Thierry Henry tops the Castrol Rankings
Castrol has applied the same expertise they apply to the development of their oils to create the Castrol Rankings – using objective analysis and 100% accurate data to measure every pass, every tackle and every single move of over 2000 players and games every year, which means that the Castrol Ranking are based on actual performance.
Analysis shows that the Barcelona striker has out-shone main rivals Lionel Messi and Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo during a year in which he helped the La Liga club to a clean sweep of honours.
Henry’s efforts in front of goal are what have made him the stand-out player of the last year. The French international scored five goals and provided three assists during Barca’s successful Champions League campaign and has contributed a further 18 goals and eight assists in La Liga during the 12-month period all of which have helped him become the world’s best performing player.
The key to Henry’s success has been the accuracy of his shooting with the forward finding the target with an impressive 70% of his shots compared to an average of 42% across the five main European leagues.
Castrol Global Ambassador Cristiano Ronaldo admitted he is now gunning for Henry and determined to claim top spot for himself soon. “The Castrol Rankings is the ranking that every player wants to top,” said the Portuguese winger. “If you can be number one on the Castrol Rankings there can be no arguments, as it is based on fact, not opinion. That’s why I’m aiming for the number one spot – to prove I’m the best!”
“Of course he is excellent in front of goal, but what makes him such an outstanding player is his overall contribution to Barcelona’s attacking play and that’s what makes him such an important part of that team.”
Henry, though, needs to watch out as Messi is not far behind after scoring 34 goals and providing 16 assists in La Liga and the Champions League. In fact, the Argentine was involved in 14 Champions League goals – including Barcelona’s crucial second goal that guaranteed victory over Manchester United in the final – four more than any other player in the competition.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, lies third after helping United to a hat-trick of Premier League titles last season and making an impressive start to his new life at Real Madrid which brought four goals in the Spanish club’s opening two Champions League group games.
Barcelona’s success in winning La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey means it is hardly surprising to find their players dominating the Castrol Rankings with five of their current squad featuring in the top 10 along with Samuel Eto’o who left for Internazionale this summer.
Barca’s Gerard Pique is the top ranked defender in fourth spot overall and he is joined in the top ten by team-mates Rafael Marquez and Carles Puyol.
Christian Abbiati is the best performing goalkeeper of the last 12 months, helping AC Milan to a third-placed finish in Serie A. The Italian saved 80% of shots on target, compared to the average of 72% and made almost four saves a match before injury limited his involvement during the latter part of the last 12 months.
Kaka is one of the biggest names not to feature towards the top of the Castrol Rankings with the Real Madrid star languishing in 85th place. The Brazilian did net 16 goals for AC Milan in 2008-09, but seven of those were from the penalty spot. And while he scored two league goals for Real Madrid in the first two months, including one penalty, he has only fired in five shots on target in six matches. Shots on target are essential when it comes to scoring points in the Castrol Rankings. Indeed, they are strongly associated with goals – the more shots on goal you get, the more goals you get. In the case of penalties, there is a 80% chance to score while that chance is lower in open play. This is why spot kicks are less rewarded than other types of goals, which explains Kaka’s ranking.
Surprisingly, the Premier League contributes only five players to the Castrol Rankings Top 20. However, further analysis shows that the English league has more players (33) in the top 100 than any of the five major leagues. Spain’s La Liga meanwhile, contributes 28 players to the top 100, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga both contribute 15, while nine players are from France’s Ligue 1