Tuesday, 3 January 2012

European "Rangliste"

Since the 1950s German magazine Kicker has prepared a ratings system to evaluate the performance of players throughout the year. Initially limited to Germans based domestically it was in time widened to include foreigners in the Bundesliga and eventually German players based overseas. For some time I have thought about how useful it would be to have a similar series of ratings for the rest of Europe.

The Kicker writers have historically assessed the performances of players on a semi-annual basis and then categorized them into the following categories:

- World Class
- International Class
- Broader Circle
- In Focus

In order to simplify these (I am after all looking at the whole of Europe) I have amalgamated the bottom two categories into a single “National Class”.

Note: My rankings do not necessarily correlate with those of Kicker. The magazine has never published the criteria that they work on in determining the level of performance, nor make clear how the ratings would tally with the rest of the world. As such a player that Kicker deem to be international class may well end up in a different category under my rankings.

These rankings are naturally subjective and in no way claim to be definitive. They should hopefully though be interesting and provide some food for thought.


These rankings apply to all players based in Europe in a given period. They focus primarily on domestic and European performances, with due consideration given to internationals but exclude continental tournaments such as the World Cup, European Championships and Copa America. Consideration is given to the calibre of competition and opposition faced to reflect the difficulty in obtaining performances. Therefore an outstanding performance in the Belgian league will count for less than one in the Champions League final.

Players are rewarded for competing to a high standard in multiple competitions and for maintaining consistency throughout the period. Where a player is injured for a period of time in a season it may prevent them demonstrating the necessary consistency to be classified as world or international class.

The rankings consider merely the performances made during the period in question. They do not look at the ability or past history of a player, only how they have played during the year studied. They do not assess the completeness or variety of talents a player demonstrates either, merely the level to which he influences the games played in.

Note: In any given season there may be no players performing to a world class level in a particular position, players do not become world class by default (ie the lack of performance by others) but by the performances they make.


World Class *** – Performing consistently to an exceptional standard. Among the finest players in the world and performing at a level comparable with the very best in your position. (Guideline – 15-20 players a season)

International Class ** – Performing consistently to an excellent or sporadically to an exceptional standard. (Guideline – 20-30 players a season)

National Class * – Performing consistently to a very high standard or sporadically to an exceptional or excellent standard. (Guideline – 50-70 players a season)

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