Saturday the 10th of April 2010 the big clash in the Spanish League between eternal rivals will take place in the Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. Though the match will be 11 against 11 as is customary in football the pre-match focus is primarily centered upon just two players: Messi and Ronaldo. Lionel and Cristiano.
Below we will look at their respective stats for the season 2009/10 in the Spanish League. The stats related exclusively to Spanish league matches and thus exclude their performances in the Spanish Cup and the Champions League (and in the case of FC Barcelona their other matches as reigning champs of the Uefa Champions League).
|In the starting lineup:||23||20|
|Coming of the bench:||4||1|
|Goal pr. match:||0.96||0.85|
As can be seen from the table above both players make significant contributions to the overall production of their teams. However, since football is a team sport and 11 players are on the field for each side it can be difficult to analyse individual stats out of context.
Cristiano has more shots on goal than Messi. But Messi has scored more goals than Ronaldo thus having a far higher accuracy. But is that due to the fact that Real Madrid is playing a more direct way with more shots on goal as a team than FC Barcelona ? Which on the other hand might rely on playing the ball through for better but fewer chances .. Or is Messi simply better in front of goal than Ronaldo.
Messi has more assists than Ronaldo but again is that due to the way of playing of the team or is he better to spot his fellow team mates for open chances or are the surrounding Barca players better than the team mates of Cristiano when it comes to finishing in front of goal ?
The individual stats do not answer such questions which would either require additional stats or are simply unanswerable due to the way that football works. Being primarily a team sport where individual stats might not be bringing as much evidence about a player’s performance than in other sports such as basketball.
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