Lionel Messi Wouldn't Be Top Of The Stats In The Premier League

Lionel Messi came top of every attacking stat bar one in La Liga this season but the Barcelona forward wouldn't have been top for anywhere near as many categories in the Premier League.

'Can he do it on a wet Tuesday evening in Stoke?' The question that has, for some unknown reason followed Lionel Messi throughout his career, despite a ridiculously good record against English teams in the Champions League.

Stoke was always the place it was deemed difficult to play whilst they were in the Premier League. The Potters' tough tackling combined with spurts of quality and the horrid conditions at the Bet365 Stadium, which is open at both ends, made it the milestone.

If you could perform with the wind howling through the Midlands stadium whilst the rain poured down on a Tuesday evening then clearly you could cut it anywhere else.

That Messi has never played in England means people have always asked the question whether he could cut it over here.

Of course in Spain he bosses things and, other than take ons completed, topped every attacking stat in La Liga this season:

However if he had got the same numbers in England then his wins would have been lowered to 'just' eight categories:

Messi would still lead on goals, total shots, shots on target, big chances created, goals outside the box, goals from direct free kick, braces and the amount of times the woodwork was hit.

Equally he misses out on assists, chances created in open play, fouls won, and passed to Hazard and chances created to James Maddison, whilst he drew level with Sergio Aguero on three hat-tricks each.

Hazard's had another excellent season for Chelsea. Images: PA Images
Hazard's had another excellent season for Chelsea. Images: PA Images

Messi did grab himself a pair of braces at the Camp Nou against Premier League opposition, in Manchester United and Liverpool, in the Champions League.

Next season though he should be able to really test his numbers against Hazard with the Belgian expected to move to Real Madrid.

Will Messi show the former Lille forward up and ask the question 'can Hazard do it on a warm Sunday evening in Valencia?'

Ryan Sidle

Ryan is a writer for SPORTbible. He covers all sport from football, formula one, cricket, rugby, tennis, athletics, mma and wrestling. He obviously hates YOUR football team and has no interest in synchronised swimming.

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