Tag: soccer


Only a third of Premier League players are English

Last week I wrote a post saying that there are only 4 English footballers playing in the big 5 European leagues. But there are not many playing in England either!

I had a look to the percentage of nationals in each major competition and the Premier League performs really bad. In season 2014/2015 only 35% of footballers in England were actually English. This is a very low percentage compared to other countries like Spain, Germany or France.

National players in the big 5 leagues

This is not something new. At the beginning of the season, BBC Sport made a great analysis about the number of foreign players in Premier League and changes in the FA home-grown rules are trying to push forward players from the Premier League academies.

My question is, does this low percentage of national players damage England’s chances in international competitions? I will crunch some numbers and try to answer myself in a few days. Stay tuned!

Champions League Final

Barcelona won most of the Champions League finals. Juventus didn’t

Champions League finals are usually played by the same handful of teams. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and…Barcelona and Juventus. Sadly for Juventus, Barcelona really makes the most of their chances and they have won 4 out of 7 Champions League finals. Juventus also played 7 but they have only won 2. Anyway, good luck tomorrow.


Joe Hart

Who is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League?

Who is the best goalkeeper in the Premier League? Thibaut Courtois conceded fewer goals than any other stopper in the competition, but does that mean that he is the best or is it just that Chelsea’s defence is exceptional?

There are several metrics we could use to assess the performance of a stopper. The percentage of shots saved, the number of clean sheets, how many minutes it takes to score and  the goals allowed per game.

Different indicators show different results. If we consider the percentage of shots saved, Sunderland’s ‘keeper, Costel Pantilimon, gets the highest score. He only played the last 11 games because the main goalkeeper at the beginning of the season was Vito Mannone. Given that Mannone only stopped 68% of the shots and Pantilimon 80%, clearly it was a change for the better.

Pantilimon and Fraser Forster (Southampton) share the lead for the percentage of clean sheets. In 45% of their games, they finished unbeaten.

But, if we take a look to other metrics, particularly those that refer to the number of goals conceded, the results differ. Fraser Forster is the keeper with the most number of minutes between goals. It takes 120 minutes to beat him. He is followed by Joe Hart from Manchester City (108 minutes) and David De Gea from Manchester United (90 minutes). Pantilimon is some distance from that as he concedes a goal every 76 minutes.

Who is the best goalkeeper for you?


Norwegian flag

Norwegians place more bets on the Premier League than the Brits

In a previous post I mentioned that a popular sports betting website shared some data with us. We kept digging into the numbers and we found some interesting stuff. We all know that the Premier League is one of the most popular football competitions in the entire world. But who do you expect to be the nation that place more bets on the Premier League? The Brits, right? Well, according to the data we have it’s Norway. On average, each Norwegian placed 10 bets on the Premier League, compared to the 4 placed by people in the UK.

This data is quite interesting, but it only includes one bookmark, so we cannot consider it 100% reliable.

Diego Costa

Is it worth to pay millions for a striker?

Every summer British football clubs spend massive amounts of money to get new players for their teams. Usually, the highest sums are paid for strikers. But, is it worth it to pay millions of pounds for just one player? We compared the transfer fees of the 3 most expensive strikers signed in 2014 with the number of goals they scored to see if they were good value for money. The results, in the chart below.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo voted for Ramos, Germans vote for Germans and other Ballon d’Or oddities

Cristiano Ronaldo won his second Ballon d’Or (TWOOOOOOO!) by a very large margin. He got more than twice as many points as Messi, who was almost relegated to a third position after reaching only 14 points more than Manuel Neuer. Ronaldo and Messi didn’t vote for each other, a tradition started by the Portuguese in 2010, but Real Madrid’s striker received the support of 429 out of the 528 captains, coaches and journalists that were entitled to vote. That’s an 81% of the total.

How many people voted for Ronaldo and Messi?


But who the hell didn’t vote for Ronaldo?

The Germans. And they didn’t vote for Messi either. Germans only voted for Germans. Player, coach and journalist gave their support to Manuel Neuer in the first place and to Philipp Lahmn, Thomas Mueller and Bastian Schweinsteiger for the rest of the positions.

The German vote


But this wasn’t enough to make Germany the country with the most votes

If we sum all the votes achieved by the players of each nation, we will also see a Portuguese victory despite of being Ronaldo the only player from the Southern European country. Germany, on the other hand, had 6 players nominated to the award, the highest among all the participant countries. The other World Cup finalist, Argentina, holds the second place with 3 players nominated: Messi, Di Maria and Mascherano, who, by the way, was nominated as best player in the world by England’s national team manager Roy Hodgson. An opinion shared by Belarus coach Andrei Zygmantovitch but by anybody else.

Point achieved and players nominated per country


Sergio Ramos was the biggest loser of the Ballon d’Or

British media had a lot of fun talking about Roy Hodgson voting for Mascherano, but it wasn’t the oddest choice. Cristiano Ronaldo voted for his team mate Sergio Ramos as the best player in the world. In fact, the rest of Ronaldo’s votes also went for his felow Real Madrid players, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. The funny thing is that Cristiano’s first choice didn’t get support from anyone. At least, Hodgson’s choice got the support from the Belarus coach!

Sergio Ramos was the nominee with the least number of points but, to be fair, Ronaldo wasn’t the only one who voted for him. A few players and coaches voted him for the second and third place, like his team mate Iker Casillas or the Spanish managers Vicente del Bosque and Benito Floro.



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