Messi, Lewandowski, Mbappe: Europe's best XI this season doesn't include Ronaldo

  • Kobe Tong

Europe's top five leagues have all bowed out for the 2020/21 campaign.

In what will go down as one of the strangest seasons in the history of the beautiful game, the continent's biggest competitions saw no shortage of shocks, upheavals and dramatic moments.

There were new champions in France and Italy as Lille and Inter Milan brought some much-needed freshness to Ligue 1 and Serie A by ending Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus' run of titles.

2020/21 in Europe

And Atletico Madrid upset the applecart in La Liga by overtaking Real Madrid and Barcelona to win their second title in ten years under Diego Simeone.

Manchester City returned to the Premier League summit with their third title in four years and Bayern Munich stood firm as the only club to retain their title with a ninth consecutive triumph.

It's been a rollercoaster ride, there's no two ways about it, but before we turn our attentions to Euro 2020 and the Copa America completely, it only makes sense to look back on all the madness.

Raphael VARANE Transfer Talks Begin (Football Terrace)

World-class players on form

And one of the biggest debates that football fans will be discussing around pub tables this week will be the players who have stood head and shoulders above the rest in Europe this season.

With everyone from Kevin De Bruyne to Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi to Kylian Mbappe shining on the continent, there has been no shortage of players flaunting their talents in 2020/21.

But how could we possibly separate all the top performers from one another? Well, that's where the data gurus at come in because they haven't missed a trick all season long.


Best XI in Europe this season

Using a variety of metrics for every player in Europe's top five leagues, they assign overall match ratings that settle who the top performers truly are when they're averaged out across an entire year.

And now that the various league campaigns have come to a close, WhoScored can reveal their best 2020/21 XI across Ligue 1, Serie A, La Liga, Premier League and the Bundesliga.

So, without further ado, be sure to check out what the statistics think is the Team of the Season in league football down below:


No place for Cristiano Ronaldo

What is it with RB Leipzig and the quality of their centre-backs?!

You've got to tip your hat to Willi Orbán for throwing a cat amongst the European pigeons in a year where Dayot Upamecano has signed for Bayern Munich and Ibrahima Konaté is close to a Liverpool switch.

And he finds himself amongst esteemed company with the superstar trio of Messi, Mbappe and Lewandowski inevitably making the cut after topping the scoring charts in Spain, France and Germany.


It's a little surprising to see that Cristiano Ronaldo has missed out despite winning the Golden Boot in Serie A, finding the net 29 times, but perhaps the competition up front was simply too tight.

After all, this is a starting XI in which Messi is astonishingly far ahead of his rivals, even the Golden Shoe-winning Lewandowski, with a rating of 8.5 that some players can't even get within 10% of.

But should the likes of Thomas Muller, Bruno Fernandes and Bruno Dias been included? Well, fear not, because the stats are only the stats and we'd be fascinated to hear your opinion on the XI.


Either way, though, it's never been clearer that European football is packed to the rafters with quality.

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