Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have one of the most star-studded squads in all of Europe. Their main attraction is that they've somehow managed to put together the dream attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe.
Messi is arguably the greatest footballer of all time. Neymar is one of the greatest attackers of the 21st century and Mbappe is easily the next big thing in football. When the three are in full swing, PSG turn into a nigh-on unstoppable force.
But who among the three is currently the best player for PSG? Within the distinguished trio, whose contributions are perhaps the most telling?
Let's take a look at how all three players have fared in recent times and decide who PSG's best player currently is.
In the opening weeks of the 2022-23 season, Neymar Jr. was in such scintillating form that he put the answer to that question beyond doubt. He was on a roll, scoring goals and creating them consistently and weaving magic with his footwork every time he got on the ball.
Thanks to his early-season form, Neymar continues to have arguably the best numbers, at least in terms of balance between playmaking and goalscoring, among the three icons. In 24 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain so far this term, the Brazilian legend has scored 16 goals and provided 15 assists.
But Neymar's form has tailed off a bit of late. But his contributions and ability to come up clutch in big games will be crucial as PSG kickstart their journey into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Messi joined Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2021. After having a disappointing debut season by his own lofty standards, Messi is back to his best this term. Christophe Galtier tweaked the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's position just enough to help him make full use of his otherworldly creativity.
Almost everything good that PSG conjure up going forward passes through Messi. His eye for a pass, vision and unmatched technical skills enables him to affect almost every single game he plays.
Messi carried his domestic form into the World Cup, fired Argentina to World Cup glory and also won the Golden Ball given to the best player in the tournament. In 21 appearances in all competitions for PSG so far this season, Messi has scored 13 goals and provided 14 assists.
He has undoubtedly been their most consistent player this term and is yet to suffer a dip in form since the start of the campaign.
Kylian Mbappe's genius and individual brilliance nearly won France their second successive World Cup. He scored a brilliant hat-trick in the World Cup final against Argentina but Les Bleus eventually lost the game on penalties. Mbappe picked up the Golden Boot after scoring eight goals in seven appearances in the tournament.
The 24-year-old is one of the best strikers in the game right now. In fact, calling him a striker would be reductive as he is one of the most dynamic attackers around.
However, being deployed extensively as a centre-forward for PSG this term, the Frenchman has not had the opportunity to channel his creativity as much as he would want to. Mbappe scored as many as five goals in his latest outing for PSG in the Coupe de France.
It goes without saying that PSG won't be as indomitable a unit without Mbappe's goals. He has scored 25 goals and provided six assists in 24 appearances in all competitions for Paris Saint-Germain so far this season.
In conclusion, there is very little to choose between this legendary trio. For instance, let's take a look at their goal involvement stats. Messi has been involved in 27 goals in 21 appearances. Neymar has been involved in 31 goals in 24 appearances, the same as Mbappe.
They are undoubtedly the best attacking trio in Europe. But judging on the basis of consistency and sheer quality, this is how we rank them.
#3 Neymar Jr.
#2 Kylian Mbappe
#1 Lionel Messi