Lionel Messi the best striker in Europe in 2015... but Cristiano Ronaldo is only in 29th

Barcelona star has massively outperformed rival

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The Independent Football

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been rated as the best striker in Europe in 2015, far outperforming his big rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

According to rankings published by the CIES Football Obervatory, Messi has been the best in Europe since the turn of the year, scoring 100 in their rating system.

Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo has struggled in comparison, and is way down in 29th in their rankings.

Since he returned to the starting line-up in the Copa Del Rey on 8 January, Messi has scored 20 goals in 18 games, helping Barcelona to 17 wins including the crucial El Clasico victory just over a week ago.

In comparison Real Madrid and Ronaldo have struggled, with the Portuguese scoring just 10 goals in the 15 matches, winning just seven of those.

Premier League pair Diego Costa of Chelsea and Tottenham's Harry Kane are rated as the fifth-best strikers, behind Messi, Arjen Robben, Wolfsburg's Bas Dost and Luis Suarez.

Eden Hazard and Mesut Ozil are ranked as the best attacking midfielders in Europe.