GOAT Debate: Messi 6th in Europe's Top Assist Providers list, Ronaldo not in Top 10
What's the story?
Despite enjoying a splendid individual season with Barcelona, scoring 51 goals across all competitions, Blaugrana captain Lionel Messi has failed to make the cut in the list of Top 5 Assist providers in Europe, as announced by WhoScored.com (via FoxSports), while arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo did not manage to make even the top 10.
Real Madrid target Eden Hazard leads the list, which takes into consideration assists provided only in the domestic leagues of France, Italy, Spain, England and Germany in the 2018-19 season.
In case you didn't know...
Lionel Messi has been in imperious form this season, ending the 2018-19 campaign by achieving an unprecedented three-peat of the planet's most coveted goalscoring titles -winning The European Golden Shoe, the La Liga Pichichi title as well as the UEFA Champions League Top Scorer title. Messi's 12 goals and 3 assists in the Champioins League however, went in vain as Barcelona were sensationally knocked out by eventual champions, Liverpool in the semi-finals.
Cristiano Ronaldo has taken his time adapting to life in Italy, finishing the season as only the 4th Top scorer in the Serie A, behind Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella, Atalanta's Duvan Zapata and AC Milan's Krzysztof Piatek. Despite winning the Serie A title easily, the Portuguese talisman was unable to inspire the Old Lady to Champions League success, as the Turin club was knocked out in the semi-finals by an energetic, youthful and direct Ajax Amsterdam side.
The heart of the matter
As per statistics compiled by WhoScored.com, the mercurial Argentine has finished outside the top 5 Assist Providers in Europe list by a wafer this margin with fellow La Liga player Pablo Sarabia having provided the same number of assists (13) as the Barcelona captain, but in fewer games. The list:
- Eden Hazard (Belgium/Chelsea)-15 assists (37 games)
- Teji Savanier (France/Nimes)-14 assists (32 games)
- Jadon Sancho (England/Borussia Dortmund)-14 assist (34 games)
- Ryan Fraser (Scotland/Bournemouth)-14 games (38 games)
- Pablo Sarabia (Spain/Sevilla)-13 assists (33 games)
- Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)-13 assists (34 games)
Arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo finished outside the top 10 with 8 assists in 31 games for Juventus.
Messi is all set to captain Argentina for the upcoming Copa America in Brazil. Argentina are drawn in Group B for the tournament, along with Colombia, Paraguay and 2019 Asian Cup Champions Qatar. La Albiceleste's first match will be against James Rodriguez-led Colombia on 15th June.
They will take on Nicaragua in a preparatory friendly before the tournament on June 5. Cristiano Ronaldo will captain the Portuguese national side as they take on Switzerland in the semi-finals of the UEFA Nations League on Thursday.