The FIFA backed CIES Football Observatory have published their rankings of the best performing players in football right now, or at least, since 1st January and who have appeared in at least 66% of games during that period.
When it comes to the attacking department, the CIES list of stellar performing forwards, featured all three of the ‘MSN‘ trio of Lionel Messi (1st), Luis Suarez(4th) and Neymar (12th), demonstrating that the Barcelona trident can rightly claim to be the most fearsome over recent months.
In stark contrast and amidst the plethora of Spanish media criticism, the Real Madrid trio fared somewhat poorly. 2014 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo ranked a measly 29th, whilst Gareth Bale didn’t impress either, ranking 35th, closely followed by Karim Benzema in 37th.
Since winning the FIFA Club World Cup in December 2014, Real Madrid have suffered a notable dip in performance, with their ‘BBC‘ attack notably misfiring by comparison with the superb form they demonstrated during the first half of the season.
Seemingly in a direct response to the recent media criticism of their stellar threesome, and this CIES report, Real Madrid responded with a somewhat convenient offering of their own data, via their official club website, highlighting that the three players have ‘bettered’ their appearance and goal numbers this season, compared to the 2013-14 campaign in La Liga, stating:
“Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo have already bettered their figures from their first La Liga season together at Real Madrid. During the present championship campaign, they have appeared together in 21 games (always as starters), scoring 42 times, more than half of the team’s goals so far in the competition.”
“The BBC began their life together at Real Madrid on matchday four of the 2013/14 season, in El Madrigal. In a match that ended in a draw with Villarreal, Gareth Bale, on his debut for the Whites, and Cristiano Ronaldo were the goalscorers. The three players featured in 19 La Liga games together, during which time they notched up 39 goals and 11 victories.”
Indeed, the numbers quoted by the official Real Madrid website hold true, suggesting that whilst reports such as those by the CIES might be a valid overview of most recent form, their ‘BBC’ has clearly improved in La Liga at least, compared to last season.
However, four points behind arch-rivals Barcelona in the title race, Real Madrid will still need to see the very best of performances from Bale, Benzema and particularly Cristiano Ronaldo, if they’re to recover lost ground. With ten games of the campaign remaining, there’s still time.