Lionel Messi has shown he is a worthy winner of the 2019 Ballon d’Or with some electric performances this season.
The Argentine has shaken off numerous injury problems and is now back to playing at an elite level.
But who has been the five best players in every position in Europe’s top five leagues?
We’ve taken a look by using stats provided by WhoScored.
- Stats reveal Liverpool’s Team of the Decade
- Ramos’ worst tackles on Messi
- Players whose value has increased the most since start of season
Of course, these stats change from week-to-week, but are accurate as of December 13.
It’s also important to note that these stats are only taken from domestic games, so any European or domestic cup games do not count.
5. Luigi Sepe – 7.07
4. Alfred Gomis – 7.13
3. Salvatore Sirigu 7.13
2. Gautier Larsonneur – 7.29
1. Wojciech Szczesny – 7.39
Szczesny has been an extremely reliable goalkeeper for Juventus in the past few seasons and should be considered one of the best in Europe.
In 10 Serie A games, the Polish ‘keeper has conceded nine goals and kept four clean sheets.
Surprisingly, there are no other big names on the list.
Szczesny’s nearest challenger is Gautier Larsonneur, who has impressed for Stade Brestois.
5. Achraf Hakimi – 7.32
4. Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7.32
3. Joshua Kimmich – 7.33
2. Dani Carvajal – 7.37
1. Ricardo Pereira – 7.74
Leicester have been flying this season and statistically they possess the best right-back in Europe: Pereira.
The Portuguese full-back is strong in defence and has contributed two goals and one assist.
WhoScored actually rate him as the ninth best player in Europe so far this season.
Carvajal has been solid this season for Real Madrid, while Alexander-Arnold also makes the top five.
5. Will Orban – 7.20
4. Çaglar Söyüncü – 7.22
3. Wily Boly – 7.35
2. Virgil van Dijk – 7.39
1. Chris Smalling – 7.48
Manchester United must regret letting Chris Smalling leave on loan this season.
The English defender has been superb for Roma this term. It’s no surprise they are trying their best to sign him on a permanent deal.
Van Dijk is considered the best defender in Europe and makes the list in second, despite Liverpool only keeping two Premier League clean sheets this season.
Also excelling is Wolves defender Boly and Leicester’s Soyuncu.
5. Ghislain Konan 7.19
4. Andrew Robertson – 7.20
3. Ben Chilwell – 7.22
2. Hassane Kamara – 7.27
1. Marcel Halstenberg – 7.37
There’s some surprise names at left-back.
Halstenberg isn’t the most well known defender in Europe but has impressed for RB Leipzig this season.
The German defender has contributed two goals and two assists in 10 Bundesliga games.
It’s also interesting that Stade de Reims’ Kamara has been rated better than Chilwell and Robertson.
5. Rodri – 7.39
4. Marco Verratti – 7.52
3. Casemiro – 7.55
2. Idrissa Gueye – 7.59
1. Wilfied Ndidi – 7.62
It might be time to recognise Ndidi as one of the best defensive midfielders in the world.
With other standout players at Leicester including James Maddison and Jamie Vardy, Ndidi doesn’t exactly get too many plaudits.
But stats show he’s been an integral part of a side that has won 12 of 16 Premier League games this season.
PSG possess two of the best defensive midfielders in world football in the shape of Verratti and Gueye, while Rodri is having a solid first season at Manchester City.
5. Lorenzo Pellegrini – 7.40
4. Suat Serder – 7.42
3. Radja Nainggolan – 7.44
2. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – 7.46
1. Kevin De Bruyne – 7.85
Is there a better midfielder than De Bruyne in the world right now?
The Belgian was on fire to start the season. He’s recorded four goals and nine assists in 15 Premier League games.
Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked to top Premier League clubs in the past and he’s continued his form with Lazio.
Pellegrini has impressed for Roma, totalling six assists in nine Serie A games, while Nainggolan has nine goal contributions in 11 games for Cagliari.
5. Dele Alli – 7.39
4. Nabil Fekir – 7.46
3. Martin Odegaard – 7.51
2. Luis Alberto – 7.73
1. James Maddison – 7.75
Maddison is Leicester’s main creative outlet.
He’s notched five goals in three assists in the Premier League so far this season.
Former Liverpool player Alberto has been sensational for Lazio this term, while Real Madrid loanee Odegaard has also impressed at Real Sociedad.
Betis appear to have a £20 million bargain in Fekir, while Alli’s resurgence under Jose Mourinho means he has been the fifth best attacking midfielder in Europe this term.
5. Riyad Mahrez – 7.56
4. Jadon Sancho – 7.70
3. Angel di Maria – 7.72
2. Domenico Berardi – 7.79
1. Lionel Messi – 8.75
Messi has been far and away the best player in the world this season. While not an out-and-out winger, he’s played there more often than not according to WhoScored.
The Argentine has 12 goals and five assists in nine La Liga starts. Pure madness.
Berardi has impressed at Sassuolo for years and he’s continued that form this season, notching eight goals.
Sancho has also been playing at a very high level. He could be on his way back to the Premier League within the next year.
5. Milot Rashica – 7.56
4. Eden Hazard – 7.60
3. Sadio Mane – 7.64
2. Dimitri Payet – 7.68
1. Kylian Mbappe – 7.86
Mane finished fourth in the 2019 Ballon d’Or but has statistically only been the third best left-winger this season.
Mbappe has been the best, having netted seven goals and recorded four assists in just seven stats for PSG.
Hazard perhaps hasn’t had the start to life in Real Madrid that he would have hoped.
He’s only recorded one goal and one assist in his opening eight La Liga games, but stats show he’s played a lot better than his goal contributions suggest.
5. Memphis Depay – 7.70
4. Ciro Immobile – 7.73
3. Karim Benzema – 7.82
2. Timo Werner – 7.85
1. Robert Lewandowski – 8.01
Lewandowski just had to be number one. The Polish striker has scored a ridiculous 16 goals in 14 Bundesliga games this term.
With a rating of 8.01, he’s statically been the second best player in Europe this season.
Having scored 15 goals in 14 games for Leipzig this season, it seems only a matter of time before Werner moves to a bigger club.
Benzema, Immobile and Depay have all also had strong seasons.
But there’s no place for Jamie Vardy, who has 16 goals in 16 Premier League games, while Cristiano Ronaldo also doesn’t make the top five.