The Greatest Individual Performers In a Single Competition

The Greatest Performers in a Single Domestic Season
(Domestic League + Cup)

1. Pele (1961)

Pele played in 3 domestic competitions in 1961, Campeonato Paulista, Torneo Rio Sao Paolo and Campeonato Brasileiro. In total, he scored 55 goals in 33 games. From overall 10 hat-tricks, Pele made 8 hat-tricks in Campeonato Paulista, scored one hat-trick in Torneo Rio Sao-Paolo against Flamengo. In the campeonato brseileiro final match, he scored hat-trick against Bahia. The most extraordinary goal is the scene he dribbed pass 3 opponents and score decisively. Pele scored 48 % of overall team scores.  

Reference :

2. Lionel Messi (2011 - 2012)

Messi in this season is named in every ESM team of the month that no one could achieve and is one of the most prolific scorers in history of the global domestic football with 53 goals  (10 Penalty Kicks) and 18 assists or 1.61 (goal + assist per game). He scored 45 % of overall team goals and made 8 hat tricks in which is the highest hat-trick record in history of la liga. In attribute data, Dearman rates all of his 50 goals in La Liga and give average qualitative scores as 6.9. He obtains average seasonal rating at 7.72, one of the highest ratings. Messi established himself as a complete forward. His positional play in penalty box area to score had been developed allowing him to meet a ton of chances to score. He is also dangerous in his running with the ball in everywhere of the front line. However, he failed to score against Real Madrid in all 4 matches.

Reference :

3. Lionel Messi (2014 - 2015)

Messi in this season is named in 7 ESM team of the month from total 9 and won domestic double champion with Barcelona. is one of the most prolific scorers in history of the global domestic football with 48 goals (6 Penalty Kicks) and 22 assists or 1.6 (goal + assist per game).  He scored 37.5 % of overall team goals and made 6 hat tricks. In attribute data, Dearman rates all of his 47 goals in La Liga and Copa Del Rey and give average qualitative scores as 6.7. He obtains average seasonal rating at 7.82, the highest ratings in history of Spanish La Liga. Messi . He failed to score against Real Madrid in both home and away game. Messi withdraws himself deeper to attacking midfield and wing area and running across the deep-lying forward to penalty area to create many chances to his team or score by himself.

Reference :

4. Diego Maradona (1980)

At his only 20 years old, Maradona performed as the greatest young player ever, scoring 43 goals in 45 games in domestic football with Argentinos Juniors or around 50 % of total team goals and made 20 assists. Maradona was a pivot of the team and he was used as a forward. He was a top scorer in Argentine Nacional and Metropolitano.  Maradona in this season was very fast and remarkable in dribbling. Most of his goals were individually produced from his own actions. The average rating of his performance in 40 games is 7.10 is one of the highest ratings in history of Argentina Primera Division. 

5. Johan Cruyff (1971 - 1972)

Cruyff was achieving his peak performance with the leadership role of total football strategy. Cruyff appeared in every where on the midfield and front-line. He scored 26 goals in total 31 domestic games. He was named as man of the match against Feyernoord in away match with scoring 2 goals and 1 assist. In the home match, Cruyff did not produce any score and assist but he was reported to play very well throughout the game, participating in the first goal and almost score the third goal after dribbling pass a keeper but the ball was finally cleared out. In the dutch cup final, he scored one goal and made one assist with creating a chance for his teammate to score by penalty kick. In matches against top five side, he scored 5 goals and made 4 assists in total 9 games.

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6. Diego Maradona (1984 - 1985)

   Although Napoli was unsuccessful in Series A, finishing 8th place and lost 7 matches, Maradona's average seasonal rating in this season is 7.03, one of the highest ever in history of Italian Series A. Maradona in this season is very fast, unstoppable dribbling, He scored 40 % of overall team goals with 4 penalty kicks. He made a hat-trick in 20th match against Lazio, is arguably one of the best matches in his domestic career and he totally made 5 assists in this season. In match against Juventus, he get pass 5 Juventus players before being fouls in penalty box. Once he was fouled and lost balance fall to the ground but just a sec, he stand up very fast and continue running. He made a acrobatic style of passing with accurate overhead kicking. One of the incredible goals, he scored from corner-kick. In copa del rey, he scored 3 goals in 6 games when Napoli was eliminated at round of 16.

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7. George Best (1967 -1968)

George Best in this season scored 28 goals as the top scorer of the league and received FWA footballer of the year awards. As watched samplings of highlight in match Man Utd versus and Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal,  George Best is always dangerous and expectable in his dribbling that is unparalleled and help him to meet the chances to score by his own. Moreover, his shooting is 100 % accurate in direction. When he lost controlling the ball, his speed helps him to win the ball back at the moment.  

Reference :

8. Zico (1982)

Zico scored 42 goals in total 45 domestic games or counted as 42 % of overall team goals. He led Flamengo to win Campeonato Barsileiro title. He obtained 8.16 rating in Bola De Ouro as the ninth place but the rating standard between positions saw very high variance. In attribute qualitative scoring rating, Dearman rate Zico in campeonato barsileiro at 6.8 in average. The best goal is the scene against Treze when he drib pass 5 players from the midfield area and finally scored by the chance of the overflowed ball. He also scored several goals by his heading thanks to his superb positional play and scored by free-kick only 2 goals. 

Reference :

9. Ronaldo (1996 - 1997)

Quantitatively, Ronaldo scored 40 goals in 41 games counted as 38 % of total team goals and totally made 20 assists. In attribute qualitative scoring rating, Dearman rate Ronaldo in La Liga at 6.8 in average. In the first half of the season, he scored most goals by awesome dribbling and his impeccable speed. The second half saw his decline in spectacular scoring style when he more scored by tapping and penalty kick. He did not play in Copa Del rey final which Barcelona win the title but his hat-trick against Atletico Madrid in semi-final second leg, is considered as a key performance of team achievement as a great come back after being led 0-3. 

Reference :

10. Garrincha (1962)

In 1962, Garrincha was named as the best player of Campeonato Carioca, Torneo Rio-Sao Paolo and Campeonato Brasileiro. He led Botafogo win the Carioca and Rio-Sao Paolo tournament and lost Santos in Campeonato Brasileiro final tie breaker 0 - 5. Garrincha was a confident one-man-show wih his phenomenon dribbling ability. The Carioca final match is one of his best games, he scored one goal after getting pass a defender and assist one goal from crossing.

Reference :

Other potential candidates : Eusebio (1967 - 1968), Alfredo Di Stefano (1957), Michel Platini (1983 - 1984), Dixie Dean (1927 - 1928)

The Greatest Performers in a Single International Club Season
(Continental, Super Cup and World/Intercontinental Club Final)

1. Lionel Messi (2010 - 2011)

In total, Messi scored 15 Goals and made 3 Assists in total 15 Games. Messi was rated as man of the match in the final against Man Utd and most media rates him at 9 points. His spectacular goals against Real Madrid in semi-final second leg is regarded as one of the best goals in history when he drib pass 4 Real Madrid players before scoring the goal. In match against Arsenal, he scored an important goal just before the end of first half ิby flapping the ball across a keeper. In UEFA Super Cup, Messi made an incredible coincident assist aside from his scoring a goal. He is named as the man of the match in 2011 World Club Cup final against Santos.

2. Zico (1981)

Zico scored 11 goals and made 4 assists in total 14 games. He was a phenomenon scorer in Copa Libertadores Cup final against Cobreloa, scoring all 4 goals that the team made. He scored a wonderful goal by perfect curving free-kick and the other two goals are made after his great positional support from midfield to penalty area. In semi-final match against Deportivo Cali, he scored the first goal after his superb first touch and scored the second goal by free-kick. He also scored hat-trick against Cerro Porteno in group stage. He did score in intercontinental cup but he participated in all 3 goals, making two assists and the second goal was achieved credit to his free-kick.

Reference :

3. Cristiano Ronaldo (2016 - 2017)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 13 Goals and made 6 Assist in 14 Games. He was rated by media at 9 points in four games against Atletico Madrid in semi-final that he made an hat-trick and Juventus in Final Match. In match against Bayern Munich in quarter-final, he obtained 10 points in both leg and achieved hat-trick in the first leg. He did not play well in match against Napoli in first leg but he returned to perform superbly in second leg. In knock out phase, his average rating is 8.5. He did not player in 2017 super cup and receive only 7 point in World Club cup final. He scored only 2 goals in UEFA Champion League Group stage.

Reference :
4. Michel Platini (1984 - 1985)

Michel Platini scored 8 goals and made 4 assists in 11 Games. In attribute data, Dearman rates his average qualitative scoring point at 6.8. He scored 4 goals by penalty kicks. He made an incredible accurate long passing for the last two assists against Sparta Prague and Bordeaux. He played superbly in the European Cup final match which Dearman rate him as a man of the match at 8.5 point. In intercontinental cup, he scored a wonderful goal after bouncing the ball 3 tempos but it was mistakenly judged as offside by referee. However, he made a 1-tempo quick passing to M.Laudrup.

Reference :
5. Johan Cruyff (1972 - 1973)

Cruyff scored 5 goals and made 5 assists from total 7 matches including 1972 European Super Cup that is held in 1973. Dearman rates him in man of the match against Bayern in European Cup quarter-final first leg.

6. Pele (1962)

Pele scored 9 Goals in 6 Games. In Copa Libertadores cup, Pele played only a play off game of final game and scored all two goals. He scored other two goals against Cerro Porteno in group stage as Santos beat the opponent 9-1. Pele's best performance came in 1962 intercontinental cup, scoring five goals and made an assist in two games, including hat-trick in the second leg. In related 7 goals in copa libertadores cup and intercontinental cup, dearman rates Pele's qualitative average scoring at 6.64.   

Reference :

7. Pele (1963)

Pele scored 7 Goals in 5 Games. In Copa Libertadores cup, he only played in semi-final and final match as Santos qualified for semi-final round automatically. In intercontinental cup, he played only a game from total 3 and scored 2 goals. In Copa Liberadores Cup, Pele scored hat-trick against Botafogo in semi-final second leg. He also scored a winning goal in the final match. In attribute qualitative average data of Pele's related 6 goals, Dearman give 7.00 point.

Reference :

8. Marco Van Basten (1988 - 1989)

Van Basten scored  11 Goals in 12 games counted as 48 % of total team goal in this international club season. In attribute data, Dearman rates his qualitative goals at 6.8 points in average. Van Basten scored 4 goals against Votoshua from Bulgaria at the first round. In the first leg of second round, he made one great assist Red Star Belgrade and he eventually scored a decisive goal in 3rd match. In total, he scored by heading 4 goals, Penalty 2 goals and by left foot 2 goals. However, he failed to score a goal aside from penalty kick in super cup and intercontinental cup. 

Reference :

9. Ference Puskas (1959 - 1960)

Puskas scored 14 goals in only 9 games. He scored two hat-trick, the first one against Jeunesse Esch and the second one against Frankfurt in European Cup final match. He also scored 2 goals in intercontinental cup. In total, he scored 44 % of total team goals.

Reference :

10. Cristiano Ronaldo (2013 - 2014)

Cristiano Ronaldo scored 19 Goals and made 5 Assist in 13 Games, counted as 45 % of overall team goals. In knockout stage, he is rated by media at 9 points in four games against Schalke (2 matches), Bayern Munich and Dortmund. Unfortunately, he did not play well in the final where he received only 6 point the same rate as his performance in World Club Cup final. Also, he scored only an important goal in knock-out stage. His 17 goals in UEFA Champion League is the record of highest goalscorer in a single season. He scored two goals in super cup against Sevilla. He made one hat-trick at UEFA Champion League group stage against Galatasaraay in the first match.

Reference :

Other potential candidates : C.Ronaldo (2017 - 2018)

The Greatest Performers in a Single International Country Tournament

1. Diego Maradona (WC 1986)

Maradona scored 5 Goals and made 4 assists in 7 Games. Maradona scored the best goal ever in history of the game against England in quarter-final match when he dribb pass 5 English players from the central midfield area to score. In match against Belgium in semi-final, he drib pass 3 Belgian players and scored another wonderful goal. Maradona made an assist in final match that is the only game arguably if he is deserved man of the match while he is considered as the man of the match in the previous 6 games conveniently.  In Opta stats, he made 81.9 passing accuracy, 50 % shot accuracy, duels won 57 % chance creation 2,1 times per game.

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2. Garrincha (WC 1962)

Garrincha scored 4 Goals and made 2 assists in 6 games. In Knockout stage, He is deserved as a man of the match in all 3 games including the final match. Garrincha was phenomenally quick in his footage and drib pass at least 2-3 players often. He is unexpectedly very good in heading and very effective in his left foot as well. In the group stage, he only an assist to Amarildo against. His best match is arguably the game against Chile in semi-final when he scored two goals and made an assist.

Reference :
3. Michel Platini (Euro 1984)

Platini scored 9 Goals and made 2 Assists in only 5 games or scored 64 % of total team goals. Platini is a main creator of the magic square, is excellent in coordination and synchronization from midfield to penalty area as well as contribute accurate passing consistently. He scored by free-kick two goals and he proved to be very good in aerial scoring with 2 goals by heading and a goal by penalty. Platini are conveniently deserved as the man of the match in 4 games from total 5. The only one match against Denmark could be shared with Alain Giresse.

Reference :

4. Johan Cruyff (WC 1974)

Johan Cruyff scored 3 goals and made 3 assists in 7 games. He was a central role in total football strategy, operating the game in everywhere on the midfield and the front-line  and dominates in his speed and dribbling. His performance is rated in excellent level in two matches against Sweden and Argentina, is rated in very good level in 3 matches against Bulgaria, Uruguay and Brazil and is rated in fair level against East Germany and West Germany in final match although he made a magnificent scene and led to win penalty kick. In Opta stats, he made 81.3 % passing accuracy, 76.5 % shot accuracy, 56 % Duals won, chance creation 5.1 times per game.

Reference :

5. Marco Van Basten (Euro 1988)

Van Basten scored 5 goals, 4 games. He scored many wonderful goals in this tournament including the most fantastic goal against Soviet Union in the final match when he made a spectacular volley from acute angle. In overall qualitative goal average rating, Dearman give him at 7.9 point. He scored hat-trick in match versus England and scored winning goal against West Germany. He is regarded as man of the match in all of these 3 games.

6. Didi (WC 1958)

Didi scored only one goal but made 6 assist. He was a main orchestra of Brazil with excellent ball controlling and consistently contributing accurate long passing with a drive curve trajectory. His performance is deserved to be rated as man of the match in final match against Sweden and semi-final against France, is considered as the best match in his career when he scored a goal and made 2 assists.

7. Roberto Baggio (WC 1994)

Baggio scored 5 memorable goals and made an assist in 6 games. He scored 62.5 % of total team goals. In the group stage, his performance is under his standard due to Italy's defensive tactic that is very difficult for attackers to get significant participation. In knock-out stage, he is an absolutely indispensable player of the team, carrying the team by turning from bad situation to win the match by his scoring that is mostly created the chance by himself. He is considered a man of the match in round of 16 against Nigeria, quarter-final against Spain and semi-final against Bulgaria. In the final match, he is not fit but still make some good performance,

8. Raymond Kopa (WC 1958)

Kopa scored 3 Goals and made 9 Assists in only 6 Games as the record of highest assists in a single world cup tournament. He is a main creator of French game, playing as an inside forward position and is highly credit to support Just Fontaine's a record of goalscoring in history of world cup with 4 assists to him. In the group stage against Paraguay, he scored a goal and made 3 assists.

9. Matthias Sammer (Euro 1996)

Sammer played in offensive libero role in 5-3-2 system. During the tournament, he performed superbly in going support from defensive line throughout  the front-line with incredible synchronization with his teammates. He is also excellent in vision to pass from the back-line and performed sweeping effectively. He scored opening goal in match against Russia.He is named as Man of the match against Czech Republic in group stage and against Croatia in quarter-final, scoring a winning goal.  

10. Franz Beckenbauer (WC 1974)

Beckenbauer made an assist, 87.6 % passing accuracy, Duel won 64.4 %, tackle won 68.8 %, shooting accuracy 66.7 % and creates chances 9 times.  He performs as an offensive libero as a director of team from the back-line with notable accurate long passing.

Other potential candidates : Just Fontaine (1958), Paolo Rossi (1982)


  1. This list is great. I have been follow your work for years and you are improving everyday. You have to be more recognized, because this blog is the best and the most complete in all the net. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks you for helping to improve many points as well. I will always be happy to have you here.

    2. Anonymous12/29/2018

      I think exactly the same. I posted dozens of comment and argue a lot with you. You are opened to discussion. I wish I wouldn't use anonymous to establish a confidence relation ship just like axel persico.
      P. G

  2. Anonymous8/31/2018

    How bout you make best individual performance in a single calendar year

    1. I think continuity of season give more accurate view to evaluate players.

  3. Anonymous1/12/2019

    What a nice work. How about Gunter Netzer(1972)?

    1. Netzer in 1972 Euro ? He is perfect in semi-final and decline in final match but he is definitely among the best.

  4. Fontaine in WC 1958?

    1. It is not easy to decide but I'd prefer Kopa who made 9 assists as all-time world cup record and he is a main instrument of France. Fontaine could be in top ten but most goals he made are against inferior teams.

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    1. I use google blogspot layout as normal but I decorate the blog uniquely.

  7. Anonymous4/23/2019

    I don't think c.ronaldo's 2013-2014 champions league is his best one because he often scored when the match and was saved by his teammates. 2015-2016 or 2016-2017 should be considered and in my opinion 2016-2017 is the best one.

    1. Yes, 2013 - 2014 season is not his best one according to the above list and 2016 - 2017 is the best one.

  8. Anonymous4/25/2019

    What about Zidane in WC 2006, doesn't he deserve at least a mention ?

    1. His performance was impressive but he is totally overrated. He achieved man of the match only one game against Brazil.

    2. Anonymous6/06/2020

      Zidane is in my opinion the most overrated great player in people mind.

  9. Anonymous4/25/2019

    What about domestic season of C.Ronaldo in 2007-2008, 2011-2012, 2014-2015 ?

    1. I check all rating of him. Those seasons are not his best seasonal performance.

  10. Anonymous4/25/2019

    Something I don't understand, in World Annual Awards of The Century you say messi is SW 2015 while Ronaldo is Phenomen in 1997
    Here messi 2014/2015 is considered as the third greatest performance while Ronaldo which I agree is 8 but it probably means Messi was also a Phenomen this season.

    1. Originally, I rate Messi on phenomenon-class in only half season for 2015 but then I updated to be entire season in domestic table and forgot to update here. Thanks you.

    2. Anonymous4/27/2019

      Same kind of considerations. Di Stefano C1 1957, Pele libertadores 1962-1963, Zico libertadores 1981, cruyff C1 in 1972 are rated as Phenomen in 1981 while Messi c1 2011-2012 only sw where I think he is a Phenomen and agree with your ranking as first.

    3. Anonymous4/27/2019

      By it also points the same kind of thing for Cristiano Ronaldo C1 (2016 - 2017) and Platini C1 (1983-1984)

    4. Anonymous4/27/2019

      In Single International Country Tournament Baggio is Phenomen while Van basten or Didi are not. maybe Baggio is just SW or he should be put 5.

    5. Anonymous4/28/2019

      I wanted to say messi 2010 2011 c1 should be listed as phenomen

    6. Anonymous5/01/2019

      Hello Naratorn,
      I I recap :
      - Messi 2010-2011 C1 must be rated as phenomen
      - C.Ronaldo 2016-2017 C1 may be rated as phenomen (or Di Stefano C1 1957 then pelé libertadores 1962-1963 C1 rating may be decreased as SW)
      - Platini 1983-1984 C1 may be rated as phenomen (or Di Stefano C1 1957 then pelé libertadores 1962-1963 C1 rating may be decreased as SW)
      - Baggio 1994 WC may be put 5 in the ranking (or performance decreased to SW, I don't think Didi WC 1962 and Van Bastan Euro 1988 can be rated as P)

      P. G.

    7. I am not understand as I already rate Messi performance in the 2010 - 2011 UCL in phenomenon-class as well as Cristiano Ronaldo in 2016 - 2017 inclding Van Basten in 1988 Euro.

    8. Anonymous5/01/2019

      I am talking about what I see here :
      For example, in 2011 column Int. Club

      I see Messi UCL PFM SW which is not consistent with this ranking right as he should be P.
      And I did the same kind of checks or all the others performance mentionned.

      Maybe it's just not up to date :)

    9. Anonymous5/03/2019

      Is is clear enough ? Or do you need more explanations. I say this page is not totally in synch with

    10. Oh I see. Sorry for my false and I will update.

    11. I have started a football blog can you give me some tips
      Here's my blog below

    12. I have looked into the blog and I see you have written some informative comments for upcoming Copa America. Cheer.

  11. Nice blog,
    I appreciate your smart work, Thank you so much.
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  12. What about Dixie Dean in 1927/28, When he scored 60 goals?

    1. OK I think he should be in reserved list at least but there is no video to analyze his scoring ability so I prefer not name him in top 10.

  13. Why Maradona is downgraded from 1st position to 4th position in "The Greatest Performers in a Single Domestic Season"?


      He made only 8 assists in 36 games. He had better record in 1987 - 1988 and 1979 to 1983. Anywa, Dbscalcio rates his 1984 - 1985 as the best season.

  14. Why is CR 07/08 only SW for 1 half?

    from August to December 31st 2007
    13 PL goals+1 assist
    1170 minutes played (13 games)


    99 dribbles attempted in that first half(opta) up until 15th January 2008

    6.6 dribbles attempted per 90
    48% accuracy
    3.2 dribbles completed per 90
    He was on fire here

    2nd half of the PL (January to may 2008)
    18 goals+6 wide assists
    1401 minutes played

    1.54 goals+assists per 90
    The data supports him being more productive in the second half

    But he was a real complete package in the first
    A livewire

    2007 calender year Ronaldo is one of his best ever versions

    I believe that end product within the context of that era will stand the test of time

    A 22/23 year old attacker with
    1gpg in Europe's elite league
    31 goals in 2747 minutes(30.5 games)
    3.2~dribbles completed per 90
    33.1 passes avg per match
    0.95 tackles per match
    3.86 crosses attempted per match
    Countless yards covered with his ball carrying
    Goals and assists vs top 4
    A FK specialist,fantastic in the air even at that age,genuinely two footed

  15. Assalamu'alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh to Muslim
    & Good day to Others

    How about Riquelme's:
    2007 Copa Libertadores
    2007 Copa America?

  16. Anonymous7/21/2021

    What about Lewandowski in UCL ?

    1. In 2020 tournament, for productivity, he made 15 goals and 6 assists and scoring ratio vs team goals is 0.34 which remains inferior to CR7 profile at 10th place. In performance, I think he is a close call to the list.

  17. Anonymous7/21/2021

    From how much Zidane miss in Euro 2000 ? WC 2006 ?

    1. In 2000, I remember he wasn't very extraordinary. At 2006, I think he outclasses in the tournament but still not in his peak.