Lionel Messi has been in sublime form for Barcelona since the turn of the year.
The Argentina international was notably some way off his ethereal best during the early months of Ronald Koeman’s tenure, but he has returned to the peak of his powers in 2021 to reignite Barcelona’s domestic ambitions for the season.
Since the start of 2021, Messi has failed to score in just two La Liga games, notching 16 goals in 13 outings as well as providing seven assists.
Just at the moment in which people were starting to question whether Messi was past his peak, the 33-year-old stepped up in a manner that only the truly world-class players are capable of.
Rather unsurprisingly, Messi’s electric form has made him the best player in Europe’s top five leagues during the first trimester of 2021, according to a study conducted by CIES Football Observatory.
Using their own unique methodology to give every player a rating out of 100, CIES Football Observatory awarded Messi with a score of 92.5, making him the only player to breach 90.
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Robert Lewandowski has continued his blistering goal scoring form into 2021 by finding the net 18 times in just 13 Bundesliga outings – a return that puts him into second (89.5) in the star-studded ranking.
Chelsea midfield metronome Jorginho, who has been one of the major beneficiaries of Thomas Tuchel’s appointment, joins Lewandowski in joint-second and Manchester City titan Ruben Dias (89.4) sneaks ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo (89.3) into fourth place.
The only other Premier League player to earn a place on the list is Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi in 13th place, with Luke Shaw (83.4) and Harry Kane (83.1) both missing out on the top-20 despite their excellent performances for Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.