After the in-depth look at MLS Key Passes, let’s look at those findings in a global context. I analyzed the top 10 players in key passes for the Big 5 Euro leagues, MLS, and added the top-flight from Argentina and Brazil. All eligible players played at least 500 minutes, and all stats are from the current season or most recent season (2016 for Brasileirão and MLS):
West Ham may be less than pleased with Dimitri Payet, but that’s an absurd 4.4 Key Passes per 90, topping Cesc Fabregas (4.0), Kevin De Bruyne (3.5), and the rest of the top creators in England. Arnaldo Gonzalez of Patronato and Angel Di Maria at PSG have similar leads within the Argentine and French leagues, respectively. Mauro Rosales did not play frequently with Dallas, but made his minutes count with 4.0 Key Passes per 90 (teammate Mauro Diaz is 4th on this list.)
Johannes Geis at Schalke stands out as the yellow dot: 2.6 Key Passes per 90, but 1.8 per 90 are Long Key passes (25 yards or more).
Venturing further up the field, here are the top shooters across the same leagues:
It’s obvious watching Toronto that Sebastian Giovinco is the lynchpin of the attack, but he is generating more shots per 90 than literally anyone (and a third are unassisted.) He’s also 1.4 shots per 90 more than high-volume David Villa. The usual suspects lead their respective leagues: Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Sergio Aguero, and Mario Balotelli.
Of course, one name is yet unmentioned. The select group of players who are top 10 in Key Passes and Shots is another reminder of Leo Messi’s genius.
The cluster of Coutinho, Christian Eriksen, and Alexis Sanchez represent the apex of the modern attacker in England. Portland were wise to lock down a Diego Valeri contract extension this past summer. Gustavo Scarpa and Luan from Brazil show why they are future transfer targets – this type of all-around attacking performance is rare.