International Centre for
Sports Studies

Avenue DuPeyrou 1
2000 Neuchâtel
Tel +41 32 718 39 00


Mon. 21 December 2015

CIES Football Observatory list of the best performing big-5 league players in 2015

If the Ballon d’or was awarded per position, the following big-5 league players would deserve winning the trophy according to their performances in 2015: Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, lkay Gündogan, Santi Cazorla, Mesut Özil and Lionel Messi. Issue number 130 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post presents the top-10 rankings per position, as well as the “dream teams” for both players over and under 23 years of age.

The analysis of the CIES Football Observatory is 100% data-driven from statistics provided by OptaPro. It takes into account the technical performance of players at big-5 league level since January 1st 2015 in six key areas of the game. More explanations are available in issue number 5 of the Monthly Report. From a broader perspective, the 7th Report presents the exclusive CIES Football Observatory approach for sustainable success.

Outfield players are divided into six positions: centre backs, full backs, defence-oriented central midfielders, attack-oriented central midfielders, attacking midfielders and forwards. Only footballers who played at least 2,250 minutes, equivalent to 25 full big-5 league matches, were included in the rankings.

On the basis of our analysis, the CIES Football Observatory dream team (4-2-3-1) is composed as follows: Neuer; D. Alves, T. Silva, Chiellini, Monreal; Gündogan, Cazorla; Özil, de Bruyne, Hazard; Messi. The dream team for U23 players, born after 1st January 1993, is composed as such: Karius; Bellerín, Umiti, Varane, Wendell; Tolisso, Pogba; B. Silva, Barkley, F. Anderson; Dybala.

Despite top level performances, several players do not appear in the tables as they were not fielded for at least 2,250 minutes in big-5 league games in 2015. This is notably the case of Z. Ibrahimovi?, M. Salah and S. Agüero among forwards; D. Silva, J. Navas and D. Perotti among attacking midfielders; M. Verratti, Y. Touré and A. Ramsey among central midfielders; L. Kurzawa, A. Kolarov and J. Alba among full backs; as well as D. Luiz, J. Boateng and D. Alaba among centre backs.

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

This website uses cookies – limited to technical and analytical cookies – in order to allow your browsing and enhance your experience.

For more information, please see our cookie policy and our privacy notice.

I understand