De Bruyne, Van Dijk, Rashford and Son head MVP club rankings, Messi leads in Spain

December 18 – A data analysis of MVPs in clubs in Europe’s Big 5 leagues for the season to date shows Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi as again being their clubs key players so far. But the lists also throw up some less well known names.

The CIES Football Observatory has developed an algorithm using performance data provided by OptaPro. The data looks at the MVP per big-5 league club, as well as the top values for each of the six areas of the game analysed. To be ranked players had to have played at least nine matches intotal including six full domestic league matches.

“The MVPs are footballers whose performance had the biggest influence in their teams’ results,” says the report.

“We notably find Marco Verratti  at Paris St-Germain, Lionel Messi  at Barcelona, Toni Kroos at Real Madrid, Kevin de Bruyne  at Manchester City, Virgil van Dijk  at Liverpool, Crio Immobile  at Lazio, Jamie Vardy  at Leicester City, Dimitri Payet  at Olympique Marseille, Miralem Panic  at Juventus, Sven Bender  at Bayer Leverkusen and Milan Skriniar  at Inter.”

“At Real Madrid, five different footballers head the tables per area of the game: Raphael Varane  for rigour (duels), Carlos Casemiro  for recovery (interceptions), Toni Kroos for distribution (passes), Eden Hazard  for take on (dribbles) and Karim Benzema  for both chance creation (assists) and shooting (attempts). At Barcelona, three players only top the rankings: Lionel Messi for all of the attacking indicators, Clement Lenglet for rigour and Sergio Busquets for both recovery and distribution.”

See the full stats at

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