Former Manchester United hero Cristiano Ronaldo was recently labelled the 29th best striker in Europe.
According to a CIES Opta football observatory, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi came out as the current number one striker in Europe, whereas Ronaldo only ranked at 29.
The results were based on statistics over a number of key attacking categories such as goals, chances created, successful take-ons, distribution and ball recoveries.
The Premier League’s leading contenders were Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, who all made the top 15.
It has been some turnaround for Ronaldo after the former United favourite won the Ballon d’Or honour in January and was widely tipped to break Messi’s La Liga goal scoring record this season.
However, after notching a whopping 28 strikes in just 17 La Liga starts, the Portuguese attacker has notched just three goals in his previous eight league games as Madrid have struggled for form.
Argentine superstar Messi, in contrast, has notched 18 goals in 12 league starts throughout 2015, prompting Ancelotti to praise the Barcelona star and highlight his own player’s slump.
“It’s only a statistic concerning what has happened recently. Messi has been doing well over the past two months and Cristiano’s performance levels have dipped. Let’s see what happens over the next two months… I have a feeling that those statistics will change,” the Italian explained.
Since trading the Red Devils for the Spanish Capital, Ronaldo has scored 294 goals in 286 matches in all competitions for the La Liga giants.
Following his Club World Cup triumph in the winter, the 30-year-old became the first player ever to win all of the top honours in a single season, including the top scorer awards and Ballon d’Or, for two different clubs.