Lionel Messi is enjoying one of his best performances in a season in his 10-year senior career with Barcelona. This season, he became both La Liga and the Champions League’s all-time highest goalscorer, as well as the player with the most hat-tricks in the history of Spanish football.

These are clear signs of his explosive goalscoring form, but the quantity of goals is only a part of what makes his current season with Barcelona, in the words of Ray Hudson, “magisterial”.

In this piece, we will take a look at Messi’s league numbers in key attacking aspects of the game, with comparisons to the best performing players in the top five European leagues: La Liga, Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A, and Ligue 1.

Messi didn’t have the strongest start to this La Liga season in terms of goalscoring, with only seven goals in the first 11 rounds. The Pichichi race seemed over and done with, with Cristiano Ronaldo bagging 18 goals over the same period.

But it’s never a smart idea to write Leo off in any race, much less that early in the race; La Pulga scored an unbelievable tally of 25 goals since the 12th La Liga round, slowly catching up to, then eventually surpassing, Cristiano, and becoming the topscorer of La Liga 2014/15 with 32 goals, with only four of those goals coming from penalties.

He scored five hat-tricks in just 15 rounds, one in each month from Nov. 2014 to March 2015, a new record in La Liga history. And just to put these numbers into perspective, Messi had scored 31 league goals after 28 rounds of his record-breaking 2011/12 campaign when he finished the season with an unmatched 50 goals.

The first player in the history of the top five European leagues to score at least 28 goals in six consecutive league seasons.

A potential new record of most goals scored in a single league season in the top five leagues is in sight. But Messi has already set another incredible record: Becoming the first player in the history of the top five European leagues to score at least 28 goals in six consecutive league seasons.

The race for a fourth European Golden Boot will resume after the international break, with Messi in pole position with 64 points, followed closely by Cristiano. Other scorers in European football are, this season, incapable of challenging La Liga’s goalscoring giants or even getting close. In fact, the last five seasons have seen either Messi (thrice) or Cristiano (twice) win the Golden Boot. The only exception is Luis Suarez who shared the trophy with the Portuguese last season.

Analyzing the statistics of Messi’s goals in La Liga 2014/15 shows that he doesn’t rely solely on his strong left foot to score as much as he did in the past. Eleven of his goals (34 percent) were scored by his “weak” right foot, which is a personal record, beating his nine in 2009/10.

Messi managed to score at least 10 league goals with each foot, a stat that becomes even more impressive when taken into account that there is no other player in the top five leagues this season who has managed to score more than five goals with both feet!

Leo also scored three headers, another personal record equaling his best in 2009/10. And with four goals from outside the box, twice as much as any other Liga player, only Christian Eriksen from the Premier League (five) has a better tally in the top five leagues.

Messi the Goalscorer goes hand-in-hand with Messi the Assist-Provider and Messi the Playmaker. This La Liga season, he scored 32 goals and gave 15 assists, and was directly involved in 59 percent of Barcelona’s league goals, and had a hand in the building of play of most of the remaining goals, making Barcelona’s attack the most prolific in the top five European leagues with 80 goals.

Messi assisted five goals via through balls (the most in the top five leagues), three goals via crosses, and one via a free kick (Mathieu’s goal in El Clasico). Neymar was the recipient of eight of Messi’s assists, no other player in the top five leagues assisted as much to a teammate. He is third in the assisting charts right behind Francesc Fabregas and Kevin De Bruyne, and only three goals away from his personal record of 18 league assists in 2010/11.

Leo’s assisting has been so consistent that he became the only player in the history of the top five leagues to give at least 10 assists in each of the last eight seasons.

In addition to the 15 assists, Messi has provided 58 key passes in La Liga that were not scored by his teammates, which means that Barcelona players scored one goal from every five chances he created. In fact, Messi is creating an average of 2.7 chances per 90 minutes of play, exactly the same as last season which was his personal best.

Fifteen of his 73 key passes were made with through balls, at least five more than any other player. And with 10 Liga rounds remaining, Messi is on course to reach triple figures in Liga key passes for the first time in his career.

Maybe Messi isn’t the most glamorous dribbler who has ever existed, but his way of dribbling is both easy on the eyes and heavy on the opponent, always creating space and numerical advantage when necessary. Barcelona face, in almost every match, compact defensive blocks. Despite this, Messi is constantly discovering ways of dropping to midfield and bringing the ball close to the box using his dribbling skills.

Because of this, he tops the La Liga dribbling charts this season with a staggering 132 successful dribbles, at least 54 more than any other Liga player. His teammate Neymar, who comes in second, has 78. He is ranked third among the players in the top five leagues, only six dribbles behind Leverkusen’s Bellarabi.

The Argentinian has completed at least 120 dribbles in each of the last six Liga seasons, with a tremendous total of 904 successful dribbles since 2009/10. No other Liga player has managed to reach even half of that number in the same period. Cristiano, at second place, only managed 402 successful dribbles.

Messi is impossible.

Among all the players who took part in the top five European leagues this season -- all 2,599 of them -- Messi scored the most goals, provided the third most assists, created the fifth most chances, and completed the third most successful dribbles.

Messi is omnipresent at the top five of the charts in every attacking category. No other player has succeeded to appear more than once even in the top ten. And with such outstanding regularity in every attacking aspect year after year, Lionel Messi is taking the concept of the complete player to a whole new level.

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