Stats Show Lionel Messi Is The Best Passer In Europe

Lionel Messi is leading the race to win Europe's Golden Shoe for a record sixth time with the most goals in the continent so far this season, and the Barcelona forward is also the best passer in the top five leagues.

It's often considered a fair compromise that Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest goalscorer whilst Lionel Messi is actually the greatest player, or at least that's what we've come to accept at SPORTbible towers just so we don't have civil war everyday.

That said though no one has won the European Golden Shoe, awarded for most goals in a season, more often than Lionel Messi's five occasions and the Barca forward is in line for a sixth award.

Right now he has 29 goals, second only to Nomme Kalju FC's Liliu on 31, but with the toughness of league factored in Messi is ahead of Kylian Mbappe by six points, or three goals.

Of course Messi's brilliance isn't just in his goalscoring, which is usually the argument used against those who prefer Ronaldo, and his passing is just as good this season.

The stats prove that only Neymar is close to him in Europe's top five leagues for progressive and threatening passes with nearly 6.5 through passes and nearly 10 passes to the penalty area per 90 minutes:

Messi is also far and away the best in Europe when it comes to '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."

It's likely that Messi will end up with yet another individual award this season, to add to his ever growing collection, with a sixth Golden Shoe and maybe a sixth Ballon d'Or will follow later in the year.

How many trophies will Barcelona and Messi end up with this season?

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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