Messi outranks Ronaldo, four Bayern players make Best XI, Pogba breaks into top tier

Ronaldo and Messi

May 16 – The CIES Football Observatory has ranked the best players of the 2016/17 season using their stats analysis and have come up with a Best XI that includes five players from the Bundesliga wth four of them – Manuel Neuer, Javi Martinez, Mats Hummels and Thiago Alcantara – from Bayern Munich.

Three players come from Italy’s Serie A – Dries Martens, Alex Sandro and Bruno Peres – while Spain’s La Liga contributes Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba making up the XI in a 4-3-3 formation.

The CIES stats  rank players in seven categories – goalkeepers, full backs, centre backs, central defensive midfielders, attacking midfielders, wingers and centre forwards. Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne who tops the central attacking midfielders ranking doesn’t make the Best XI formation. In contrast Pogba was ranked second in the defensive midfielders category and did make the team.

Lionel Messi tops Ronaldo in the rankings but both make the Best XI as wingers.

Only footballers who have played at least 2,000 minutes in domestic league games are included in the analysis.

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Source: CIES Football Observatory

See the full ranking by position at

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