Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are UEFA’s top-ranked players going into Euro 2016, while England’s James Milner is a surprise inclusion in the top five.
UEFA explains that the player barometer for the tournament “tracks players’ form in the build-up to and during the tournament through official player statistics and a specially designed algorithm”.
The pre-tournament statistics are based on performances for club and country since the start of January and stats are weighted depending on the quality of the opposition they have faced.
Once the Euros get under way, displays in France will generate a higher priority in deciding upon the rankings to ensure the stars of the event feature highly in the list.
Real Madrid and Portugal star Ronaldo sits top of UEFA’s list going into the month of June, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in second. Two France players – Antoine Griezmann and Dimitri Payet – are third and fourth, with Milner sitting in fifth position and Koke sixth.
Milner’s inclusion alongside stars of the world game may come as a surprise, but UEFA points out he had seven assists in a four-game span during April and created 30 goalscoring chances in his last nine appearances.
Manuel Neuer (14th) is the top-rated goalkeeper, Juanfran (10th) is the highest full-back and Sergio Ramos (seventh) is the top centre-back after his goal in the Champions League final.
Bruno Soriano (12th) of Spain is the highest-ranked defensive midfielder, with Milner and Koke topping Toni Kroos (ninth) in the central midfield category and Payet on top of the attacking midfield group ahead of Marek Hamsik (11th).
Griezmann heads Thomas Muller (31st) in the list of players defined as wingers, with Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Gareth Bale (13th) the three highest in the forwards’ list.
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