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James Milner rated higher than Gareth Bale, Andres Iniesta and Mesut Ozil by UEFA ranking tool

James Milner was signed as a free player by Liverpool after his contract with Manchester City expired.

Milner
James Milner has been ranked as the fifth best player in Europe by UEFA

According to UEFA’s ranking tool, Liverpool winger James Milner is the fifth best player among the teams participating in Euro 2016. Based on the ratings published by UEFA, Portugal forward Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player, followed by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. French forward Antoine Griezmann is third on the list, followed by fellow countryman Dimitri Payet. James Milner’s England teammates Wayne Rooney and Marcus Rashford are ranked 97th and 93rd respectively.

The list is based on the form of these players for both club and country from the start of January 2016, also including the Euro 2016 qualifying. The players are classed as goalkeepers, central defenders, full-backs, defensive midfielders, attacking midfielders, central midfielders, wingers and forwards. The Liverpool midfielder sits ahead of fellow Englishmen Dele Alli and Harry Kane, who have had excellent seasons.

These rankings make Milner the second best player from the Premier League, with West Ham winger Dimitri Payet being the best. Former PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard is at a lowly 91st in the list, after having a dismal season where he scored his first goal in the league in April 2016.

UEFA said: "The barometer runs official player statistics through a specially designed algorithm to create rankings based on player performances." They added: "The data considered for each player is specific to the position type.

"For example, tackles and interceptions are considered to be key statistics for defensive midfielders, while successful dribbles and crosses are core stats for wingers, " UEFA further added.

Gareth Bale does not make the top 10 on the list

This list is full of surprises as Champions League winner and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale is 12th on the list, with Juventus star Paul Pogba 16th in the list. Milner’s international teammate Harry Kane is down to 23rd on the list, although he was the top scorer in the Premier League last season.

Arsenal’s mercurial midfielder Mesut Ozil is 29th on the list, with Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas 27th on the list. Barcelona and Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta has no place in the top 20 despite winning La Liga this year.  

One explanation for James Milner’s incredible ranking could be the fact that he assisted his teammates 11 times this season, scoring five goals in the process. He also played a crucial part in Liverpool qualifying for the Europa League finals, where they lost to Sevilla 1-3. Pretty incredible for a player who was signed for free.

Once the UEFA Euro 2016 commences, the statistical events such as saves, tackles, goals and assists for all the 552 players participating in the Euros will be given a much higher weighting to keep an accurate rating of the players performing well in France.

Top 10 players based on the ranking tool
PlayersCountryPosition
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)PortugalForward
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain)SwedenForward
Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)FranceForward
Dimitri Payet (West Ham)FranceForward
James Milner (Liverpool)EnglandMidfielder
Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid)SpainMidfielder
Koke (Atletico Madrid)SpainMidfielder
Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)SpainDefender
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)GermanyMidfielder
Juanfran (Atletico Madrid)SpainDefender
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