Four Belgians are among the footballers included by the CIES Football Observatory on Monday in its quarterly ranking of the top 10 players at each position. Tottenham’s Moussa Dembélé is ranked 2nd among defensive midfielders, while Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens (Naples) and Eden Hazard (Chelsea) are also in the top 10 rankings.
The report assesses the performance of players since 26 December 2017 in the five major European leagues: Spain’s La Liga; the English Premier League; France’s Ligue-1; Germany’s Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A. It looks at six different areas of the game: rigour, recovery, distribution, take on, chance creation and shooting. Results obtained by the players’ clubs for games in which they played for at least 45 minutes were also taken into consideration as a weighting factor.
Dembélé, the best placed Belgian, came in 2nd behind Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos (Germany) in the Defensive Midfielder category.
De Bruyne, whose club, Manchester City, tops the English Premier League, is ranked sixth among Box-to-Box Midfielders, a category won by Denmark’s Christian Eriksen (Tottenham).
In the Forwards category, Dries Mertens, whose club, Naples, is 2nd in Serie A, is ranked 7th, while 9th place went to Red Devils captain Eden Hazard. The top-ranked player in this category is Argentina’s Lionel Messi (Barcelona).
On Tuesday, the Red Devils play a friendly match agaistSaudi Arabia at 20.45 in the Roi Baudouin Stadium in preparation for the 2018 World Cup.