Based on the data, did Messi deserve his seventh Ballon d’Or?

Category: Player Analysis

The prestigious newspaper 'El País' uses Driblab data to find out more about the performance of Messi, Lewandowski and Benzema.

Published:01/12/2021

An individual award within a collective sport will always contain a percentage of subjectivity, mainly because of the criteria used to award the prize to the lucky winner. However, it can always be analysed, generating context and consistency through data. That is what the data department of the prestigious newspaper ‘El País‘ has done, who has relied on Driblab to find out whether Leo Messi’s award has been deserved or the data reflects something far from that deservedness.

Between the two real candidates for the award, Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski, it is interesting to measure certain metrics relating to the creation of chances and their completion. In these, Leo is far ahead of Lewandowski, especially in Expected Threat, a metric used by ‘El País’ in its analysis, while in others it is the Pole who beats the Argentine.

An interesting way to measure merit is with Value Goals, a metric we analysed a few weeks ago in our newsletter. With this metric we can measure the value of the player’s goals, knowing if he scored to tie, to win or to get closer on the scoreboard, momentarily or at the end of the match, giving points to his team.

We are Driblab, a consultancy specialized in the statistical analysis of players and teams; our work is focused on advising and minimizing risk in professional football decision-making in areas related to talent detection and footballer evaluations. Our database has more than 180,000 players from more than 180 competitions, covering information from all over the world. Here you can learn more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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