Franck Ribery Receives Further Accolade Behind Lionel Messi as Top Big-5 Player

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMay 27, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 25:  Franck Ribery of Bayern Muenchen celebrates with the trophy after victory in the UEFA Champions League final match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is celebrating Champions League success after the 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Saturday, but the Frenchman has also been awarded the distinction of being the second-best performer behind Lionel Messi in the top five European leagues this season.

The France international finished top in two of the five categories used by OptaPro for the awards made by the CIES Football Observatory.

Barcelona star Messi has been named the best performing player in the results after another excellent season which has included winning the La Liga title with the Camp Nou side.

But Ribery has played himself into second place in the rankings after clinching the Bundesliga title and the Champions League so far this season, with the German Cup final against Stuttgart on the horizon at the weekend.

The former Olympique de Marseille player finished above Andres Iniesta of Barcelona and Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil to top the "Chances Created" section of the survey.

Ribery also finished top of the rankings in the "Take On" category ahead of Kevin de Bruyne, who has been on a season-long loan to Werder Bremen from Chelsea, and Alessandro Diamanti of Bologna.

The CIES Football Observatory analysis concerns five key areas of the game: shooting, chance creation, take on, distribution and recovery, with the general index the weighted sum of all those specific indicators.

Messi finished above Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the "Shooting" section, while Barcelona dominated the "Distribution" category with Xavi Hernandez finishing top above teammates Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Cesc Fabregas.

Giorgio Chiellini of Juventus was the top-ranked player in the "Recovery" category, ahead of teammate Arturo Vidal and Gabi of Atletico Madrid.

In the overall standings, Messi was the winner ahead of Ribery, while Ronaldo came in third above Fabregas of Barcelona.

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