Henry the best player in the World? Really?

Jelen - Best striker in Ligue 1? Really?

As I was on vacation last week down in Miami, a friend of mine and I decided to pull up the Castor Oil player rankings. As many of you know, this is a list of players and it, kind of, determines who is the ‘best’ player in the world. Yes, they do have a formula and everything, but it still goes off of people’s opinion as well. 

So, I decided to look at the rankings and wanted to see who was in first place. I was expecting Lionel Messi maybe, since he is leading La Liga in scoring and is continuing to play amazing. Maybe it was David Villa, who is also having a great year so far. It could be a Real Madrid player. Hell, maybe even long-shot Yoann Gourcuff is the “best player in the world”. Still, that was more wishful thinking than reality. 

So, as I pulled up the list, I was amazed to see who it was. It was a player from Barca. Was it Messi, their top scorer? No. Maybe Ibrahimovic, their second highest scorer? No. Third highest Seydou Keita? No. Fourth highest Perdo? Nope. 

No, it was French international Thierry Henry, who has only played 11 of Barcelona’s 17 games this season. And in those 11 games, he has scored only two goals. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Henry. As many of you might remember, I defended his honor tooth-and-nail during the Ireland vs. France controversy. And, to this day, I will continue to do that. Also, he was a great player with Arsenal during his early years. And with Barca, he has done a good job as well, scoring 19 goals last year alone.

But to consider Henry the best player in the world (now second after the rankings were updated) is completely crazy. There are a number of players that deserve to be higher. Messi is just one player. David Villa is another player. And, honestly, there are quite a few player in Spain and England that deserve the honor as well. Again, While I do support Henry, he is far from the second best player in the world at this moment. 

That being said, lets look at some of the other rankings they have for both French internationals and Ligue 1 players that might be, well, a surprise. 

First, lets look at Ligue 1. Yoann Gourcuff is the highest ranked French player in Ligue 1. That is fair and expected. He is ranked 26th overall in the world. Second, only one spot behind Gourcuff in 27th, is Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carrasso. Ok, he is good, but I think that might be a little high. Still, I will let that one slip. 

After Marc Planus, who is 54h on the list, the list starts getting a little wierd. Auxerre striker Ireneusz Jelen is the highest striker on the list, at 55th. While he is a good player, to say he is the 55th best in the world is, well, crazy. There are strikers in Ligue 1 that are better that Jelen. Niang (72), Gervinho (137), Gignac (140), Chamack (163) are four strikers that are easily better than the Polish international. Yet, to the untrained eye and the casual observer (or non-observer) of Ligue 1, they would assume from the rankings that Jelen is the best. 

Here are other Ligue 1 players with ‘odd’ rankings:
Stephane Ruffier – 74th best in the world (thought I was the only one that had him on my Ligue 1 All-Star team).
Brandao – 120th best in the world, yet horrible for Marseille this season.
Nicolas Penneteau – 102nd best, and he has played ONE MATCH for Valenciennes THIS YEAR, yes one!
Kevin Gameiro – 260th has dropped 89 spots? He has played great in the last few months, yet he dropped 89 spots? Huh?
Matthier Chalme – 286th. One of the best defenders in Ligue 1 and he is 79 behind Gaby Heinze? Interesting.
Gy Roland N’Dy Assembe – 291st, the ACTUAL starter for Valenciennes this year, who has played great this year.
Loic Remy – 311th
Eden Hazard – 392nd
Florent Balmont – 422nd
Moussa Sissoko – 443rd
Cedric Hengbart – 518th…?
Aly Cissokho – 582nd
Jeremy Toulalan – 587th….really? Honestly? Wow!
Adama Coulibaly – 696th…?!
Sidney Govou – 1015th
Hatem Ben Arfa – 1156th, yeah, he hasn’t played, but still…Yann M’Vila is a better player? Come on. 

Honestly, I can spend hours picking apart this list, but we need to get to the French National Team players. 

Besides the obvious that I mentioned about Henry, the player rankings seem to agree his my earlier post that Franck Ribery isn’t one of the top 10 players in the world. They put him at 56th, with two other midfielders (Gourcuff and Diaby) ahead of him. Patrice Evra, who I feel is one of the best left backs in the world, is ranked 133rd. Rod Fanni 553rd. Matheiu Flamini is 606th. 

While the FNT isn’t as whacked as the Ligue 1 rankings, some of the rankings are crazy. 

So, what does this mean? How will people who never watch Ligue 1 look at these rankings? Will people think that Yann M’Vila is really better than Hatem Ben Arfa? That French international striker/midfielder Sidney Govou is just a little bit better than rarely used Toulouse midfielder Pantxi Sirieix? 

Basically, these rankings are crazy. And, in a nutshell, they totally misrepresent Ligue 1. Shame on the Castrol ranking people, whoever they are.

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2 Responses

  1. To be fair with Penneteau, he’s been injured for every game except the one he played.

  2. That is fair, and I agree. But I just don’t think he deserves a 102nd ranking even if healthy. He is good, but still, not 102nd best in the world.

    And, like I said with Ruffier, I had him on my all-star team, but I wouldn’t put him that high overall.

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