El Clasico Stats: Messi v Ronaldo, Valdes v Casillas and Mesut Ozil

Ahead of Barcelona v Real Madrid this Saturday, we look at key stats and performers that will feature in El Clasico. The analysis looks at Messi v Ronaldo, Valdés v Casillas and Mesut Özil.

 

MESSI EDGES RONALDO 

Ahead of this weekend’s decisive Clásico, we compare Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the only two players in the history of the Spanish top flight to have scored 41 goals in a single campaign.

 

Lionel Messi v. Cristiano Ronaldo – overall league statistics this season

Player

Lionel Messi

Cristiano Ronaldo

Team

Barcelona

Real Madrid

Appearances

32

33

Minutes On Pitch

2,818

2,904

Goal Attempts

 

 

Goals

41

41

Total shots

179

228

Shots per game

5.6

6.9

Shooting Accuracy

69.2%

48.6%

Chance Conversion

31.5%

22.9%

Passing

 

 

Touches

2905

2015

Touches per game

90.8

61.1

Goal Assists

14

11

Key Passes

70

45

Total Passes

2,081

1,251

Passes per game

65.0

37.9

Pass Completion %

84.0%

81.1%

Crossing

 

 

Total Crosses

83

78

Crosses per game

2.6

2.4

Cross Completion %

24%

24%

Dribbling

 

 

Dribbles & Runs

290

174

Dribbles per game

9.1

5.3

Dribble Completion %

53.4%

33.9%

 

The Argentine forward appears to be ahead of his Portuguese counterpart in almost all relevant categories, such as minutes per goal, shooting accuracy, chance conversion, touches per game, assists, key passes, pass completion or dribble success.

Having said that, the stats also reflect the style of both teams. For Barcelona, everything flows through Messi and he’s at the center of most, if not all, of Barcelona’s build-up play. In comparison Real Madrid play a quicker, more direct game, with Ronaldo usually on the left, making him one of two or three ‘end targets’ of Madrid’s build up play.

 

BUSY CASILLAS STILL THE MAIN MAN

Saturday’s El Clasico could make or break Barcelona’s challenge for the La Liga title and it promises to be a closely fought encounter. Both Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance of La Liga in recent years has been built upon the presence of two world-class goalkeepers, who will play a crucial role in deciding the result of Saturday’s game and the title race.

Iker Casillas has long been preferred to Barcelona’s Victor Valdés by the Spanish national team, but Castrol EDGE Performance data suggests Valdés has had a stronger season. Casillas’ record of 29 goals conceded (at one goal per 102 minutes) is trumped by the Barcelona keeper, who has conceded just 24 goals (one goal per 124 minutes) and has managed seventeen clean sheets to Casillas’ twelve. All of this comes despite the fact that Real Madrid currently sit four points above Barcelona in the league table.

However, a closer look at the statistics reveals that Valdés has been called into action less often than his Real Madrid counterpart, with a total of 55 saves compared to 72 by Casillas. Casillas also saves 71% of the shots sent his way, which places him just about Valdés’ 70%. Despite being called into action less often, Valdés has dropped the ball six times to Casillas’ four and perhaps benefits from playing behind a team of outfield players that are notorious for their ability to keep possession away from the opposition.

Valdés has already made one mistake in an El Clasico this season, albeit in a game that Barcelona won easily, but he will have to be on his best form on Saturday if Barcelona want to keep their La Liga hopes alive.

 

Player

Víctor Valdés

Iker Casillas

Appearances

33

33

Minutes On Pitch

2970

2970

Goals Conceded

24

29

Minutes per Goal Conceded

124

102

Clean Sheets

17

12

Saves

 

 

Saves from Inside Box

35

39

Saves from Outside Box

20

33

Saves to Shots ratio

70%

71%

Penalties Faced

4

1

Penalties Saved

1

0

Catches

 

 

Punches

8

23

Catches

23

26

Dropped Catches

6

4

Catch Success Rate %

84%

92%

Kicks

 

 

Long Kicking Distribution

138

205

Kicking Success Rate %

62%

63%

Throws/Short Kicks

 

 

Throw/Short Kick

178

187

Throw/Short Kicks Success Rate %

98%

98%

 

OZIL QUIETLY GOING ABOUT HIS BUSINESS

Europe’s top leagues are currently filled with talented playmakers that are lighting up their respective divisions with intelligent and incisive attacking football. David Silva has emerged as a player of the season candidate in the English Premier League, Lionel Messi continues to weave his magic across Spain and Eden Hazard’s star has continued its meteoric rise in the French Ligue 1.

However, Castrol EDGE Performance data shows that Mesut Ozil has created more goals this season than other player in Europe’s top five leagues, with his 15 assists putting him one above Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria in joint second. The Real Madrid playmaker came to prominence with some spectacular performances for Germany at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, but since his move to Real Madrid he has quietly gone about his business in a squad full of superstars.

This data confirms that he has managed to establish himself as a key player for Real Madrid despite the intense competition for squad places; a fact that was further affirmed when he scored a crucial away goal against Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week. Barcelona have a celebrated set of attacking players themselves, but they overlook the threat of Ozil at their peril.

Top five European leagues – Most assists

 

Player    Club

Assists 

Özil, Mesut Real Madrid

15

Messi, Lionel Barcelona

14

Di María, Ángel Real Madrid

14

Silva, David Manchester City

13

Hazard, Eden Lille

13

Antonio Valencia Manchester United

13

Miccoli, Fabrizio Palermo

12

Arango, Juan Borussia Mönchengladbach

12

 

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