The Castrol Rankings: hitting the heights

The Castrol Rankings, the world’s first 12 month rolling ranking of footballers, was launched by current FIFA World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo in Madrid at the weekend.


The purpose of the Catrol Rankings is to create a table of the world’s best performing players. The top 5 leagues in Europe (The English Premiership, La Liga in Spain, Italy’s Serie A, the German Budesliga, and Ligue Une in France), along with the UEFA Champions League, will be used to gather the required data.

The contribution of each individual player, either positive or negative, will be determined as every pass, tackle and move of over 2000 players and games every year are used to put together an overall 12 month ranking.

Speaking at the launch in Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo said that he is aiming to top the rankings in the forseeable future.

“The Castrol Rankings is the ranking that every player wants to top,” he said.

“If you can be number one on the Castrol Rankings there can be no arguments, as it is based on fact, not opinion. That’s why I’m aiming for the number one spot – to prove I’m the best!”

How are the scores calculated?

  • A team of analysts award each player a Castrol Index score for every league and Champions League game played. The Castrol Index objectively analyses player performance, tracking every move on the field and assessing whether it has a positive or negative impact on a team’s ability to score or concede a goal. At the end of each game, players are given a score out of ten.
  • The Castrol Index score is then multiplied by a pre-determined ‘weighting’ which is a value relating to the importance of the particuler match.

Current tournament standings in order of weighting strength are as follows:

1. UEFA Champions League Knockout stage

2. UEFA Champions League Group Stage

3. Spain La Liga Primera Division

4. England Premier league

5. Germany Bundesliga

6. Italy Serie A

7. France Ligue 1

At the end of the football season, the weightings are adjusted accordingly to reflect the strength of each domestic league.

  • That points total is then added to all previous points to provide a total for the past 12 months. This total is then divided by the amount of minutes played by the individual to give an average 90 minute score.

Each month the player with the highest total per 90 minutes over the past 12 months will top the rankings and be deemed to be the best performing player. Castrol’s team of analysts will be using information provided by OPTA, Europe’s leading provider of sports performance data.

A key factor for all areas of performance is which zone on the pitch the action takes place. Players gain or lose points for completed and incomplete passes but the number of points awarded or deducted depends on which zones the ball is passed from and received in.

Barcelona striker Thierry Henry has picked up the first 12 month award following his excellent performances in La Liga. The Frenchman’s accuracy in front of goal was a key factor in his success, as 70% of his shots hit the target compared to an average of 42% across the five main European leagues.

Marcel Desailly, an ambassador for Castrol and a former teammate of Henry’s, said he wasn’t surprised to see ex-Arsenal striker at the summit.

“Thierry Henry has been one of the most consistent strikers in European football for a long time and I am not surprised he is at the head of the Castrol Rankings,” he said.

“Of course he is excellent in front of goal, but what makes him such an outstanding player is his overall contribution to Barcelona’s attacking play and that’s what makes him such an important part of that team.”

The Castrol Rankings will be made available each month via and Castrol’s global and local PR offices.

Author Details

Neil Sherwin
Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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