European leagues: Top five underrated players

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The European leagues have some of the greatest names playing in them. The likes of Lionel Messi,  Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Gotze and Robin van Persie, just to name a few, have been constantly admired throughout the season. 

However, there are also many other top talents playing currently in Europe that aren't paid so much attention.

Here we look at the top five underrated players of the European leagues. 

Nicolas Gaitan (Benfica)

The Argentine winger was snapped up by the Portuguese giants as a replacement for fellow Argentine winger Angel Di Maria, who left for Real Madrid. 

The Argentine international is often Benfica’s stand out player. His skill, pace and passing ability are his most notable traits.

Riccardo Montolivo (AC Milan)

The ex-Fiorentina captain was bought in at Milanello as a replacement for the outgoing Andrea Pirlo. Although he had an unconvincing start to life in Milan, but ever since Serie A Match-day eight, he has become an integral part of Max Allegri’s side.

Although he may not be as talented as Pirlo, he has a few years on him, and there is no sign that one day he won’t be as good as his legendary predecessor.

Tino Costa (Valencia)

Signed from Montpellier in 2010, it has now looked like a bargain for Los Che. He has steadily become one of the best midfielders in La LIga, and also often a stand out performer in the Champions League. 

The Argentina international has an uncanny passing range and everyone knows about his lethal shots from distance, most notably a 30-yard effort against Bursaspor.

Javi Fuego (Rayo Vallecano)

The Spanish holding midfielder is arguably the reason why Vallecano sit in eighth in La Liga. Averaging on 5.86 successful tackles a match sees him sit eighth best in the top five leagues, and also an average of 7.87 interceptions per match, where he is only second to Juventus’ Arturo Vidal. 

Holding midfielders is meant to tackle and intercept to break up play, as his stats suggest, Fuego does this almost to perfection.

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona)

The Spanish midfielder is often labelled a diver after his tumble against Inter, where he peeked at the referee after falling, but diver or not, you cannot deny the Spaniards class. In matches, Busquets often completes more passes than that of the legendary Xavi, but since Xavi is often more accurate, he rarely gets mentioned. 

Also if we go back to the Champions League last 16 tie with AC Milan, Busquets was not dispossessed once, while Messi and Iniesta were five times each. When Pep Guardiola was in charge, he claimed that Sergio was always the first name on his team sheet. Maybe he wasn’t lying after all.


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