De Bruyne and Otamendi lead Europe’s top performers. Ronaldo strikes again

March 7 – Two Manchester City players – Kevin de Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi – lead the way in an analysis of Europe’s top players so far this season across six technical performance categories.

The analysis by the CIES Football Observatory looks at the best performing big-5 league players across six areas of the game, looking at the last 1,000 minutes they have played. Only players who have racked up least 360 minutes since January 1 are included.

The six performance categories are Rigour (topped by Otamendi), Recovery, Take-on, Distribution, Chance creation (led by De Bruyne), and Shooting.

Cristiano Ronaldo leads the shooting category with Lionel Messi ranked third. Messi also gains a top ten ranking in the Chance creation category where he is ranked equal eighth.

There are six other players who come up twice in the Top 10 rankings: Xabi Alonso, Ander Herrera and Arturo Vidal all rank in both the Recovery and Distribution categories, Tony Kroos appears in Distribution and Chance Creation, while Alejandro Gomez and Neymar appear in Take on and Chance creation top tens.

CIES highlight two young players who “have the highest possible score for take on: Allan Saint-Maximin (Bastia, on loan from Monaco) and Adama Traore (Middlesbrough).”

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Source: CIES Football Observatory

For full analysis go to

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