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Why Suarez, not Ronaldo or Messi, has been La Liga’s most important player this season

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The Barcelona forward’s goals have been decisive in winning Luis Enrique’s side eight points so far in the 2015-16 campaign, two more than anyone else in the division.

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Lionel Messi and Christian Ronaldo are the front-runners for the Ballon d’Or but are they really the most important players in La Liga, let alone the world?

While the world-renowned pair have 16 goals between them so far this season (even accounting for Messi’s current spell on the sidelines), those goals have not been as valuable for the purposes of winning games as others’, the stats suggest.

Indeed, it’s Messi’s team-mate, Luis Suarez, who comes out on top when you compare the players whose goals have ‘won’ the most points for their teams in Spain this season. The Uruguayan has come through at just the right time to secure eight points for Barca, more than anyone else in the league.

Real Madrid’s most decisive man is six-point striker Karim Benzema, with Real Betis’s Ruben Castro also making key contributions.

Six others follow on four points won apiece, including Neymar, Nolito and Antoine Griezmann – but Messi and Ronaldo are nowhere in sight.

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