The 10 best mins-per-goal ratios in Europe: Muriel, Mbappe, Haaland…

Quick Reads

The goalscorer rankings from Europe’s top five leagues – La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga & Premier League – were dominated by a lot of the usual suspects during the 2019-20 season. 

But if you look at who was most prolific in terms of how much time they spent on the pitch, there are some surprise names, while certain stars finish lower than you might expect.

Lionel Messi, for example, was fifth in terms of goals this season, scoring 25 for Barcelona, but he misses out on the top 10 in terms of goals-per-minute, 13th with a goal every 115 minutes in La Liga.

We’ve looked at the 10 players with the best minutes per goal ratios in Europe’s top five leagues in 2019-20, only including players to have scored at least 10 league goals.

10. Mauro Icardi – 105 mins per goal

The Argentina international had to be patient with opportunities in the French capital, given how much competition he’s had in PSG’s frontline, but he tended to step up when called upon.

14 starts, a further six substitute appearances, 1269 minutes and 12 goals. A solid start to life in Ligue 1.

9. Neymar – 101 mins per goal

Injuries limited the Brazil international to just 15 Ligue 1 appearances last term, but he more than stepped up whenever he was available to, notching 13 goals from just 1322 minutes.

8. Timo Werner – 100 mins per goal

Chelsea have got a prolific striker on their hands.

The Germany international scored 28 goals from 2808 minutes in the Bundesliga – Man City’s Sergio Aguero was the only Premier League player to score with better efficiency in 2019-20.

7. Cristiano Ronaldo – 94 mins per goal

Still going strong at the age of 35, the Portugal international scored 31 Serie A goals – his best return in a league campaign since 2016.

Only Ciro Immobile and Robert Lewandowski scored more goals in Europe’s top five leagues, but he was almost an ever-present as Juventus won the Scudetto, so he falls to seventh in terms of goals-per-minute.

6. Sergio Aguero – 91 mins per goal

Manchester City have had to make do without their prolific Argentinian for a fair chunk of their Premier League season, making his 16-goal tally from 18 starts, a further six substitute cameos and 1456 minutes in total a more than respectable return. 

It puts him ahead of the likes of Mohamed Salah, Jamie Vardy and Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang in terms of goals-per-minute in England.

5. Ciro Immobile – 88 mins per goal

The top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues with an incredible 36-goal tally, one of Ciro Immobile’s great assets this season was his fitness and availability.

The Italian missed just one of Lazio’s Serie A matches this season, starting 36 of 38 games and featuring for 3176 minutes – a fair bit more than anyone else that makes this list. To maintain better than a goal-a-game average over such a long period is arguably all the more impressive.

4. Kylian Mbappe – 84 mins per goal

The 21-year-old might have been a contender for the European Golden Shoe had it not been for injuries, rotation and the Ligue 1 season finishing early. He played fewer than half the league minutes that Immobile did, for example.

He might have scored ‘only’ 18 goals, but in terms of goals-per-minute, Mbappe’s still up there with the best of them.

2= Erling Haaland – 81 mins per goal

Borussia Dortmund’s January recruit did exceptionally well to hit the ground running, matching the league’s top scorer Lewandowski in terms of goals per minute, with 13 goals from his first 15 appearances in Germany.

Include the 16 goals he scored for RB Salzburg in the first half of the season and he averaged a goal every 70 league minutes last season.

2= Robert Lewandowski – 81 mins per goal

It’s a testament to how prolific Lewandowski was in 2019-20 that he’s the runner-up here, given he started 31 of Bayern Munich’s 34 Bundesliga matches.

The 33-year-old scored a career-best 34 league goals from 2761 minutes on the pitch. Only Immobile notched more in total in Europe’s top five leagues.

1. Luis Muriel – 69 mins per goal

The Colombian had to play second fiddle to Josip Ilicic and his compatriot Duvan Zapata in Gian Piero Gasperini’s ludicrously free-scoring Atalanta side, but he tended to do the job whenever he was asked to.

Muriel only made 10 starts in Serie A this season, with a further 24 appearances off the bench, notching an exceptional tally of 18 goals from just 1244 minutes on the pitch. Super sub.

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