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Study says Lionel Messi top striker in 2015, Cristiano Ronaldo 29th best

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, gestures next to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, right, during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)


Lionel Messi, predictably, has been named the top striker in European soccer for 2015 so far.

The Barcelona forward came out on top after the CIES Football Observatory released its findings on players from Europe’s so-called top five league’s (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1) since Jan. 1 2015 with key performance indicators like rigor, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation, shooting.

[ RELATED: Messi earns $1.4 million ]

Remarkably, Cristiano Ronaldo was nowhere to be seen in the top 15 forwards in Europe and came in at a staggering 29th spot. However, maybe that isn’t as shocking as it seems.

Since the turn of the year, Ronaldo, 29, has scored just 10 times in 16 outings for Real Madrid and Portugal. Compare that to Messi’s incredible rate of 17 goals in 11 La Liga games for Barca, and you start to see why the Portuguese superstar is lagging in the latest list.

CIES also ranked the top center backs, full back, central midfielders and attacking midfielders, as Emir Spahic, Gael Clichy, Nuri Sahin and Eden Hazard.

Below are the top 15 strikers compiled bu CIES. Agree? Disagree?

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
2. Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
3. Bas Dost (Wolfsburg)
4. Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
5. Diego Costa (Chelsea)
6. Harry Kane (Tottenham)
6. Marco Reus (Dortmund)
8. Lucas Barrios (Montpellier)
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund)
10. Christophe Mandanne (Guingamp)
11. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
12. Neymar (Barcelona)
12. Olivier Giroud (Arsenal)
12. Carlos Bacca (Sevilla)
15. Eder Martines (Sampdoria)

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