202925252117
Shooting Accuracy68.7%69.5%58.9%61.4%49.2%47.4%
Chance Conversion29.9%29.3%23.3%25.4%22.0%21.8%
Chances Created823044703255
Mins per Chance Created337841413948
Mins per Shot Involvement*132115151413

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

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

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  1. mikky king10 March, 2012
  2. Jim12 March, 2012
  3. ian2 April, 2012