The Research Centre of History and Statistics of Spanish Football, CIHEFE, has declared Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi as the best player in Spanish history ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The study which was statistically analyzed from the 86 seasons of the Spanish league championship put former Real Madrid icon Raul in second place, ahead of Cesar Rodriguez, Telmo Zarra and Enrique Castro ‘Quini’.
The study put a number of factors into consideration including minutes played in each season, goals scored from open play, penalty kicks, own goals and red cards.
Researcher, Jose Antonio Ortega said, “All of the evaluation criteria are marked with a simple and homogeneous scoring system that manages to evaluate all of the players with the same analysis in each season.”
Since the start of LaLiga in 1929, a total of 9,280 players have plied their trade in the Spanish top flight, with 854 of those being goalkeepers.
Messi rose to the top of the study for several reasons, including being the only player to vastly exceed 300 goals, currently sitting on 349.
Ortega said his final points tally of 545 comfortably put him ahead of Raul (528), Cesar (524), Zarra (493) and Quini (488), with the top 10 being rounded out by Juan Arza (481), Alfredo Di Stefano (481), Paco Gento (467), Carlos Alonso ‘Santillana’ (464) and Guillermo Gorostiza (454).
In his report, Ortega also pointed out that Messi possesses the “technique, ambition, talent and ability that have made him one of the most valuable players of all time.”
During the final standings, Cristiano Ronaldo was ranked in the second spot in terms of players who are still active, while he is 17th in the overall rankings with a total of 415 points.