A study named Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez as the best La Liga player of all time. Cesar Rodriguez, Telmo Zarra, Lionel Messi and Enrique Castro 'Quini' are the other players who are in the top five of the list of best La Liga players.
The study, which named Raul as the best La Liga player, was conducted by the Centre for Research on Spanish Football History and Statistics. The results and findings of the study were based on the performance analysis of 9,117 La Liga players from the 1928-28 season till the 2015-16 season.
Lionel Messi is the only currently playing star who made it to the top five of the list. Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo is placed 23rd on the list and the Los Blancos won't be happy about it. The third non-retired player in the list is Athletic Bilbao's Aritz Aduriz, who is 109th on the list. As these players are yet to retire they still have the chance to go up the table, which means that Barcelona's Lionel Messi end up topping the table once he retires.
The analysts of the survey are of the opinion that the performance of football players can be assessed using the same criteria used in basketball (scored points, rebounds, fouls, assists, etc).
The criteria for creating the list
Each player is awarded 24 points according to the number of minutes he has played in every season. A point is added for every goal scored by the player. However, only 0.60 points are added if the goal is a penalty. 0.40 points are taken off for each own goal. Points are also reduced for sending offs (1.50 points subtracted for red each red card).
Hence Raul Gonzalez, who played in the La Liga from 1994 to 2010 and scored 212 goals, is first on the list with 528 points. Former Barcelona player Cesar Rodriquez, who is second on the list, is just four points behind the Real Madrid legend with 524 points.
Lionel Messi is fourth in the list with 490 points (just 38 points behind Raul). At this rate, it won't take much time for Messi to overtake the former Schalke player. The Argentine could add another achievement to his list by taking Raul's position by the end of this season.
Former La Liga legends Juan Arza, Alfredo Di Stefano, Francisco Gento, Carlos Alonso ‘Santillana’ and Guillermo Gorostiza respectively occupy the rest of the top 10.
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