The top five European leagues are considered to be the gold standard for professional football at club level. The players who ply their trade in these leagues are viewed as the best in the business.
The top five leagues are replete with some of the best technicians in the game. You are able to witness players who are proficient in several departments like passing, dribbling, movement and shooting. To be successful, a team needs to have players who are good at not only orchestrating play but also at finishing them off.
This is why accurate shooters are much sought after in football. In football, the majority of goals are scored from inside the box for obvious reasons. Having players who can score goals from outside the box is a blessing to any side.
Such players can prove to be the difference in cagey matches where both teams struggle to make inroads into the final third. There are plenty of prolific goalscorers in the game right now. But here we take a look at five players who have scored the most number of goals from outside the box in Europe's top 5 leagues since 2013-14.
(Note: Please note that only Europe's top five leagues are considered for the list)
#5 Philippe Coutinho - 24 goals
Philippe Coutinho had established himself as the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League by the time he earned his dream move to Barcelona. His €135 million switch hasn't worked out to anyone's liking but at his prime, Coutinho was nearly unplayable.
His low center of gravity enables him to be extremely agile on the ball. Coutinho is an excellent dribbler and he could run rings around the opposition with the ball at his feet. His passing and vision were also exemplary and it was easy to see why Barcelona wanted to break the bank to sign him.
One of the strongest aspects of Coutinho's game to this day is his shooting. His signature curlers from range, which almost always end up in the top right corner, are a joy to watch. Since the 2013-14 season, Coutinho has scored a whopping 24 goals from outside the box.
#4 Dries Mertens - 25 goals
Dries Mertens has been a standout performer for Napoli over the past several seasons. He has also been an important member of the Belgian national side. At the age of 34, he is now well past his prime and his powers are starting to wane.
But at his peak, Mertens was a nightmare to defend against. His quick feet and burst of pace allowed him to flit past defenders with ease and he was also extremely accurate with his shooting.
Despite being just 169 cms tall, Mertens was regularly deployed as a striker for his club. This was due to his excellent technical qualities which included his ability to find the back of the net from range. Mertens has scored a whopping 25 goals from outside the box since the 2013-14 season.