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Player Focus: Europe's Most Consistent Performers

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Player Focus: Europe's Most Consistent Performers

 

Barcelona's relatively routine 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo back in November won't have shocked anyone, but there was one surprising outcome from the match. Lionel Messi neither scored or assisted a goal in the game and completed only 1 dribble to ensure that he picked up a WhoScored rating of just 6.81.

Not in a single game before or since that day has the Argentine registered a rating below a 7 this season and in this piece we take a look at Europe’s most consistent performers based on our unique rating system.

We've compiled a leaderboard of players to receive more than fifteen WhoScored ratings above a 7 thus far and sorted them based on the percentage of their overall appearances in which they have done so.

In the case of a tie in said figures the player with the higher number of appearances comes out on top and if two players have the same number of appearances but one has made more from the bench he will be favoured having had less of an opportunity to reach a high rating in those games. If the players' have the exact same number of appearances the better average rating over the season is the deciding factor.

First we'll run down from 5 to 2, with the aforementioned Messi leading the way, before compiling a most consistent XI over the top 5 leagues based on their number of match ratings above a 7 over total appearances.

5. Mousa Dembele (Tottenham)

Although some believe that the Belgian is yet to show his best form in a Spurs shirt, summer signing Mousa Dembele has been unerringly consistent at the start of his spell with the club. With a total of 17 WhoScored ratings over 7 this season, including in both of his displays for Fulham prior to his cross-captial switch, the powerhouse midfielder has only failed to achieve a rating of 7 on three occasions.

The fact that one of those occurrences came as a 79th minute substitute against West Ham should be noted, though recent below par performances against Sunderland and Norwich have both come since Christmas. Indeed, the fact that Dembele's best rating this season (9.04) came in a Fulham shirt, as he bossed proceedings at Old Trafford back in August, may suggest that he has plenty more to offer yet.

4. Matteo Darmian (Torino)

Torino full-back Matteo Darmian has been the picture of consistency this season having been promoted with the side in the summer. The 23-year old was on the books of AC Milan for 10 years, coming up through the academy, before Palermo agreed a co-ownership deal with the club. It was last summer that Milan decided to part company with the right-back, selling the other half of his contract to the newly promoted outfit outright, and their loss has definitely been Torino's gain.

Darmian has started 18 games this season and picked up 16 ratings above a 7, with the last time the defender failed to pick up a rating over a 7 coming back in late October. The fact that the young full-back's average rating is fairly modest, at 7.18, suggests that he performs at a very capable level week-in week-out without ever really putting in an outstanding performance to boost his average. Indeed Darmian has received no man of the match awards from WhoScored this season, but goes about his work at an extremely solid level.

 

Player Focus: Europe's Most Consistent Performers

 

3. Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)

The second of three Serie A players here, Andrea Pirlo has continued the form that led Juve to the Scudetto last season this time around. Consistently brilliant, Pirlo, like Darmian, has only failed to pick up a rating above a 7 on two occasions this season having made 19 appearances in total. His 5 goals have all come from direct free-kicks thus far and he still leads the league in passes (81.9) and key passes (3.4) per game.

His two ratings below a 7 came in matches at Fiorentina and, more recently, in defeat to Sampdoria, though he has registered at least an 8 on ten occasions, including a perfect 10 vs Atalanta at the end of last year. At 33, the fact that Andrea Pirlo's form shows no clear signs of abating will serve both Juventus and Italy extremely well for some time yet, with many suggesting that his performances last year should have seen the metronome midfielder rival Messi for the Ballon d'Or.

2. Marek Hamsik (Napoli)

Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik has been a key player for the Partonepei for some years now, though many would argue that the sale of Ezequiel Lavezzi this summer has made the Slovakian's importance far stronger. The 25-year old has more than stood up to the task of ensuring the side continue to find the net despite the Argentine's departure, actually scoring more goals per game (1.96 to 1.73) than they did last season.

Hamsik's tallies of 9 goals and 11 assists, with the latter only bettered by Andres Iniesta across Europe, have certainly helped, and his all-round performances have been superb. His tally of 21 ratings above a 7 from WhoScored this season matches that of Messi and van Persie as the most in Europe and have come from 23 appearances. His two ratings below that standard came in defeats at Juventus and Inter, while his best rating (8.98) came having scored and assisted a goal in a 4-2 win at Genoa back in November.

Europe's Most Consistent XI

Below is the best XI in terms of players to have produced the highest proportion of WhoScored ratings over a 7 this season in a 4-3-3 formation.

 

Player Focus: Europe's Most Consistent Performers

 

In goal it is no surprise to see Bayern's Manuel Neuer clock up the joint most 7+ ratings of goalkeepers across Europe's top 5 leagues this season, with 13. That tally can be matched by both Mark Schwarzer (Fulham) and Simon Mignolet (Sunderland), though the German's figure have come from fewer overall appearances (20), so he gets the nod.

Joining Darmian in our backline is a Serie defensive partnership of Andrea Ranocchia (Inter) and veteran Nicola Legrottaglie (Catania), who have both registered seventeen 7+ ratings from 20 appearances apiece. Completing the defence is another summer arrival at White Hart Lane, with Jan Vertonghen acclimatising to the Premier League with consummate ease despite playing out of position at left-back for a large chunk of the season. Only six players have picked up more than the Belgian's 18 match ratings of 7 or more.

Our midfield trio have all been analysed here, with the combination of Pirlo, Hamsik and Dembele somewhat mouth-watering, while Messi is joined by two Leverkusen forward's in attack. The form of top scorer Stefan Kießling and young winger Andre Schürrle has been key to a superb season from Sami Hyppia's side thus far. Both have picked up 17 ratings of 7+ from 20 appearances apiece.

It wouldn’t be right to avoid ending where we started, and the reason why Messi is the world’s greatest isn’t just because he is consistently incredible, but also incredibly consistent.

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Stephen Warnock Martin Kelly Gary Caldwell Karl Henry Kevin Doyle England National Football Team Charlie Adam Javi Venta Vicente Iborra Sergio Ballesteros Bobby Zamora Jonas Gutierrez Dariusz Dudka Youssouf Hadji Christian Abbiati Alvaro Dominguez Phil Neville Senad Lulic Filip Daems Ezequiel Schelotto Victor Ruiz Jonathan Pereira Anthony Reveillere Santiago Gentiletti Cheikh Diabate Nicolas Spolli Luciano Fabian Monzon Mauricio Isla Ignazio Abate Titus Bramble Ritchie De Laet Leroy Lita Christian Lell Philipp Wollscheid Milivoje Novakovic Tottenhman Hotspur Johan Cavalli Eliseu Serdar Tasci Ryan Babel Aleksandar Ignjovski Chechu Dorado Djamel Mesbah Arsenal Swansea Ashely Williams Piscu Eden Dzeko Emmerson Boyce Auxerre Phil Bardsley Jose Bosingwa Gretar Steinsson Mattia Cassani Jonathan Woodgate Germany National Football Team Gasperini Mauro Zarate Diego Forlan Estaban Cambiasso Juraj Kucka Marco Faraoni Joel Obi Benedikt Howedes Clemens Fritz Chris Lowe Daniel van Buyten Albania Yann M’Vila Baptiste Reynet Angelo Palombo Eric Tie Bi Faouzi Ghoulam Chris Mavinga Anderson Aaron Hughes Chris Baird Raul Aly Cissokho Alessandro Del Piero Samir Handanovic France National Football Team Marc Tierney Bundelsiga Raul Bobadilla Loric Remy Jean Pascal Mignot Mainz 05 Schalke 04 Marcel Risse Steven Reid Danny Gabbidon Michal Kadlec Paulo Machado Ben Watson Spain National Football Team German National Football Team Bundeslgia Ricardo Carvalho Ivan Ramis Diego Colotto Sergio Fernandez Sere A Cesare Bovo Miguel Britos Bostjan Cesar Jose Angel Gabriel Heinze Chris Samba Charles N'Zogbia Yohan Demont Rod Fanni Rudy Mater Georgios Tzavellas Javier Pinola Dennis Aogo Daniel Schwaab Attacking Full-Backs Defensive Wingers 2010/11 Attacking Wingers Nicolas Douchez Jeremy Menez Under-21 Team of Season 2010-11 Maxi Rodriguez Scott Dann Crossing Wingers Under-21 Team of Season All-Round Midfielders Benoit Pedretti Rising Stars Kyle Walker Gaetano D'Agostino Centre Backs Paulo Da Silva Ivan Hernandez Eric Abidal Weligton Borja Ekiza Alassane Toure Stephane Grichting Jordan Loties Kader Mangane Adama Coulibaly Martin Stranzl Pedro Geromel Neven Subotic Christian Zapata James Tomkins Roger Johnson Stephan Lichsteiner Reto Ziegler David Vaughan Seb Larsson Asamoah Gyan Benoit Pedretti Anthony Mounier Mehmet Ekici Simao Duda Alvaro Cejudo Xabi Prieto Alexsandar Kolarov Guiseppe Mascara Simone Bentivoglio Fernando Marques Gian Piero Gasperin Thomas Hitzlsperger Rafael Van der Vaart Theofanis Gekas Gerard Asamoah Youssef Al Arabi Lisandro Loric Remy Victor Hugo Montano Edison Cavani Sergio Pellissier David Di Michele Steward Downing Spain Under 21 Felipe Caicedo Pierre Webo Youssef El-Arabi Brown Ideye Mobido Maiga Chu-Young Robin Van Persie Kevin Gamerio England U21 Udinese. Alexis Sanchez Pedro Sami Allagui Frédéric Kanouté Renato Augusto Jonathan Pitropia Eljero Elia Ivo Llicevic Fernando Muslera Diego Perez Alvaro González Abel Hernandez David VIlla Marcel Schmelzer Danijel Pranjic Holger Badstuber Sven Bender Johan Djourou Darren Fletcher Carlos Kameni Thiago Silve Antonia Di Natale Cristiano Zapata Domenico Criscito Luis Jimenez Josep Ilicic Samuel Eto’o Alexis Thébaux Ludovic Sané Mamouda Sakho Boukary Dramé Daniel Alves Nikolay Mihaylov Charles Puyol Ji-Sung Park Edwin van der Sar Dani Alves John O’Shea Park Ji-Jung Gabi Fernandez Jonathan de Guzman Michael Owen Gary Taylor-Fletcher Ian Evatt DJ Campbell Charles N’Zogbia Wolverhampton Robinho Rudi Garcia Avram Grant Conor Sammon Wayne Bridge Rob Green Victor Obinna Mike Hanke Borussia Munchengladbach VfL Bochum Tomasz Kuszczak Martin Olsson Brett Emerton Steven N’Zonzi Muset Ozil Gianpaolo Pazzini Leonardo Seydou Keita Miguel Pallardo Ibrahim Afellay Valdo Pallardo Damien Perquis Luka Modrid David SIlva Roberto Mancini Benoit Assou-Ekotto Vedran Corluka Carlo Ancelotti Saloman Kalou Clarence Seedorf Matteo Brighi Fabio Simplicio Rodrigo Taddei Mark Van Bommel Gennaro Gattuso Kevin Prince-Boateng Nicolas Burdisso Elkin Soto Pep Gaurdiola Lassana Diarra Antonio da Silva Robert Mak Heurelho Gomes Andre Marriner Pinto Alavro Arbeloa Alexander Hleb

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