Opta Woah! The top playmakers across Europe's top-five leagues in 2019-20

By Sports Desk April 16, 2020

Passing the ball can sometimes look like the easiest thing in the world to do. At least, it does when these guys do it.

Our latest dive into the data of 2019-20 sees us look at the best playmakers in Europe's top-five leagues before the season was called to a halt.

We've deliberately broadened our approach to what constitutes a playmaker here – Gerard Pique doesn't often appear as a number 10, unless Barca are in real trouble – as the idea is to offer a wider consideration of those players who generally use the ball better than most when in possession.

To that end, we've looked at 12 different metrics to come up with the top performers of the campaign, again from among those to make at least 10 league appearances.

While some stars are not exactly strange to see in the list below, there is a handful of more surprising names, too...

 

THE TOP PLAYMAKERS IN EUROPE'S TOP-FIVE LEAGUES 2019-20:

BUNDESLIGA:

Most successful passes: Sven Bender (1,766)
Highest passing accuracy: Axel Witsel (94.1 per cent)
Most successful passes, opposition half: Joshua Kimmich (873)
Highest passing accuracy, opposition half: Axel Witsel (92.2)
Most passes ending in final third: Jadon Sancho (576)
Highest passing accuracy ending in final third: Axel Witsel (88.4 per cent)
Most chances created: Christopher Nkunku (65)
Most big chances created: Thomas Muller (24)
Most assists: Thomas Muller (16)
Most assists from open play: Thomas Muller (15)
Most crosses/corners successful: Filip Kostic (71)
Highest crosses/corners accuracy (min. 10): Dennis Geiger (50 per cent)

LALIGA:

Most successful passes: Gerard Pique (1,688)
Highest passing accuracy: Toni Kroos (93.6 per cent)
Most successful passes, opposition half: Sergio Busquets (957)
Highest passing accuracy, opposition half: Toni Kroos (92.4)
Most passes ending in final third: Lionel Messi (698)
Highest passing accuracy ending in final third: Toni Kroos (90.3)
Most chances created: Jose Campana (58)
Most big chances created: Lionel Messi (22)
Most assists: Lionel Messi (12)
Most assists from open play: Portu and Lionel Messi (8)
Most crosses/corners successful: Jesus Navas (43)
Highest crosses/corners accuracy (min. 10): Benat (55 per cent)

LIGUE 1:

Most successful passes: Marco Verratti (1,581)
Highest passing accuracy: Thiago Silva (95.5 per cent)
Most successful passes, opposition half: Marco Verratti (956)
Highest passing accuracy, opposition half: Thiago Silva (92.8 per cent)
Most passes ending in final third: Angel Di Maria (543)
Highest passing accuracy ending in final third: Colin Dagba (86 per cent)
Most chances created: Dimitri Payet (87)
Most big chances created: Angel Di Maria (31)
Most assists: Angel Di Maria (14)
Most assists from open play: Angel Di Maria (10)
Most crosses/corners successful: Dimitri Payet (63)
Highest crosses/corners accuracy (min. 10): Marco Verratti (54.6 per cent)

 

PREMIER LEAGUE:

Most successful passes: Virgil van Dijk (2,209)
Highest passing accuracy: John Stones (94 per cent)
Most successful passes, opposition half: Rodri (1,069)
Highest passing accuracy, opposition half: John Stones (93.9 per cent)
Most passes ending in final third: Kevin De Bruyne (740)
Highest passing accuracy ending in final third: Ibrahim Amadou (93.3 per cent)
Most chances created: Kevin De Bruyne (96)
Most big chances created: Kevin De Bruyne (23)
Most assists: Kevin De Bruyne (16)
Most assists from open play: Kevin De Bruyne (14)
Most crosses/corners successful: Kevin De Bruyne (69)
Highest crosses/corners accuracy (min. 10): Christian Atsu (47.1 per cent)

 

SERIE A:

Most successful passes: Fabian Ruiz (1,488)
Highest passing accuracy: Marlon Santos (94.1 per cent)
Most successful passes, opposition half: Fabian Ruiz (932)
Passing accuracy, opposition half: Eljif Elmas (91.5 per cent)
Most passes ending in final third: Luis Alberto (723)
Highest passing accuracy ending in final third: Walace (89.7 per cent)
Most chances created: Luis Alberto (75)
Most big chances created: Luis Alberto (16)
Most assists: Luis Alberto (12)
Most assists from open play: Luis Alberto and Alejandro Gomez (9)
Most crosses/corners successful: Erick Pulgar (46)
Highest crosses/corners accuracy (min. 10): Armando Izzo (54.6 per cent)

 

AND THE TOP 12:

Most successful passes: Virgil van Dijk (2,209)
Highest passing accuracy: Thiago Silva (95.5 per cent)
Most successful passes, opposition half: Rodri (1,069)
Passing accuracy, opposition half: John Stones (93.9 per cent)
Most passes ending in final third: Kevin De Bruyne (740)
Highest passing accuracy ending in final third: Ibrahim Amadou (93.3 per cent)
Most chances created: Kevin De Bruyne (96)
Most big chances created: Angel Di Maria (31)
Most assists: Thomas Muller and Kevin De Bruyne (16)
Most assists from open play: Thomas Muller (15)
Most crosses/corners successful: Filip Kostic (71)
Highest crosses/corners accuracy (min. 10): Benat (55 per cent)

 

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Barca remain keen on Lautaro Martinez, Chelsea eye Atletico's Oblak Rumour Has It: Barca remain keen on Lautaro Martinez, Chelsea eye Atletico's Oblak

    For most of the year, Lautaro Martinez has been tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona.

    Barca are eyeing a long-term replacement for veteran forward Luis Suarez, though, the coronavirus pandemic appears to have impacted their transfer plans.

    However, a blockbuster move could still be on the cards.

     

    TOP STORY – BARCA STILL WANT TO SIGN LAUTARO

    Barcelona remain keen on signing Inter star Lautaro Martinez at the end of the season, according to the front page of Tuesday's Mundo Deportivo.

    Barca's interest in Martinez is well documented but a transfer has been put on hold as the LaLiga giants re-assess their plans after the Argentina forward's €111million release clause expired at the start of the month.

    However, Barca head coach Quique Setien is reportedly considering three options in his pursuit to recruit Martinez.

    Ousmane Dembele could be sold to raise funds or a swap deal involving Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic and Samuel Umtiti could be proposed to Inter, while a player plus cash offer including Junior Firpo is the third alternative.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - The Mirror says Chelsea are ready to swap goalkeepers. Unhappy with the world's most expensive keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, Chelsea are ready to use the Spaniard as a makeweight in a deal to sign Atletico Madrid star Jan Oblak.

    Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing in-demand Salzburg sensation Dominik Szoboszlai, reports Tuttosport. The Hungary teenager has been heavily linked to Milan and Napoli, as well as Arsenal.

    Ajax are hopeful of keeping star goalkeeper Andre Onana for one more season, claims De Telegraaf. Onana has been linked to the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United and Barca.

    - Journalist Nicolo Schira reports Napoli are confident of reaching an agreement with Lille forward Victor Osimhen. The Nigerian has been tipped to join the Serie A side, who have prepared a five-year contract worth €3.5m per season amid talk of an €80m transfer.

    - While Osimhen could arrive, Napoli are set to lose Arkadiusz Milik. Calciomercato claims Italian champions Juventus are interested, while the likes of Atletico, Tottenham and Roma are also keen. Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette is an alternative for Juve, as well as Atletico.

    - According to Calciomercato, Edinson Cavani has turned down a move to David Beckham's Inter Miami in MLS. A free agent since leaving PSG, Cavani is reportedly wanted by Roma.

    Everton and PSG both want to sign Napoli midfielder Allan, says Calciomercato. Napoli are looking to raise funds.

    Manchester City will accelerate their rebuilding plans after having their Champions League ban overturned, claims the Telegraph. Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly – also linked to United, Liverpool and Real Madrid previously – is reportedly high on the list of targets, which includes Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish and Atletico star Saul Niguez.

  • MLS is Back Tournament: LAFC play out 3-3 thriller, Chicharito scores first Galaxy goal in loss MLS is Back Tournament: LAFC play out 3-3 thriller, Chicharito scores first Galaxy goal in loss

    Los Angeles FC rallied to rescue a 3-3 draw against Houston Dynamo in their MLS is Back Tournament opener, while Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez opened his account for LA Galaxy in a loss to Portland Timbers.

    LAFC overcame a 3-1 half-time deficit to salvage a point in Monday's Group F showdown with Houston at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida.

    Both teams were opening their MLS is Back Tournament campaigns after the 2020 season was postponed in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc in the United States.

    The Dynamo made the perfect start thanks to Memo Rodriguez's first-half brace, sandwiched in between Bradley Wright-Phillips' goal for LAFC before Alberth Elis put Houston 3-1 ahead in the fifth minute of added time.

    While Houston dominated the opening 45 minutes, reigning Supporters' Shield holders LAFC fought back after the interval – Diego Rossi reducing the deficit with a thunderous strike in the 63rd minute.

    Brian Rodriguez completed the comeback six minutes later when slotted underneath Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Maric.

    With the result, Bob Bradley's LAFC became the second team in MLS history to play out two consecutive 3-3 draws after Chivas USA in July 2006 – the Los Angeles franchise drew 3-3 against Philadelphia Union prior to the postponement.

    In Monday's other Group F match, Los Angeles rivals the Galaxy lost 2-1 against the 10-man Timbers.

    Goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco gave the Timbers a 2-0 lead after 66 minutes, following a goalless first half.

    Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Hernandez – who arrived from Sevilla in January – scored his first Galaxy goal with two minutes of normal time remaining after Portland's Dario Zuparic was sent off in the 75th minute but it was not enough.

  • Athletic Bilbao great Susaeta leaves Melbourne City Athletic Bilbao great Susaeta leaves Melbourne City

    Athletic Bilbao great Markel Susaeta will not return for the resumption of the 2019-20 coronavirus-affected A-League season after terminating his Melbourne City contract.

    City confirmed on Tuesday that former Athletic captain Susaeta mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect due to family reasons.

    Susaeta, who joined City from Japanese giants Gamba Osaka in January on a six-month deal, has returned to Spain after not joining his team-mates in New South Wales quarantine ahead of the season restart.

    The 32-year-old winger scored two goals and set up another for City – part of the City Football Group (CFG) – in 10 appearances before the league was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    "The club would like to thank Markel for his contribution over the past season and wishes him well for the future," City said in a statement.

    City were second in the table after 23 matches prior to the coronavirus crisis, eight points behind leaders and defending champions Sydney FC.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.