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Heineken® Unveils the Ultimate Player as Europe Prepares for a Champion Sporting Weekend

Thu 22nd May 2014 | Marketing & PR

As the cream of Europe's football and rugby talent prepares to compete in the UEFA Champions League and Heineken® Cup finals on Saturday (May 24th), Heineken® has unveiled the Ultimate Player who could take part in either prestigious sporting showdown.

Heineken®, the most international premium beer brand, has teamed up with sports data company Opta, to analyse the performances of international football and rugby stars who have competed in this year's premier European club competitions. The result is the 'Ultimate Player', who has the speed of foot of Chris Ashton, the scoring prowess of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jonny Wilkinson and the wizardry of Lionel Messi.  

Heineken® Brand Director, David Lette comments; 

"As Heineken® prepares to celebrate a legendary weekend with the double European Finales, we began to think about the world's most renowned players taking part and what the ultimate world class player would look like.  

"Being a world class beer brand and proud sponsor of the finest sporting events, we thought it would be fun to commission research to identify who possesses the unique talent and skill that when combined, creates this world class player who could compete in both epic finals."

David Ginola, former international and European footballer turned sports pundit says: "Fusing the physical attributes of Europe's premier football and rugby talents would create the ultimate player. One that would make the most formidable opponent on any pitch! The vision of Lionel Messi, with the left leg of Wilkinson, the right leg of Ronaldo and the fleet of foot of Chris Ashton would make an unforgettable impact in the final - c'est magnifique!"

Heineken®'s formula, for the world class, ultimate player would be; 

PERFECT PLAYER 

LEGS TO SCORE WITH

Jonny Wilkinson's left leg + Cristiano Ronaldo's right leg + Gareth Bale's left foot

Jonny Wilkinson is this season's top points scorer with 100, plus 25 penalty goals, two drop goals and one try.

Cristiano Ronaldo has netted twice as many right footed goals as any other player in the Champions' League. An impressive 63% of his 30 right footed shots have been on target

Attach Gareth Bale's left foot and you'd arguably have one of the most valuable legs in sport.

STEELY EYES AND SHARP REFLEXES

Lionel Messi's vision + Thibaut Courtois' reflex + Schalk Brits' precision

This season, Lionel Messi has set up 16 goal-scoring chances, has the most through balls and seventh most dribbles to his name.

Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois has made more catches than any other keeper, joint-high five clean sheets and with 20 plus saves, has the second best saves to shots ratio (83%) in the UEFA Champions' League this season.

Saracens' Schalk Brits has the best lineout throw success rate, finding a team mate with 91% of his efforts. The South African has also made more carries, metres and tackles of any other hooker in the Heineken(R) Cup this tournament.

HEAD ABOVE THE REST

Mario Mandzukic's head + Thomas Domingo's neck and back

Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic's has attempted more headed efforts on goal than anyone else during this season's Champions League.

Thomas Domingo was integral to Clermount Auvergne boasting the best scrum success rate in the Heineken(R) Cup 2014. Overall the French side have lost just two scrums.

This would be a great combination.

POWERFUL SHOULDERS AND SWIVEL HIPS

Chris Ashton's hips + Steffo Armitage's upper body

Chris Ashton scored a brace of tries in the semi-final against Clermont Auvergne and beat the tournament individual record of 10 tries in a season set by Sebastien Carrat of Brive in 1996/97. The winger has quick hips that can move him out of any tricky situation helping him make a total of 18 clean breaks in the competition, four more than any other player. Steffon Armitage's upper body strength has seen him win more turnovers than any other player during the 2014 Heineken(R)cup.

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