Who Are the Best and Worst Performers in This Season's Champions League?

Jack WatsonFeatured ColumnistOctober 30, 2013

Who Are the Best and Worst Performers in This Season's Champions League?

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    This season's Champions League is in full flow as we reach the halfway point of the group stages. The reigning champions, Bayern Munich, have started the defence of their fifth European Cup in style, winning all three of their matches while conceding just one goal.

    Another impressive side so far is Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid, who have also won all three of their opening matches.

    Other notable teams are Paris Saint-Germain, who dismantled Anderlecht in their last match, and Real Madrid, who both have a 100 percent record so far.

    Some teams, like Viktoria Plzen and Real Sociedad, are struggling as they sit bottom of their group without a win.

    Players performing to their usually high standards are Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi. Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski and Sergio Aguero have also impressed.

    Using Squawka's statistical database and Performance Score ranking system, we can now find out who the best and worst players and teams are in this season's Champions League.

Bayern Munich: Stunning

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    Bayern Munich stats
    Bayern Munich stats/Squawka

    Statistically, Bayern Munich are the best performing team in European competition this season. They have been fantastic and despite Pep Guardiola taking over from Jupp Heynckes during the summer, their unbelievable form from last season has continued.

    Three wins from three matches, one goal conceded and 11 scored means they are comfortably top of Group D. They are not the top goalscorers in the Champions League, as they trail PSG and Real Madrid by just one goal, but they do have the joint-best defence with PSG and Barcelona.

    Their Squawka Performance Score of 2012 is distinctly better PSG, who are second with a score of 1,554.

    Munich are better in every Performance Score column than everybody else so far, dominating the defence, attack and possession scores.

    Bayern Munich have also had the most shots, taking 59 in total. However, they do not have the best shot accuracy, as PSG do, with 81 percent of their 32 shots on target.

    The German champions are the most creative side in Europe's elite competition this season having created 54 chances in three matches—an average of 18 created chances per game—which is 10 more then second-placed Juventus.

    Bayern Munich are on course to retain the Champions League and become the first club to do so. They are easily the best team in the competition so far.

Viktoria Plzen: Overcome

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    The worst team in the Champions League so far is definitely Viktoria Plzen who, by chance, are in the same group as the best side in Europe, Bayern Munich.

    The Czechs are struggling in their third consecutive appearance in the competition having conceded 11 goals and scoring just two. Those two goals came in the same match, away to CSKA Moscow, as they went down 3-2.

    They were humbled 3-0 and 5-0 by Manchester City and Bayern Munich, respectively.

    Their Performance Score ranking of minus-378 is 375 points short of the second-worst team in the competition, Steaua Bucharest.

    Their shot accuracy is the 24th worst in the group stages, at 44 percent, from just 16 shots on goal.

    Plzen are third worst for chances created, mustering a measly 16 in three matches. That's less than what Bayern Munich average in a single match.

    Plzen will have a fight on their hands to avoid finishing bottom of Group D but it looks all but assured so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo: On Fire

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    Getty Images
    Getty Images

    Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo is the top performer in this season's Champions League. With seven goals in three matches, he sits top of the scorer's chart halfway through the group stage.

    Ronaldo has a shot accuracy of 63 percent from 16 shots is commendable and is just short of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney for players to have taken more than 10 shots.

    The Portuguese goal machine scored a hat-trick on Matchday 1 at Galatasaray and hasn't stopped since, scoring two more goals against Juventus last week.

    Real Madrid have won all three of their group games this season with Ronaldo scoring 58 percent of their goals. He has also contributed to the most created chances in the tournament with nine key passes and one assist.

    Ronaldo has averaged more than a goal a game for Madrid since his £80 million move from Manchester United

    If he keeps up his blistering form in this season's Champions League, he will break Lionel Messi's record of scoring the most goals in a single Champions League season. The record stands at 14 and Ronaldo came close last season, scoring 12 goals.

    He is top of Squawka's Performance Score ranking table with 357 points, ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is second with 268. Lionel Messi is far behind in fourth with 204 points.

    Ronaldo is easily the best performer in this season's Champions League and he will be desperate to win La Decima for Real Madrid.

Matus Kozacik: Dismal

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    Kozacik's conceded goals, c/o Squawka.com
    Kozacik's conceded goals, c/o Squawka.com/Squawka

    With Viktoria Plzen being the Champions League worst side so far, it would come as no coincidence to label their goalkeeper, Matus Kozacik as the worst player.

    The keeper has conceded 11 goals, an average of 3.67 per match. 

    His passing accuracy of just 59 percent puts him 22nd on the list of goalkeepers in the tournament. His average passing length of 38 metres is one of the shorter averages, so his passing accuracy failure is even more evident judging from that statistic.

    Kozacik has made one defensive error that led to a goal as well. 

    Plzen haven't had the best of starts to their Champions League campaign and doesn't look to be getting any better, judging by their goalkeeper's performances.