NEUCHATEL: Lionel Messi has been named first winner of the CIES Football Observatory gold medal for the Most Productive Player (MPP) in the big-5 leagues. The Barcelona FC superstar outranked 908 other players who qualified for analysis as a result of completing at least 50pc of all playing minutes over the duration of the past season.

CIES Football Observatory’s rankings classify players according to their pitch productivity per minute played in the following areas of the game: shooting, chance creation, take on, distribution and recovery. For the general index, each indicator was weighted according to the strength of the correlation with points achieved by clubs at the end of the season.

Aggregated at team level, all of the Football Observatory indicators are significantly correlated to club results for all leagues and seasons. This ensures their relevance and objectivity. Player pitch statistics are provided by our partner company Opta.

Other big-5 league gold medal winners for the 2011-2012 season are as follows:

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) for shooting

Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF) for chance creation

Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München) for take on

Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona) for distribution

Arturo Vidal (Juventus FC) for recovery

At league level, the Most Productive Players (general index) were as follows:

Lionel Messi (Spain)

David Silva (England)

Andrea Pirlo (Italy)

Franck Ribéry (Germany)

Anderson Nenê (France)

Lionel Messi is also the Football Observatory’s most decorated player of the season. In total, he achieves two gold, three silver and one bronze medal. Other multi award winners are Franck Ribéry, Andrea Pirlo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernández and Mathieu Valbuena (4 medals each).

# # # #