Cristiano Ronaldo was crowned football’s GOAT in mathematical study

But what does the data say?

Dr. Tom Crawford, who works as a mathematician at the University of Oxford, attempted to settle the GOAT debate on behalf oLiveScore in September 2021.

View the study below…

Dr. Crawford’s first task was to come up with a shortlist of 10 players. To qualify, players must have won two or more Ballon d’Or trophies. They then had to score highly enough over seven categories to cement their place in the top 10.

After the numbers were crunched, the final 10 were Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Pele, Diego Maradona, Marco van Basten, Johan Cruyff, Ferenc Puskas, Alfredo Di Stefano, Ronaldo, and Michel Platini.

The final 10 then scored points across seven rounds. They were as follows:

Round 1: Club titles

Round 2: International titles

Round 3: Goals for your club

Round 4: Goals for your country

Round 5: Ballon d’Or titles

Round 6: Records

Round 7: Z-Factor seasons

And it was Ronaldo who came out on top as he was crowned football’s greatest ever player. View the final standings below…

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10. Johan Cruyff

9. Diego Maradona

8. Michel Platini

7. Alfredo Di Stefano

6 Marco Van Basten

5. Ronaldo Nazario

4. Ferenc Puskas

3. Pele

2. Lionel Messi

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo took the top spot, while Messi and Pele joined the Portuguese forward on the podium.

Perhaps surprisingly, the data did not favor Maradona, ranking him as just the ninth best footballer ever,

Dr. Crawford concluded: “As a massive football fan, I have long debated with my friends who the greatest player of all time is. I have loved bringing maths to the masses over the past few years, so being able to showcase how you can use it within the world of football has been a lot of fun.

“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!”

Dr. Crawford isn’t wrong. While this study favored Ronaldo, it goes without saying that many will dispute its findings.

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