Stats show that Lionel Messi is the best passer across the top five European football leagues this season.
Lionel Messi has once again been brilliant for Barcelona this season.
The Argentine star is currently the top goalscorer for the side in the league, and has contributed to most goals across all competitions among Europe’s top five leagues.
And now, a graph compilation shows that Messi is also the best passer in the same bracket. The stat was determined through an evaluation of the number of through balls and passes inside the penalty area per 90 minutes.
Lionel Messi is ahead of every other footballer in the graph, thus reasserting the versatility in his performances.
Lionel Messi – the best passer:
The Argentine is more than just a lethal goalscorer.
Lionel Messi often orchestrates the attack from the midfield, and hence it comes as no surprise that the player who has contributed to the most number of goals for Barcelona this season, is also the best passer across the top five leagues.
Europe’s most progressive and threatening passers.
Through passes = Pass that goes beyond the defensive line, leading the attacking player alone against the goalkeeper. pic.twitter.com/eLF7ksXQSU
— CoutL (@Coutinholaughs) March 21, 2019
Messi has made close to 6.5 through balls every 90 minutes – only Neymar comes close. The Argentine has also attempted approximately 9.8 passes inside the penalty area in the same time frame.
However, while Messi’s former teammate Neymar closely challenges the player in this stat, Messi is far ahead of every other footballer in ‘smart passes’.
A ‘smart pass’ is a “significative pass or smart pass in general. Something more than a simple pass, not so easy to be done. There has to be some idea in the pass, something creative, when the player is cutting the lines and winning some advantage for his teammates with this pass, leading them in good position to attack. The pass should be between 2-3 opposite players.”
Now that we know what a smart pass is, here’s a look at the graph showing the huge difference between Messi, and the others.
Most creative passers in BIG 5 LEAGUE.
X-axis: Smart passes per 90
Y-axis: Through passes per 90 pic.twitter.com/nQ3muSU79J
— CoutL (@Coutinholaughs) March 18, 2019
Barcelona are on course for their second consecutive La Liga title, and are alive in the other two competitions (Champions League and Copa del Rey).
The side faces Manchester United in the quarterfinals of the European competition, while the final showdown for the Copa del Rey will be between Barcelona and Valencia.
If Lionel Messi leads the Catalan giants to victory in the above-mentioned tournaments, it makes a strong claim for him to win his sixth Ballon d’Or this year. Last year saw Luka Modric lifting the Ballon d’Or trophy – thus ending the dominance of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for the award.
Ronaldo, meanwhile, has shined for Juventus in his first season at the club as well, scoring 24 goals in 36 appearances across all competitions. He single-handedly took Juventus to the quarterfinals of the Champions League last week, as he scored a hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid.