Oxford mathematician develops algorithm to name best footballer in history

09 Sep 2021

Mathematician Dr. Tom Crawford from the University of Oxford has decided to put an end to the debate regarding the best footballer in history by creating a special algorithm.

The algorithm takes into account seven key criteria which include honours and goals at the club and international level, Ballon d’Or votes, individual records, as well as ‘mathematically outstanding’ campaigns that saw a player lead his team to glory through his goals.

Here’s the top 10 list, as per the algorithm:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo — 537 points

2. Lionel Messi — 503

3. Pele — 459

4. Ferenc Puskas — 305

5. Ronaldo Nazario — 281

6. Marco van Basten — 237

7. Alfredo Di Stefano — 201

8. Michel Platini — 177

9. Diego Maradona — 169

10. Johan Cruyff — 163

Ronaldo was able to claim the first spot thanks to the trophies won at the club level, including the five Champions League titles — four of which he won at Real Madrid — and his goalscoring record for Portugal, among other things.

Another interesting detail is that Real Madrid have got four players on the list — CR7, Puskas, Ronaldo Nazario and Di Stefano — more than any other club.

However, Dr. Crawford himself believes that the algorithm he created might not be able to settle the debate once and for all.

“Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo has come out on top from my algorithm, it is clear that all the other players’ stats are absolutely incredible, and I am sure the debate will continue!” he told Daily Mail.

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Karim Benzema 21 Goals Real Madrid
Gerard Moreno 20 Goals Villarreal
L. Suárez 19 Goals Atlético Madrid
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