Leighton Baines and Wayne Rooney only English players in Europe's 'top 50 footballers'

New performance statistics make sorry reading for England

Only two English players have made it into the list of Europe's top 50 players ranked according to new performance statistics.

The Bloomberg Sports list says it uses scientifically-based analysis to evaluate players on skills relevant to their position.

Everton left-back Leighton Baines is the top English player at 16, while Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is in 26th position.

Tottenham's Gareth Bale is the only other British player - the Welshman is in ninth spot - while United striker Robin van Persie is ranked sixth as the leading Premier League player.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi is ranked top just above Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, while Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is third.

Interestingly, Aston Villa's Belgium striker Christian Benteke is ranked 29th - a place ahead of Radamel Falcao, the Colombia striker who has just joined Monaco in a £50million deal.

Bill Squadron, President of Bloomberg Sports, said: "We continue to look at new ways to use analytics that will be interesting to fans, and are pleased today to unveil what we believe will be a game-changer in the way professional football is looked at in the future.

"Analytics is becoming more and more prevalent in both the minds of the fans and in the decision-making power of the clubs, and we are confident this index will help both stir healthy debate and be a great measuring stick for player evaluation going forward."

PA

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