Crystal Palace forward Glenn Murray might not be the most sought-after striker in European football, but he's certainly one of the more prolific marksmen across the continent's top two divisions in each of the five best domestic leagues in England, Italy, Spain, Germany and France this season.

The 29-year-old sits proudly atop of the Championship goalscoring charts in 2012/13, with 27 goals in 29 appearances for Ian Holloway's promotion hopefuls, as the Eagles look to reclaim a place back among the Premier League's elite.

Murray has been the Selhurst Park outfit's secret weapon in their push for the promised land this year, with Manchester United bound winger Wilfried Zaha attracting most of the attention, and headlines for the side from South East London.

However, the former Brighton, Rochdale, and Stockport County star, has been instrumental in Crystal Palace's climb into the play-off positions, with Murray's goalscoring exploits bettered only by four-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner, and Barcelona maestro, Lionel Messi.

The Argentine forward has already set about improving on his record-breaking calendar year which returned an unprecedented 91 goals in 2012, by notching an unbelievable 37 La Liga goals in 24 appearances this term - a remarkable statistic, even by his standards.

Messi's arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo completes the top three coming in behind Murray, with 24 goals in 23 Primera Division appearances for Real Madrid, while Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic ranks fourth with 21 goals in 22 appearances in France's top-flight.

Another surprise entry at number five, is Burnley striker Charlie Austin, whose return of 21 goals in 27 appearances in England's second tier lifts him above Atletico Madrid's Colombian hit-man Radamel Falcao, who boasts an impressive 20 goals in 21 league appearances for Spain's other capital club.

Manchester United striker Robin van Persie is the Premier League's only featured player, with the division's runaway leading goalscorer only able to make seventh spot with 19 goals in 26 domestic appearances.

The final three places are awarded to players plying their respective trades outside their country's top-flight, with Blackburn Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes and Watford forward Matej Vydra's return of 19 goals in 29 and 28 Championship appearances placing them above Italian veteran Marco Sansovini.

Sansovini's 18th Spezia goal of the season in 19 appearances in Saturday's 3-2 defeat to Sassuolo, allowed him to sneak into Europe's top 10, ahead of Napoli's Uruguayan star Edinson Cavani (18 goals in 22 appearances) and Liverpool's leading man, Luis Suarez (18 goals in 26 appearances).

If there's one thing to be taken from this list of statistics - courtesy of WhoScored.com - it's that England's second tier is a hotbed of attacking talent in terms of goals to games ratio, with four out of the ten most prolific players in Europe currently playing in the Championship.

The leading light by some distance, however, remains the Cumbrian-born Crystal Palace forward, who has now provided compelling evidence to support the increasingly common question: 'what separates the world's two best players, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo?' The answer, Glenn Murray. 

Check out a list of Europe's top 10 leading marksmen in full below:

1. Lionel Messi | Barcelona | 24 La Liga apps | 37 goals

2. Glenn Murray | Crystal Palace | 29 Championship apps | 27 goals

3. Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid | 23 La Liga apps | 24 goals

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic | PSG | 22 Ligue 1 apps | 21 goals

5. Charlie Austin | Burnley | 27 Championship apps | 21 goals

6. Radamel Falcao | Atletico Madrid | 21 La Liga apps | 20 goals

7. Robin van Persie | Manchester United | 26 Premier League apps | 19 goals

8. Jordan Rhodes | Blackburn Rovers | 29 Championship apps | 19 goals

9. Matej Vydra | Watford | 28 Championship apps | 19 goals

10. Marco Sansovini | Spezia | 19 Serie B apps | 18 goals

Topics:
#Premier League
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