Player of the Decade From Each of Europe’s Top Five Leagues


The past decade (2010-2019) was one of the most memorable decades the world of football has ever seen. The decade saw two World Cups, Champions League, Europa League, the Copa America League and numerous achievements and disappointments. Europe’s top five leagues namely, English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and France Ligue 1 saw a host of footballers achieve numerous feats. However, one thing which was constant in the decade was the high-profile debate on who is the better player between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and by the end of it, the football world couldn’t reach to a conclusion. 

Meanwhile, in this article, we look at one player from Europe’s top five leagues who ruled the decade. 

La Liga – Lionel Messi 

The Barcelona and Argentina star hit more than a goal a game in the past decade and also provided more assists than any other player in the big European leagues. He scored 522 goals in 521 games overall. Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese and Juventus star hit 477 in 489 games, while Lewandowski scored 324 in 454. Behind him are Cavani (309 in 447) and Luis Suárez on 303 from 445 games.

He was the player of La Liga in the last decade scoring 369 goals, 136 assists and finished the decade on a career rating of 8.65 bettering Cristiano Ronaldo who finished the decade with 8.18 rating points. His numbers in the decade are enviable to the core. In 343 appearances for Barcelona, he had 1729 shots at goal resulting in 369 goals. He had 789 key passes and he dribbled the ball for 1534 times. The stats are proof enough to say that he bossed the La Liga with Ronaldo at par with him during his decade long stay with Real Madrid. Messi scored 50 goals or more in nine out of 10 seasons in the last decade, scoring 45 in 2013. He is currently drawing 500,000 pounds per week that commits him to Camp Nou till June 2021. Messi winning no world cups with Argentina remains the only blip in his otherwise impeccable decade. 

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Premier League – Eden Hazard

Hazard was the player of the decade in the English Premier League scoring 139 goals from 245 appearances with a rating of 7.64. He also had 54 assists and a total of 491 shots on target. He also had 909 dribbles on the ball. The Belgian was a part of two World Cup squads (2014, 2018) taking his team to the finals of the 2018 edition. He joined Chelsea in the 2012/13 season and grew as a footballer that is known today. 

He won two EPL titles, 1 FA Cup and one English League cup with the club before he was signed by Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid on 7 June 2019. Madrid announced on their website that Hazard would be signing for them for the 2019–20 season. However, he was earning 200,000 pounds a week when he last played for Chelsea.

Serie A – Giorgio Chiellini 

The Juventus captain Chiellini was the Serie A player of the decade. Having joined Juventus in 2005, Chiellini has been at the heart of their defence for a decade and a half. At 35 he is still going strong and in the past decade has served his club and country whole-heartedly. In 263 appearances for his club, he had 569 successful tackles and 653 interceptions. He had 1504 clearances and 15358 passes. He won the ball 586 times in the air as well. The stats are enough to prove that he was the player of the decade in the Serie A in the last decade without any doubt. 

Right now Chiellini is earning £130,000 per week with Juventus and is contracted with the club till the end of 2020. He has scored 36 goals for Juventus in his career so far and only one this season so far.

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Bundesliga – Arjen Robben

Robben joined Bayern Munich in August 2009 from Real Madrid and ended his career with the club in July 2019. His exploits with the club in the last decade has made him the player of the decade in the Bundesliga between 2010 to 2019. He scored 95 goals in the last decade for his club from over 600 shots on goal. Besides 95 goals for his club, he also assisted in 50 goals. He also made 380 key passes and 517 dribbles in the meantime. One of the best left-wingers of his time, Robben was famous for undercutting the ball before taking an attempt for goal. He has over the years played for big clubs which included names like Chelsea and Real Madrid. 

In the meantime, he was a part of three world cups for the Netherlands (2010, 2014 and 2019). He too like Messi couldn’t inspire his nation to a World Cup win during his tenure. However, he has had a very successful club career. He won the Player of the Year and the Footballer of the Year once each and two EPL, one Champions League and one FA Cup title with Chelsea. He joined Munich from Real Madrid at 25,00 million Euros.

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Ligue 1 – Thiago Silva

Silva joined the French club Paris Saint-Germain in 2012 and is contracted till June 2020. In the past decade, he led his club with utmost responsibility and was the rock of the backline. He appeared in 199 clubs for his side in the past decade scoring 295 successful tackles and 420 interceptions, He had as many as 957 clearances and he won the ball 465 times in the air. He won six French champions with the club besides being the French cup winner four times. 

Internationally with Brazil, he was a part of the Confederations Cup (2013) and Copa America (2018/19) in the last decade. His current salary with PSG is 305,000 pounds per week.

This completes our compilation of the top five players of the decade from the top five leagues.

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