This debate is surely one which fuels much conversation between friends and football fans around the world. However, when it comes down to the real facts, which players are statistically the best in Europe? This list may bring up some surprising names.

These players have all left the likes of Arjen Robben, Gareth Bale, Andres Iniesta and Robin van Persie in their wake.

Five: Mikel Arteta - Arsenal.

Arteta may not be on many fans minds when thinking about some of the best players in the world, but surprisingly or not, the Spaniard makes this list.

The former Everton playmaker finished the season with an immense pass-completion rate of 91% that the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Steven Gerrard would be very proud of.

Arteta also played the ball forward almost 67% of the time, handing the forwards with many chances to score.

The midfielder also won more than half of his battles in midfield, proving he is no push over in the Premier League.

Four: Xavi Hernandez - Barcelona.

This will come as no surprise as the exceptional Xavi makes the list.

The playmaker completed 95% of his 2799 passes last season, and this is simply why many fans around the world would rate him as the best central-midfielder on the planet.

Another amazing statistic is the fact that he did not receive a single card throughout the whole season, an immense feat for any player to achieve.

Xavi also won 74% of his duels in midfield, adding an extra attribute to his pure quality on the ball, his spot in this list is truly something to be admired.

Three: Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid.

Despite scoring 34 goals in 34 matches last season, Ronaldo is number three in this list.

A simple reason may be simply due to his poor passing accuracy of 77%, which is unacceptable for a player of such world-class ability.

However, Ronaldo did create 62 chances for his team-mates throughout the season, and managed to hit the target almost 65% of the time.

Despite his poor passing percentage, there is no doubting his place on this list of the worlds best players.

Two: Santi Cazorla - Arsenal.

Santiago Cazorla is a player who has impressed many fans in England over the past 12 months, and even surpassed Robin van Persie as statistically the best player in the Premier League last campaign.

Cazorla played over 3300 minutes for Arsenal, creating a total of 95 goal-scoring chances for his fellow Gunners.

The Spaniard also scored 12 goals, whilst he assisted 11.

Combining this with the completion rate of an incredible 87% of his 2251 attempted passes, few can doubt his ability on the ball, and placing him at number two in this list will almost certainly stir-up some debates amongst football fans across world.

One: Lionel Messi - Barcelona.

Yes, you guessed it, the one and only Lionel Messi has taken the number one spot on this list. Messi featured 32 times last season domestically for Barcelona, scoring 46, and creating 45 chances for his team-mates, helping himself to 12 assists.

The Argentinean also hit the target 89 times throughout the season, leaving him with an average shooting accuracy of 68%.

His ability and technique are second-to-none in the footballing world, and we may never see such a great player grace the game in the same way as Messi.

At the age of only 26 he is well on his way to becoming La Liga's all-time top goalscorer.

Disagree with any of the players featured? Have your say below!

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here:

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: