Before delving into the explanation, it’s important to state that we are aware that the data and metrics aren’t absolute truths or the sole determinants of a player’s abilities. Our data is unfair to some awesome players who make a great impact on their team but whose role isn’t directly related to goals.

Keep in mind that among the vast aspects that impact a football game, we have chosen to analyze only metrics related to goals, as they ultimately define matches and championships.

ATTACKING METRICS

First, let’s take a look at a general overview of the metrics we use in our analysis.

We have four main groups of indicators to measure player performance: Goal Impact, Offensive Impact, Offensive volume, and Individual Skill.

Performance stats for football players

Goal Impact

This metric measures direct participation in goals, where each player can be involved in either scoring or creating goal-scoring opportunities. Additionally, the impact (whether scoring or creating) could come from passes or shots. We also include the ‘Take On’ metric to contrast with a player’s dribbling skill to assess the impact of this individual skill.

Offensive Impact

Similar to Goal Impact, but focused on shots, indicating direct involvement in plays that result in shots. This metric is included because even when a play doesn’t result in a goal, participating in such plays still poses a threat to the opponent’s goal.

Offensive volume

This refers to the amount of actions performed by a player. Similar to Offensive Impact, it isn’t directly related to goals. However, a player who achieves a high number of Progressive Carries, passes to the penalty area, or through balls is an important asset to the team and poses a danger to the opponent.

Next, let’s clarify some actions:

Through Balls: These are completed passes sent between the back defenders into open space.

Progressive Passes: These are completed passes that move the ball towards the opponent’s goal line by at least 10 yards (9.14 meters) from its furthest point in the last six passes, or any completed pass into the penalty area. This excludes passes from the defending 40% of the pitch.

Progressive Carries: These are carries that move the ball towards the opponent’s goal line by at least 10 yards (9.14 meters) from its furthest point in the last six passes, or any carry into the penalty area. This excludes carries that end in the defending 50% of the pitch.

Individual Skill

While the aforementioned metrics involve individual skill, they are also related to the team’s performance. In this category, we aim to identify skills that rely more on individual prowess rather than team performance. It’s important to note that all metrics are a blend of team and player skill, but some emphasize individual skill more than others.

Let’s clarify the meaning of some metrics:

Finishing: Higher number of goals scored versus expected goals, indicating superior Efficiency in capitalizing on goal-scoring opportunities.

Finishing adjusted to xG: This metric adjusts the value based on the quality of opportunities (xG). For example, if two players score 10 goals each but with xG values of 0.5 and 0.8, respectively, the player with an xG of 0.5 is considered better as they are scoring from more difficult chances.

Efficiency

 

Efficiency is a metric aimed at distinguishing highly skilled players from those who merely achieve results, shifting the focus of goal-based metrics to an individual perspective. It quantifies the relationship between the volume of actions and their impact on goals, with a higher ratio indicating greater skill and independent influence on the game. While scoring goals is undoubtedly challenging, some players are more efficient than others, able to achieve more with the same opportunities due to their superior abilities.

However, this metric is only considered for players within the top 30 in terms of the number of actions performed to prevent misleading results, as players with very few actions have it easier to have better Efficiency numbers, for example, a defense who shoots 10 times in the season and scored 5 goals would have a skyrocket Efficiency, however, given his role, is possible that his shots were in odd advantageous or unique scenarios, and can’t be compared to the performance of a forward who usually faces more defensive focus with the rival prepared for his actions, and in some cases, the whole rival strategy aligned to neutralize him.

football efficiency

DEFENSIVE METRICS

Here we look for actions relevant to the goal impact, avoiding the rival scoring or assisting.

 

1 vs 1

 

Refers to the act of dispossessing an opponent of the ball. A higher value indicates a greater ability to win challenges and successfully execute tackles, contributing to the team’s defensive stability and overall performance. This metric is essential for assessing a player’s defensive capabilities and their impact on the game.

Interceptions

 

An interception occurs when a player from the defending team anticipates the path of a pass or shot from the opposing team and successfully gains control of the ball before it reaches its intended recipient. This often involves positioning oneself strategically to cut off passing lanes or reading the opponent’s intentions. Interceptions aim to regain possession of the ball and disrupt the opponent’s attacking play.

Block (Shot or Pass)

 

A pass or shot block occurs when a player from the defending team obstructs the trajectory of a pass or shot attempt from the opposing team, usually by extending a leg, body part, or sliding to block the ball’s path. Unlike interceptions, where the player gains control of the ball, a block aims to deflect or redirect the ball away from the goal or intended target, thereby preventing a scoring opportunity. Blocks are often employed in situations where an interception may be difficult or risky to execute, such as when the opponent is in a better position or the pass is difficult to predict.

 GOALKEEPING METRICS

We measure the values relevant to assess the role of the goalkeeper as the last defensive resource to avoid a goal.

 

xG Against

 

Refers to the probability of the current shot to be scored. Higher values means that the shots the goalkeeper is stopping are more difficult and have a higher goal probability. This only considers the shots on target as are the ones where the goalkeeper needs to perform.

Is important to have in mind that the xG Against is impacted by the goalkeeper skill as well, the same kind of shot would have a different xG value if the goalkeeper is skilled on positioning or closing shot angles, reducing the probability of the shot to be scored. This is insighful when comparing players in the same team, as one could have a better value, knowing that the team and defense is the same for both, the difference would rely in the individual skill of each goalkeeper.

Save Rate

 

Rate for successful attempt from the goalkeeper to prevent a shot from being scored. This counts all the shots a goalkeeper receive no matter if dangerous or not.

 

Goal Saving

 

This value represent the amount of goals allowed vs the expected goals, taking in account the quality of the shots the goalkeeper stops. A higher value suggest that the goalkepper is allowing less goals than expected. This metric tell us how good is a goalkeeper at stopping goal shots.

 

Goal Saving adjusted to xG

 

Similar to the forwards case we can’t ignore the xG value of the shots the goalkeeper is stoppping, for example, two goalkeepers have the same performance in “Goal Saving” but one is stopping much easier shots than the other, so, it’s not fair to put in the same tier a goalkeeper who stops shots with an xG of 0.3 vs one that usually stops shots with xG of 0.7, clearly the second one is better at stopping difficult shots, that’s why this metric is created. This metric tell us how good is a goalkeeper at stopping difficult shots.

 

 

Who would be the best Goalkeeper?

 

Higher values in the last two metrics would mean that the goalkeeper is skilled at saving dangerous and more difficult shots, meaning that is better.

TEAM PERFORMANCE METRICS

We measure the values relevant to assess the role of the goalkeeper as the last defensive resource to avoid a goal.

performance stats for football teams

Goal Scoring

Reflects the capacity of a team to generate goal opportunities and scoring. Higher numbers are better

Goal Allowing

Reflects the capacity of the rivals to generate goal opportunities and score. Lower numbers are better.

Goal Balance

It shows the difference between scoring and allowing, a positive value means that the team is in good shape and is having positive results.

Team Performance

These are custom coefficients developed by us to determine the Efficiency of the teams defending and attacking. Higher values are better.

The global balance reflects the overall performance of the team taking into account the defensive and attacking coefficient.