Opta Sports and the Professional Football Players' Observatory, a pair of soccer research groups, released a report Monday that ranked players and clubs in Europe's five major leagues.
Spanish teams, notably Real Madrid and Barcelona, were first in four key categories: shots on goal, assists and key passes, dribbles and fouls received and passing. La Liga players led in four categories: Barcelona's Lionel Messi (attempts), Xavi (passes), Sergio Busquets (tackles) and former Real Madrid player Guti (assists). Mauro Zarate of Italy's Lazio was best at dribbling and earning fouls.
The English Premier League led the fifth category -- interceptions and tackling -- and was second in three others. Italy's Serie A was last in three of the five rankings.