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Stats Only Go So Far

Cristiano RonaldoIf you read the scoring stats for the Champion’s League this season you’ll see the following:

Cristiano Ronaldo – 7

Wayne Rooney – 4

Michael Owen – 4

Leo Messi – 4

If you read the shots stats you’ll see that Leo Messi and Ronaldo both have taken 32 shots this Champion’s League cycle–but does that mean that Ronaldo’s Real Madrid offense is more potent?  Does that mean Leo Messi isn’t very accurate?

Well, it potentially means that Leo Messi isn’t shooting very accurately since he’s got 3 less goals on the same number of shots–however, we don’t know the exact situation of every shot–nor do we for Ronaldo.

So, why does Ronaldo have 7 goals and Messi has 4?  I have a guess, so bear with me.

Messi teammates respect him and he’s their leader, but they all play the game with him because he keeps them involved.  This is the way his team will keep winning because everyone can get in on the action.  Messi is a true field general–a point guard on the field.  Yes, he’s taken plenty of shots, but everyone is right there along with him.  This makes the field more crowded and much harder to put shots through.

Ronaldo is the golden boy in Madrid, but he’s not a leader so his teammates just kind of stand back sometimes and he plays the game–almost–on his own.  It’s a strange thing to watch but I’ve seen it more than once this season.  Every great athlete has to bring everyone into the fold instead of letting them just stand there.  Yes, it gives Ronaldo a more open field to shoot on, but it doesn’t really make his teammates involved or give them as much of a chance to get second-chance shots.

This may be the reason why Real Madrid will go far, but they may stumble in the Champion’s League–it all goes back to leadership and while Real Madrid is watching Barca is playing the match.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Paolo Camera