Messi, Neymar, Haaland: Who is Europe's highest-rated player in 2022/23?

Messi, Mbappe, Neymar

Lionel Messi‘s first season at Paris Saint-Germain was certainly nothing to write home about.

In the summer of 2021, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner completed a move to the French capital from Barcelona on a free transfer and was expected to hit the ground running.

But despite the fact he was playing alongside Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, Messi was way below his mesmerising best in 2021/22.

Sure, he finished the campaign with some pretty impressive stats. In 34 appearances across all competitions, the Argentine scored 11 goals and assisted a further 15, a fairly decent return.

It just wasn’t the Messi we all know and love, though.

However, things have changed. After a full pre-season with PSG, Messi has rediscovered his most destructive form.

In eight 2022/23 Ligue 1 appearances, the 35-year-old has scored four goals – one of them a crucial winner in the recent 1-0 win over Lyon – and assisted seven more.

Lionel Messi and Neymar shake hands
Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Olympique Lyonnais v Paris St Germain – Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France – September 18, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi shakes hands with Neymar REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

It really has been a vintage Messi start to the season and as such, the man thousands of football fans believe to be the ‘GOAT’ is comfortably the highest-rated player in Europe.

Yes, he’s even way ahead of Neymar, who’s actually recorded more goal involvements in 2022/23 thus far.

Let’s take a look at the current 30 highest-rated (all ratings out of 10) players in Europe’s top five leagues over on WhoScored

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The 30 highest-rated players in Europe so far in 2022/23

30. Michael Gregoritsch (Freiburg) – 7.53

29. Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – 7.53

28. Aurelien Tchouameni (Real Madrid) – 7.55

27. Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 7.56

26. Teji Savanier (Montpellier) – 7.57

25. Paulo Dybala (AS Roma) – 7.57

Paulo Dybala with AS Roma
Soccer Football – Serie A – Empoli v AS Roma – Stadio Carlo Castellani, Empoli, Italy – September 12, 2022 Roma’s Paulo Dybala during the warm up REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini

24. Ramy Bensebaini (Borussia Monchengladbach) – 7.58

23. Jordan Siebatcheu (Union Berlin) – 7.59

22. Ivan Toney (Brentford) – 7.60

21. Enzo Le Fee (Lorient) – 7.60

20. Jamal Musiala (Bayern Munich) – 7.63

19. Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona) – 7.66

Ousmane Dembele sprinting for Barcelona
Soccer Football – LaLiga – FC Barcelona v Elche – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – September 17, 2022 FC Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele in action REUTERS/Albert Gea

18. Florian Sotoca (Lens) – 7.66

17. Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United) – 7.67

16. Sheraldo Becker (Union Berlin) – 7.67

15. Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid) – 7.68

14. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) – 7.69

13. Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 7.70

Karim Benzema in action with Real Madrid
Soccer Football – LaLiga – Real Madrid v Real Betis – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain – September 3, 2022 Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema during the match REUTERS/Isabel Infantes

12. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) – 7.75

11. Dango Ouattara (Lorient) – 7.76

10. Benjamin Pavard (Bayern Munich) – 7.77

9. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) – 7.79

8. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – 7.79

7. Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich) – 7.86

Joshua Kimmich with Bayern Munich
Soccer Football – Bundesliga – 1. FC Union Berlin v Bayern Munich – Stadion An der Alten Forsterei, Berlin, Germany – September 3, 2022 Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich reacts REUTERS/Annegret Hilse DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO.

6. Rodrygo Goes (Real Madrid) – 8.04

5. Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 8.04

4. Erling Haaland (Manchester City) – 8.13

3. Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) – 8.27

2. Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain) – 8.32

  1. Lionel Messi (Paris Saint-Germain) – 8.95
Lionel Messi after a goal for PSG
Soccer Football – Ligue 1 – Clermont v Paris St Germain – Stade Gabriel Montpied, Clermont-Ferrand, France – August 6, 2022 Paris St Germain’s Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their fourth goal REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Yeah, Messi has been an absolute joke in 2022/23. Dropping close to a 9/10 in one game is hard enough, but averaging that over the course of eight? The guy is just different gravy.

Good luck trying to stop him either domestically or at the Qatar World Cup later this year…

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