European Best XI: Neymar and Ronaldo miss out to emerging stars


As things stand it is not only unclear when the 2019/20 campaign will conclude but if at all. While Premier League clubs are determined to complete the season, that feeling is generally not shared in Italy, for example. The COVID-19 outbreak is at different stages around Europe and only time will tell whether it is at all visable to resume the season and complete it in a safe manner.


With football suspended indefinitely for the time being, now is the ideal opportunity to take stock of the season so far and look at the best WhoScored rated XI from Europe's top five leagues. The 2019/20 campaign has been another frustrating one for Paris Saint-Germain's Neymar, who has been limited to just 15 league appearances due to injury. He misses out as a result, as players must have featured in at least 20 league games to be in contention.


Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny (Juventus) - 7.14 rating


The teething period switching from Max Allegri to Maurizio Sarri has taken longer than Juventus would have liked and it's meant Wojciech Szczesny has been called upon in goal more often that normal. The Juventus No.1 averages 3.5 saves per game in Serie A this season, up from 2.2 per game last season and more than double his return in 2017/18 (1.4). Furthermore, a save success rate of 77.9% is the second best in Serie A this season (10+ apps).


Right-back: Ricardo Pereira (Leicester) - 7.50 rating


Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold has understandably hogged the headlines this season as far as right-backs are concerned but Ricardo Pereira has quietly put together an outstanding campaign for Premier League high flyers Leicester. In fact, no player in Europe's top five leagues averages more tackles per game (4.3) than the 26-year-old, who has also played a direct hand in five goals (three goals, two assists). Pereira is also more then capable of driving forward, as shown by a return of 2.1 successful dribbles per game.


Centre-back: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) - 7.40 rating


With Liverpool within touching distance of their first ever Premier League title, Virgil van Dijk has cemented his status as the best centre-back in the world. Only Real Madrid (19) have conceded fewer goals than Liverpool (21) in Europe's top five leagues this season, with Van Dijk playing an integral role at the back for the Reds. A return of four WhoScored Man of the Match awards is bettered by only one centre-back in Europe's top five leagues this season. Van Dijk has also scored four goals and been dribbled past just six times in 29 league appearances.


Centre-back: Marcel Halstenberg (RB Leipzig) - 7.29 rating


Marcel Halstenberg pips RB Leipzig team-mate Dayot Upamecano as Virgil van Dijk's partner at the back following the club's recent shift to a back three. Halstenberg has played a direct hand in five goals in 21 league appearances in 2019/20 (three goals, two assists) and has won 64.2% of the aerial duels he has contested.


Left-back: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich) - 7.54 rating


Alphonso Davies has been a revelation for Bayern Munich this season and his performances have been all the more impressive when you consider he arrived from Major League Soccer as a winger. Davies' lung-busting runs from deep have been a trademark of his game, as illustrated by a return of 3.6 successful dribbles per 90 minutes. The 19-year-old scored his first league goal for the club on just his second appearance of the season and has since weighed in with four assists.



Right wing: Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 8.61 rating


Some have said this has been Lionel Messi's worst season in a long time, and while it may certainly have been more physically demanding for the 32-year-old, his output is still out of this world. In just 22 league appearances, Messi has played a direct hand in 31 goals - only Ciro Immobile (34) has more goal involvements on the continent. Of the 19 goals Messi has scored this season, eight have come from outside the box this season - more than 86 teams across Europe's top five leagues have managed. Furthermore, Messi is the only player on the continent to reach double figures for WhoScored Man of the Match awards (13) and has picked up a perfect 10 rating at least two more times than any other player (six).


European Best XI: Neymar and Ronaldo miss out to emerging stars


Central midfield: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) - 7.92 rating


After practically missing the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign through injury, Kevin De Bruyne has certanly made up for lost time this season. No player has registered more assists than the Manchester City creator in Europe's top five leagues this season (16) and De Bruyne has also chipped in with eight goals himself. It means De Bruyne averages a direct hand every game, having returned 26 goals and assists in as many league appearances.


Central midfield: Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain) - 7.75 rating


While Neymar and Kylian Mbappe's antics on and off the field dominate the headlines for Paris Saint-Germain, Angel Di Maria has quietly been allowed to put together another stellar campaign for the Ligue 1 giants. The 32-year-old has arguably been PSG's standout performer in 2019/20, with eight goals and 14 assists to show for his 26 league appearances. Furthermore, no player in Europe's top five leagues has made more accurate through balls than the Argentina international (13) and ranks top for clear-cut chances created (32) on the continent.


Left wing: Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund) - 7.90 rating


Jadon Sancho has gone from strength to strength for Borussia Dortmund this season and the level of consistency he has reached at the age of 19 is astonishing. Sancho was the first player in Europe's top five leagues to reach double figures for goals and assists and has now played a direct hand in 29 goals (14 goals, 15 assists) in 23 appearances. Furthermore, Sancho has scored and assisted in nine separate matches this season, more than any other player in Europe's top 5 leagues.


Striker: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) - 8.14 rating


Injuries have restricted Kylian Mbappe to just 17 league starts for Paris Saint-Germain this season but the 21-year-old has made a further three appearances from the bench to qualify for the best WhoScored rated XI on the continent. Mbappe has played a direct hand in 23 goals in that time (18 goals, five assists). Mbappe has also picked up six WhoScored Man of the Match awards in that time, as well as returning 2.4 key passes per 90 and 3.3 successful dribbles per 90.


Striker: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich) - 8.16 rating


Rounding off the XI is Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, who has been in typically ruthless form in front of goal in the Bundesliga this season. The Poland international has scored at least four more goals than any other player in the Bundesliga this season (25) and ranks behind only Ciro Immobile (27) in Europe's top five leagues for goals scorer. Lewandowski started the campaign by scoring in each of Bayern's first 11 league matches and also has three assists this term. A return of 2.1 successful dribbles per game is also better than in any of Lewandowski's previous five league campaigns at Bayern.

European Best XI: Neymar and Ronaldo miss out to emerging stars