Football

Barcelona statistically the best team in Europe

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La Liga champions Barcelona are the most dangerous, dominant and competitive side in Europe, according to data collected by the CIES Football Observatory

The stats also suggest that Lionel Messi trumps Cristiano Ronaldo in the ongoing battle of who is the best, and that Javier Mascherano is the best all-round central defender in Spain. 

The study compared stats from the 'big-five' leagues across Europe; the English Premier League, La Liga, Seria A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga. 

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It looked at distribution, take on ability, rigour, recovery, chance creation, shooting, duelling, grip on the game and set-pieces in order to establish the overall threat posed by a team.

How effectively teams defended was also looked at to determine overall dangerousness, and it was found that not only were the Catalans the most impressive from an attacking viewpoint, but they were well organised defensively too. 

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Chelsea and Arsenal make top 10

Only two English clubs made the top ten most dangerous list, and they were not exactly challenging Barca for top spot. Premier League champions Chelsea were seventh, while Arsenal ranked ninth, one place behind Napoli.

They both ranked higher than Real Madrid with their grip on the game though, and Arsenal finished second, with Chelsea third, in the duelling ranking.

Individually, players were evaluated on their shooting, chance creation, take on ability, distribution, recovery and rigour, while certain positions had key areas (i.e. recovery, distribution and rigour were more important for a central defender). 

Mascherano's stats were found to be better than those of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane, while Dejan Lovren's figures surprisingly ranked him as the best centre-back in the Premier League. 

Messi's shooting and power hoisted him able his Portuguese rival, which will do nothing to better the mood of Ronaldo. His perfect hat-trick yesterday was overshadowed by Barca's league triumph, thanks to a goal scored by, you guessed it, Messi.

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Lionel Messi
Cristiano Ronaldo
Arsenal
Chelsea
Barcelona

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