Barcelona's Lionel Messi is statistically the best player in Europe this season

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The 2019-20 season is approaching the halfway point around Europe.

Liverpool seem to have amassed an unassailable lead in the Premier League, while Barcelona are only holding off Real Madrid via goal difference at the La Liga summit. 

Inter Milan are looking to break Juventus' dominance in Serie A; Borussia Monchengladbach are the surprise leaders in Germany and there's no prizes for guessing who's leading Ligue 1.

But aside from the big clubs dominating their respective countries, there have also been plenty of individual players who have grabbed the headlines.

Lionel Messi is up to his old tricks in Europe, Jamie Vardy is leading the Premier League scoring charts and Mbappe is continuing to impress beyond his years.

Footballing index

However, we're looking for something a little more definitive and the CIES Football Observatory have helped us find that by drawing attention to the exclusive index at InStat.

The leading sports data company has developed an index that ranks footballers objectively across 35 European competitions - and their latest results make for interesting reading.

So, without further ado, check out their list for Europe's top 21 players so far this season and Cristiano Ronaldo fans won't be too pleased with the results.

21. Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich) - 336

Tottenham Hotspur v Bayern Muenchen: Group B - UEFA Champions League

20. Ricardo Pereira (Leicester City) - 336

Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City - Premier League

19. Heung-min Son (Tottenham Hotspur) - 337

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18. Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain) - 337

Italy v Bosnia and Herzegovina - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

17. Memphis Depay (Lyon) - 337

Netherlands v Estonia - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

16. Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) - 341

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15. Papu Gomez (Atalanta) - 344

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14. Dimitri Payet (Marseille) - 344

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13. Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - 348

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12. Sadio Mane (Liverpool) - 350

Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

11. Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) - 350

Liverpool FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League

10. Andrew Robertson (Liverpool) - 353

Liverpool FC v Norwich City - Premier League

9. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - 354

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

8. Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 355

SS Lazio v Udinese Calcio - Serie A

7. Timo Werner (RB Leipzig) - 357

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6. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) - 358

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5. Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 360

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4. Riyad Mahrez (Manchester City) - 362

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3. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - 366

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2. Hakim Ziyech (Ajax) - 377

Ajax v PAOK Saloniki - UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round

1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 401

FC Barcelona  v RC Celta de Vigo  - La Liga

GIVEMESPORT'S Kobe Tong says

Firstly, it's hard to argue with Ballon d'Or winner Messi taking top spot.

Aside from being utterly phenomenal for Barcelona this season, scoring 14 goals in just 15 games, who are we to argue when the statistics give him a whopping 24 point lead?

And I can't honestly say that Ronaldo has been in Europe's top 20 players this season and appears to be struggling under Maurizio Sarri, scoring just four times from open play.

FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca  - La Liga

Simply put, there's not a player in the list who could be justly removed for his presence.

But that isn't to say some changes should be made. Five goals in 18 games means Mahrez's fourth-place ranking over Serie A top-scorer Immobile looks incredibly bloated, despite a strong start to 2019/20.

Meanwhile, why on earth is Lewandowski languishing in 13th place? Statistics will always be limited and 27 goals in just 22 games not even being good enough for the top 10 is clear proof of that.

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So, be sure to take the data with a pinch of salt... even if Messi and number one always go hand in hand.

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