Study Reveals Who Is Most Similar To Lionel Messi Out Of 71,600 Players

Before we dive into this piece, let's just clear something up. NOBODY compares to Lionel Messi.

From his almost machine-like goalscoring record to his passing range and ability to dribble past anyone at anytime, Messi has left me speechless on a number occasions...this season.

But if we were to analyse players that strike a similar resemblance to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner in terms of footballing ability, who would come out on top?

Sports data analysis company Driblab via SPORT have crunched down the numbers.

In the study, they looked at twelve different components to make an overall comparison.

These are: participation in the play, goals scored per shots taken, expected goals per game, shots taken, touches in the opposition's box, expected assists per game, key passes, times the ball is lost, pressing, and completed shots.

After taking all of the above into consideration, Driblab have revealed that Eden Hazard, out of more than 71,600, across 2,300 teams, is most similar to Barcelona's main man.

It might not surprise you to read that the Chelsea winger came out on top.

The Belgian international, who has been one of the Premier League's stand out performers this season, has a 92.7% level of similarity to Lionel Messi based on the above points.

PSG forward Kylian Mbappe comes in second with a 91.3% level of similarity, while Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero comes in third with 91.1%.

If you take into account the 'younger generation' who are most similar to the five time Ballon d'Or winner, then the likes of PSV winger Steven Bergwijn, Viitorul Constanța midfielder Ianis Hagi and AZ star Oussama Idrissi come out on top in the study.

Who reminds you most of the great one?

Let us know in the comments.

Jack Kenmare

Jack Kenmare is a writer at SPORTbible. He's interviewed some huge names in the world of sport, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Pele, Carles Puyol and Tim Henman. He dabbles in all things sport, but football is his biggest passion. He was once hit in the head by a wayward strike from Nicky Butt and lived to tell the tale.

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