Messi and Ronaldo Continue to Lead the Way in Rankings
In the latest edition of the Castrol EDGE Rankings in 2013, Lionel Messi has continued his outstanding form from 2012 to stay as the top ranked player.
The Argentine scored in every one of his four La Liga appearances during January and ended the month in spectacular fashion as he scored all four goals from just four shots on target in Barcelona’s 5-1 demolition of Osasuna at the Camp Nou.
Cristiano Ronaldo has held second place in the Castrol EDGE Rankings for the third successive month, as the Portuguese also enjoyed a great start to the year. Despite appearing in only three La Liga games in January, the Real Madrid start netted seven goals and attempted 20 shots – no player in the top five European Leagues surpassed either tally during the first month of 2013. More importantly for Ronaldo, he’s managed to close the gap between himself and Messi to just 148 points – down from 205 in the previous edition.
One player that has been in great form during the 2012-13 season so far is Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney. As a result, Rooney has been rewarded with a move in to the top 10 in the latest edition of the Castrol EDGE Rankings; his first top 10 placing in the rankings since December 2010. The English striker scored (9) or assisted (7) 16 goals in 16 Premier League appearances in the opening six months of the season.
St Etienne’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has also forced himself back in to the top 10, following a drop down to 15th in the previous edition – which comes as no surprise with many of Europe’s top clubs sending scouts to watch his Ligue 1 displays this season. Only one defender makes it in to the top 20 in the latest edition of the rankings, with Juventus’ Leonardo Bonucci rising up to 10th.
With the January transfer window now over, there was a lack of big movers across the top five European Leagues, but of the standout transfers, the majority involved Premier League clubs.
Manchester City bid farewell to Mario Balotelli, as the mercurial Italian joined Serie A giants AC Milan. Balotelli’s Castrol EDGE Rankings’ position of 938th is much lower than that of City’s main three strikers – Sergio Aguero (20th), Carlos Tevez (99th) and Edin Dzeko (139th) – so it came as no surprise that they were willing to let him go. Tottenham Hotspur strengthened their side in January, as Schalke’s German midfielder Lewis Holtby moved to White Hart Lane. Spurs will hope that he shrewd acquisition of Holtby will enable them to finally replace former midfield star Luka Modric, who left the club to join Real Madrid in the summer. Interestingly Holtby (180th) is now ranked just behind the former Lilywhite Modric (171st) in the Castrol EDGE Rankings, and should he continue his impressive progression, will no doubt be looking down on the Croatian midfielder in the upcoming months.