He didn’t appear on the podium of either the FIFA Best or UEFA’s annual awards but data for the season so far makes Neymar the Most Valuable Player in Europe’s Big 5 leagues.
The CIES Football Observatory has analysed player data in six different areas of performance defined as rigour, recovery, distribution, take-on, chance creation and shooting. Players are split into those who have players for 450 minutes or more this season and those who have played less.
Neymar tops the stats in two different tables: take on (dribbles) and chance creation (assists), as well as overall gathering the most ranking points to make him Europe’s MVP.
Looking at MVPs by league the stats show Cristiano Ronaldo already making his mark, topping the table for Serie A. Lionel Messi leads La Liga, Sergio Aguero heads the Premier League and Robert Lewandowski the Bundesliga.
Luka Modric, FIFA’s Best and generally feted worldwide for his Russia 2018 performances after a dominating season for Real Madrid, doesn’t head any of the data categories.
“Neymar is at the top in two different tables: take on (dribbles) and chance creation (assists). According to our approach, the Brazilian star is also the big-5 league MVP for the period considered,” says CIES.
At the head of the table for footballers who played for less than 450 domestic league minutes during current season is Kevin de Bruyne.