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Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez? Which Clasico star has shone brightest in 2016-17?

El Clasico always features some of world football’s best attacking stars and Saturday’s LaLiga clash is no exception.

Gareth Bale is out injured for Real Madrid, but Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata should all feature in the game.

Barcelona, meanwhile, have their vaunted attacking trio Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

But which Clasico star has performed best so far in 2016-17 and who is struggling by comparison?

Ahead of the big game, we look at attacking statistics across all competitions of the four top forwards in each side, courtesy of Opta.
 

MESSI TOPS THE GOALSCORING CHARTS

Messi is comfortably the highest-scoring player from the two teams, outscoring Ronaldo by seven despite having played just one more match.

19 – Lionel Messi (16 appearances)
12 – Cristiano Ronaldo (15 apps)
11 – Luis Suarez (18 apps)
8 – Alvaro Morata (17 apps)
7 – Gareth Bale (16 apps) 
6 – Karim Benzema (16 apps)
6 – Neymar (16 apps)
0 – Paco Alcacer (8 apps)
 

MORATA MORE PROLIFIC THAN RONALDO

The minutes-per-goal statistics make interesting reading, with Morata coming out favourably compared to his Madrid team-mates, including Ronaldo.

Neymar has performed the worst in front of goal, aside from team-mate Paco Alcacer, who is yet to strike in limited opportunities this term.

68 minutes per goal – Lionel Messi
103 mins – Alvaro Morata
108 mins – Cristiano Ronaldo
132 mins – Luis Suarez
159 mins – Karim Benzema
187 mins – Gareth Bale
238 mins – Neymar
No goals – Paco Alcacer
 

NEYMAR PROVIDES CREATIVE SPARK

Neymar may have compared poorly when it came to goalscoring, but he has been comfortably the most productive with assists in 2016-17.

Messi still features prominently, while Benzema has only created one goal for his team-mates all season.

12 – Neymar (16 apps)
7 – Lionel Messi (16 apps)
6 – Cristiano Ronaldo (15 apps)
5 – Luis Suarez (18 apps)
3 – Gareth Bale (16 apps)
3 – Alvaro Morata (17 apps)
1 – Karim Benzema (16 apps)
0 – Paco Alcacer (8 apps)
 

MAGNIFICENT MESSI

The measure of minutes-per-goal involvement factors in both goals and assists to provide combined numbers for each category.

Again, Messi comes out on top, although the chasing pack are much more closely matched when both goals and assists are taken into account.

Overall, Barca’s ‘MSN’ have performed better than Madrid’s ‘BBC’, with Morata staking his claim for more regular first-team action.

Minutes per goal involvement:

50 – Lionel Messi
72 – Cristiano Ronaldo
75 – Alvaro Morata
79 – Neymar
91 – Luis Suarez
131 – Gareth Bale
136 – Karim Benzema
N/A – Paco Alcacer

Tue 29 Nov, 2016
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