The 2016/17 campaign has been a source of consistent consternation for a fair number of Real Madrid's midfield stars - and Mateo Kovacic is certainly among their number.
The 22-year-old has had to vie with plenty of world class opposition for a place in Zinedine Zidane's starting lineup and has only started 21 of the 35 appearances he has made so far this term.
Despite also only completing 90 minutes on 11 of those occasions, the Croatia international has performed admirably and, thanks to a statistic from WhoScored.com, it turns out Kovacic's ability to successfully take on players should mean he plays more often:
Mateo Kovacic: Of the 67 players to attempt 50+ dribbles in La Liga this season, Kovacic has the best success rate (80.3%) pic.twitter.com/fa2WesVqOp— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 27, 2017
That's quite a remarkable stat when you consider some of the finest footballers - such as Real team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona rival Lionel Messi - are also extremely adept at dribbling with the ball at their feet.
For Kovacic to be the most successful dribbler when compared to others who revel at taking on opposing players with their quick feet, deft touch and pace, it should be commended - and should really result in Zidane handing Kovacic a more regular starting berth in his sides for the rest of this term.