It is official (kind of) that Lionel Messi is the best player in the history of Spanish league football, according to a study carried out by the Centro de Investigaciones de
Historia y Estadística del Fútbol Español (CIHEFE) - The Centre of Historical and Statistical Investigations of Spanish Football.
Former Real Madrid striker, Raúl Gonzaléz (1994-2010) is the second best according to the study ahead of former Barcelona player César Rodriguez (1941-1960), former Athletic Bilbao player Telmo Zarra (1940-1957) and Enrique Castro "Quini", who played for Sporting Gijón and Barcelona between 1968 and 1987.
The study, based on a series of co-efficients including minutes played by season, goals scored in open play, penalties and own goals as well as sending-offs has been carried out by José Antonio Ortega with the little Argentine coming out on top. The expert says that "all of the evaluations are tallied with a scoring system that is simple and homogeneous that evaluates the footballers with the same analysis across all seasons."
Since the very first day of the Spanish league almost 90 years ago, 9,280 players have feature in the competition with 854 goalkeepers. In the study, Messi has risen to the to of that pile for various reasons. One of them being that he is the only one that vastly exceeds 400 goals - he has 349 to his credit so far.
According to Ortega, Messi has 545 points with Raúl on (528), Caesar (524), Zarra (493) and Quini (488), with the top ten rounded out by Juan Arza (481), Alfredo di Stéfano (481), Paco Gento (467), Carlos Alonso "Santillana" (464) and Guillermo Gorostiza (454).
Ortega points out that Messi has the "technique, ambition, talent and ability" to push him to the very top of the list and that have made him the most valuable player in the league.
Among active players, Ronaldo is the next in line at 17th position with 415 points. He is the second highest scorer with 285 goals and next to him in active players is Athletic Club's Aritz Aduriz in 67th place. He has 314 points and has scored 146 goals.