FIFA World Cup: Sportradar’s stats recap
With the FIFA World Cup nearing the end of the group stage, the football showpiece in Russia has already seen a host of talking points, debate and goals.
Six nations have already secured their places in the next round, with the identities of the other 10 teams to be revealed over the remaining four days of group matches. Using Sportradar data from our World Cup Centre, we take a look at some of the important issues so far and the stats behind them.
Ronaldo v Messi
It’s perhaps no surprise that the contrasting fortunes of Portugal and Argentina have intertwined with those of their key players – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi respectively.
The world’s two best players have endured starkly different World Cup campaigns so far with Messi unable to inspire a somewhat lacklustre Argentina during their draw to Iceland and defeat to Croatia while Portugal skipper Ronaldo single-handedly earned his side a point in their six-goal thriller against Spain before grabbing the only goal in their win against Morocco.
A Golden Ball winner in 2014, Messi is yet to register a goal or an assist, having amassed a shooting accuracy of just 25 per cent to leave 2014 finalists Argentina with work to do to avoid an early exit.
His Real Madrid counterpart, on the other hand, has a shooting accuracy of 40 per cent, passing accuracy of 90 per cent and sits joint-second in the scoring charts with four goals.
Both Argentina and European champions Portugal are likely to need another big contribution from both in their final group games if they are to get over the line and into the last 16.
Hosts Russia were the first team to qualify for the round of 16 – the hosts surpassing plenty of expectations by putting eight past Saudi Arabia and Egypt to comfortably ensure a top-two berth ahead of the group decider with Uruguay.
Following an injury-hit build-up to the competition and concerns in some quarters over an ageing squad lacking competitive match practice, Russia have turned in two impressive displays, boasting the highest conversion rate of any team at 47 per cent.
England and Croatia, also qualified, are third and fifth in the conversion charts with 35 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
Belgium, England and Russia lead the way in terms of top-scoring teams with eight goals apiece and the competition as a whole hasn’t been short of goals either, seeing an average of 2.7 per game and 7.8 shots on goal.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup also had an average of 2.7 goals per game, although top scorer James Rodriguez’s six-goal haul in Brazil is already looking likely to be surpassed.
England’s Harry Kane currently leads the way with five goals from two games, and an impressive shooting accuracy of 83 per cent, closely followed by Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku and Portugal talisman Ronaldo on four each.
While Rodriguez is yet to open his account for Colombia at the competition, he sits joint top of the assist leaderboard with two alongside Carlos Sanchez of Uruguay and Russia’s Aleksandr Golovin.
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