Stats prove that Lionel Messi is the best passer in Europe

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Lionel Messi is having a season that could very well go down as one of his best ever.

With 29 goals in La Liga, the Barcelona star is leading the way in the race to win the European Golden Shoe.

And the campaign looks destined to end in silverware, with Barcelona boasting a 10-point lead at the top of the table, through to the final of the Copa del Rey and into the quarter-final of the Champions League.

Messi has been simply extraordinary, his hat-trick in Barcelona’s 4-1 win over Real Betis a thing of pure excellence.

But it’s not just in the goalscoring department where Messi is shining; his passing has been out of this world.

The 31-year-old has provided 12 assists - tied with Jadon Sancho for the most in Europe's top five leagues - to go with his 29 league goals, combining roles as Barca’s chief scorer and playmaker.

It bodes well for the future as Messi is expected to become more of a midfielder as he continues to age.

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Messi's passing stats are ridiculous

To truly appreciate Messi’s passing skills, it’s worth taking a look at his stats from this season.

Twitter user @Coutinholaughs has highlighted the most creative and threatening passers in Europe’s top five leagues in an easy-to-read graph, and Messi comes out on top by a distance.

He is completing nearly 6.5 through passes and close to 10 passes to the penalty area every match.

Messi is also way out in front when it comes to smart passes, which are defined as: “There has to be some idea in the pass, something creative, when the player is cutting the lines and winning some advantage for his teammates with this pass, leading them in a good position to attack.

“The pass should be between 2-3 opposition players.”

And there you have it. Lionel Messi, officially the best passer in Europe.

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