Joao Neves: the data makes clear his incredible impact

Category: Player Analysis

What does the data say about one of the most surprising midfielders of the moment? Perhaps a lot more than you expect.

Published:14/12/2023

In many cases, many players have already been discovered and the data will not discover them, but it will give us decisive information to verify and deepen what we see or what is said about them. Everyone can be talking a lot and well about a player but the data will complement and calibrate the dimension and impact of his performance. This is what is happening with one of the most promising midfielders in the world, only in this case we can start talking about a present just as good.

Of Joao Neves we could already talk about his time in the Youth League, in 2021, where he was already one of the most outstanding players. However, as soon as he made his debut in Benfica’s first team, he already played almost 600 minutes and began to leave some extremely difficult to understand data considering his physical conditions and age. To cite the most surprising: he is one of the best players in Aerial Efficiency measuring only 174cm.

His jumping power and his voracious competitiveness to retrieve the ball and to compete in duels on a permanent basis make him extremely successful for his short stature.

If he is good up high, down low, taking advantage of his quickness, strong legs and aggressiveness, he is even more spectacular in duels down low. This map below shows his duels via tackle in Primeira Liga and Champions League. As we can see, he has a lot of ability to get to either side of the pitch and in both halves. He is a player who covers a lot of metres, making numerous efforts per game. A defensive specialist who goes the extra mile.

Within the options to choose different metrics to display on the radar or lollipop, we have the ‘Breadth’ metric, which measures tackles, interceptions and recoveries on the flanks of the field. To understand Neves’ impact, he is the 2nd midfielder in this Champions League 23/24 with the most defensive actions in this metric, averaging 6.78 per 90 minutes.

In the heat map, combining both competitions, we observe the amount of space his legs are able to cover, participating in both construction and recovery in a very active way and with hardly any rest. Neves, who has already been called up to the Portugal senior national team, is set to be one of the great midfielders of Europe in the future. His potential is extraordinary.

Finally, to understand his impact in this Champions League group stage, Neves is the 2nd midfielder in dribbles per 90 minutes (1.96) and the first in recoveries with 4.27. Crossing both stats makes it clear where he is among the Champions League midfielders with more than 300 minutes. In a privileged place. He is only 19 years old. The future is his.

Founded in 2017 as a consultancy, Driblab has driven innovation through data in all aspects of professional football. Thanks to a transversal model, its database collects and models statistics in all directions. From converting matches and videos into bespoke data for training academies to developing cutting-edge technology, helping clubs, federations and representative agencies in talent scouting and transfer markets. Driblab’s smart data is used by clubs all over the world, with success stories such as Dinamo Zagreb, Real Betis and Girondins Bordeaux among others. Here you can find out more about how we work and what we offer.

Autor: Alejandro Arroyo
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