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Tue. 03 November 2015

The Football Observatory unveils best performing big-5 league players

The CIES Football Observatory is happy to disclose the rankings of the best performing players since the start of the big-5 league season. At the head of the tables for the five field positions considered are Otamendi (centre backs), Aurier (full backs), Cazorla (defensive midfielders), Özil (attacking midfielders) and Lewandowski (forwards). The top 10 tables per position are presented in issue number 124 of the Big-5 Weekly Post.

The first position held by Otamendi in the centre back table is mainly related to his outstanding skills in the area of rigour (see explanation below). At full back level, Aurier performed particularly well from a recovery perspective. Cazorla outranks all defensive midfielders mainly thanks to his statistics in the area of distribution. Among attacking midfielders, Özil has no rivals in terms of chance creation. Finally, shooting is the key strength of Lewandowski compared to other forwards.

The rankings are based on a purely data-driven and objective methodology developed by the CIES Football Observatory research team. The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) considered measure players’ productivity in six complementary areas of the game. The final score is the sum of values measured in each area, weighted according to the importance of the latter for a given position. Only players fielded for at least 60% of domestic league minutes are included in the rankings.

A thorough presentation of the CIES Football Observatory approach for the technical analysis of performance is available in the fifth edition of the Monthly Report.

CIES Football Observatory KPIs

  • Rigour: ability to minimise goal opportunities for opponents through effective duelling.
  • Recovery: ability to minimise goal opportunities for opponents through proficient interception work.
  • Distribution: ability to keep a hold on the game through efficient passing.
  • Take on: ability to create dangerous situations by successfully challenging opponents.
  • Chance creation: ability to put teammates in a favourable position to strike.
  • Shooting: ability to take advantage of goal opportunities through accurate shooting.