Real Madrid Need More Conversion, Not More Possession

It seems easy to blame lack of possession (i.e. negative tactics) on Madrid’s defeat against Barcelona but numbers don’t tell the whole story. In fact, as Castrol EDGE Performance data shows, one of Real Madrid’s main problems in both the league and Champions League this season has been poor finishing in front of goal – i.e. their conversion rate.

On Wednesday night at the Bernabéu Real Madrid fired in 10 shots (including blocked) to Barcelona’s 11, yet ended up losing the game as they were unable to convert any of these into goals. This season the merengues have had more shots than any team in the Champions League, but have converted only 14% of these into goals, compared to 17% for Barcelona.

Champions League in 2010/11 – Teams in last eight

Team Name

Total Shots Attempted

Goals to Shots Ratio

Shakhtar Donetsk

88

21.6%

Tottenham Hotspur

91

20.9%

FC Schalke 04

110

19.1%

Barcelona

152

17.1%

Internazionale

122

14.8%

Real Madrid

171

14.0%

Manchester United

108

13.0%

Chelsea

157

10.8%

Of the teams to reach the last eight, only the two English sides Chelsea and Manchester United have had a lower chance conversion rate than Real Madrid, while half of the sides have converted at least 17% of their efforts. Part of the problem can perhaps be attributed to Cristiano Ronaldo, who on Wednesday was responsible for eight of Real Madrid’s 10 shots. This season only Didier Drogba has had a lower chance conversion rate in the Champions League

Lowest conversion rate – Champions League 2010/11 (min 20 shots)

Player Surname

Team

% shots from Outside Box

Goals to Shots Ratio

Eto’o

Internazionale

30.4%

34.8%

Anelka

Chelsea

38.5%

26.9%

Messi

Barcelona

27.9%

25.6%

Borriello

Roma

9.5%

19.0%

Di María

Real Madrid

45.0%

15.0%

Rooney

Manchester United

47.8%

13.0%

Sneijder

Internazionale

69.2%

11.5%

Villa

Barcelona

19.2%

11.5%

Ronaldo

Real Madrid

62.3%

11.3%

Drogba

Chelsea

38.5%

7.7%

The Portuguese’s conversion rate of 11.3% is only above Didier Drogba’s of these players. This is perhaps linked to the proportion of his shots that come from outside the box (62.3%): all but one of the other nine players in the list have had at least half of their shots from inside the area.

Also See:

Busquets’ Passing Skills More Important To Barcelona Than His Acting Skills
UEFA versus Real Madrid and Barcelona

Busquets' Passing Skills More Important To Barcelona Than His Acting Skills
Arsenal have 40% chance of beating Manchester United and helping Chelsea

2 Comments

  1. fechu 2 May, 2011