PSG attacker Lionel Messi ranks just behind Manchester City superstar in key playmaking stat

Paris Saint-Germain v FC Bayern München: Round of 16 Leg One - UEFA Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi.

Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) superstar Lionel Messi is only behind Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne with respect to big chances created in league play this season.

According to WhoScored, De Bruyne has created 24 big chances in the Premier League this term in 25 appearances. Messi, meanwhile, has created 22 big chances in 22 Ligue 1 matches.

Both players lead their respective leagues' assist charts. De Bruyne has laid out 12 assists, while Messi has assisted 13 times. The PSG attacker is averaging 2.7 key passes per game in the league, while the Manchester City man is ahead at 3.2 key passes per game.

Lionel Messi is, however, clear of Kevin De Bruyne by some distance in the goalscoring charts. La Pulga has scored 13 times in Ligue 1 this term, while the Belgian has only found the back of the net four times in the league.

It's worth noting that Messi is the only non-Premier League player on the aforementioned list released by WhoScored. De Bruyne and the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner are followed by Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes, Newcastle United's Kieran Trippier and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold.

PSG's Lionel Messi and Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne endured contrasting nights in the UEFA Champions League this month

Lionel Messi's PSG and Kevin De Bruyne's Manchester City are viewed as two of the favorites to win the UEFA Champions League every season. The two players are undeniably key to their sides' hopes of lifting the famous trophy for the first time ever.

While Messi couldn't inspire PSG to a win in their Champions League Round of 16 tie against Bayern Munich, De Bruyne starred as City dismantled Leipzig.

La Pulga and the Parisians traveled to Germany for the second leg of the contest last week, needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit. He recorded three key passes, but got just one shot on target out of three attempts, completed only two of his six dribble attempts and lost the ball a whopping 19 times as his side fell to a 2-0 defeat.

It meant PSG exited the Champions League in the Round of 16 stage for the fifth time in seven years and the second successive time since signing Lionel Messi.

Manchester City, meanwhile, played the second leg of their Round of 16 tie on Tuesday (March 14), with the scores level at 1-1 after the first leg in Germany. Erling Haaland starred with five goals as City won 7-0, but De Bruyne ran the show from midfield.

Apart from his incredible strike in second-half stoppage time, the Belgian laid out four key passes, including two big chances created. He completed two of his four dribble attempts, hit the woodwork once (with Haaland scoring the rebound) and won four of his seven duels.

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