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Fascinating Graph Proves Lionel Messi Remains The Best Passer In European Football

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Fascinating Graph Proves Lionel Messi Remains The Best Passer In European Football

While the goals may have dried up for Lionel Messi this season, statistically he remains one of the best passers in European football.

Messi has endured a difficult debut campaign at Paris Saint-Germain and has managed just three goals in his 20 appearances in Ligue 1.

But while his goals return may be down on previous years, he is still able to play an important role for PSG - as shown in Saturday’s 6-1 win over Clermont, in which the Argentine provided three assists without getting on the scoresheet. 

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A new graph, posted to Twitter by user gasipo_opinions, has proved just how effective Messi remains at the age of 34.

The graph, which uses data from statistics website FBref, ranks players from European football’s top five leagues by their progressive passes per 90 minutes and expected assists per 90 minutes.

For players to be included, they must have played a minimum of 13 90-minute matches this season.

The graph shows that Messi is one of the best performing players on both axis and an outlier when the two metrics are combined.

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Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold also scores highly on the chart, along with Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich and Messi’s teammate at PSG, Neymar.

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is also in the same elite group, dubbed the 'Double Threat' passers, along with Lazio’s Luis Alberto and Athletic Bilbao winger Iker Muniain.

While he still has at least one year left on his current deal at PSG, Messi continues to be linked with a return to Barcelona.

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Messi set up three goals in PSG's 6-1 win over Clermont (Image: PA)
Messi set up three goals in PSG's 6-1 win over Clermont (Image: PA)

His former teammate Dani Alves has urged the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to return “home” when the summer window opens.

“I don’t know what he thinks or wants to do. He could come back for a little year with me for a 'last dance'. Why not? There’s nowhere better than here,” Alves told Sport.

“He cannot be better off than at Barcelona. He left and tried the experience. It’s time to return home if he wants.”

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Featured Image Credit: PA Images & Twitter: gasipo_opinions

Topics: Lionel Messi, Football, Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1

Rory O'Callaghan
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