Messi and Neymar Top the 2021 Copa América Player Stats Leaderboards

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Leo Messi played like a God – and it payed off

In a hard fought final against Brazil, Argentina won their 1st Copa América title since 1993. Messi gave it all he had and won his first ever international title. He really wanted to lift the trophy and the stats we gather prove that!

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Basic and Advanced Stat Categories for Our Comparison

We use our beloved fbref.com for stats. If you haven’t already, check out our soccer analytics tutorial for beginners to start working with their data.

CategoryDescription
GoalsGoals
xGExpected Goals
xG totals include penalty kicks, but do not include penalty shootouts (unless otherwise noted).
Provided by StatsBomb.
An underline indicates there is a match that is missing data, but will be updated when available.
ShotsDoes not include penalty kicks
SoTShots on target
Note: Shots on target do not include penalty kicks
SCAShot-Creating Actions
The two offensive actions directly leading to a shot, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls. Note: A single player can receive credit for multiple actions and the shot-taker can also receive credit.
GCAGoal-Creating Actions
The two offensive actions directly leading to a goal, such as passes, dribbles and drawing fouls. Note: A single player can receive credit for multiple actions and the shot-taker can also receive credit.
AssistsAssists
xAxG Assisted
xG which follows a pass that assists a shot
Provided by StatsBomb.
Pass.CompPasses Completed
Key.PassPasses that directly lead to a shot (assisted shots)
Pass.Final.3rdCompleted passes that enter the 1/3 of the pitch closest to the goal
Not including set pieces
SuccDrib Dribbles Completed Successfully
CarriesNumber of times the player controlled the ball with their feet
TouchesNumber of times a player touched the ball. Note: Receiving a pass, then dribbling, then sending a pass counts as one touch
Drib.DistTotal distance, in yards, a player moved the ball while controlling it with their feet, in any direction
Pass.TargetNumber of times a player was the target of an attempted pass
BlocksNumber of times blocking the ball by standing in its path
InterceptionsInterceptions
TacklesNumber of players tackled
PressureNumber of times applying pressure to opposing player who is receiving, carrying or releasing the ball

Using the stats above, we created the table below. To read this, count the number of colored blocks above each position. For example, Neymar is 1st in three of the above categories, 2nd in six categories, 3rd in two categories, 7th in one category, and 10th in another.

Top players in 2021 Copa América Group Stage

Goalkeeper Stats

CategoryDescription
SavesSaves
PSxGPost-Shot Expected Goals
PSxG is expected goals based on how likely the goalkeeper is to save the shot
xG totals include penalty kicks, but do not include penalty shootouts (unless otherwise noted).
Provided by StatsBomb.
Pass.CompPasses Completed
Passes longer than 40 yards
Pass.Att.40yrdPasses Attempted
Passes longer than 40 yards
Pass.AttPasses Attempted
Not including goal kicks
Throw.AttThrows Attempted
Pass.AvgLenAverage length of passes, in yards
Not including goal kicks
GoalKick.AvgLenAverage length of goal kicks, in yards
Stop.CrossNumber of crosses into penalty area which were successfully stopped by the goalkeeper
OPA# of defensive actions outside of penalty area
Save.PercSave Percentage
(Shots on Target Against – Goals Against)/Shots on Target Against
Note that not all shots on target are stopped by the keeper, many will be stopped by defenders
Goalkeeper Stats Categories

Using the stats above, we created the table below. To read this, count the number of colored blocks above each position. For example, Chile’s Claudio Bravo is 1st in four of the above categories, 2nd in one category, 4th in three categories, and so on and so forth.

Top goalkeepers in 2021 Copa América

Argentina Led by Messi, Di Maria, and Maradona’s Legacy

Lionel Messi was simply magnificent. He was first in:

  • Assists
  • Varries
  • Distance Dribbled
  • Goal Creating Actions
  • Goals
  • Shot Creating Actions
  • Shots
  • Shots on Target
  • Successful Dribbles

I can’t believe how lucky I am to have had 17 years of watching Messi perform. What a time for football!

Ángel Di Maria was Messi’s partner in crime. He performed great and his goal in the final gave Argentina the title they wanted so bad. Di Maria was 4th in Assists, Goal Creating Actions, and Successful Dribbles

Neymar Led with Fred and Casemiro Controlling the Midfield

Neymar was amazing once more and would have lifted the trophy if not for his ex-teammate at Barcelona, Messi. He had the highest expected assists and expected goals in the tournament. Neymar was also the target of most passes in all teams!

Fred was great in his role in the midfield. He made the most passes into the final 3rd, was 2nd in passes completed, and 2nd in pressure on the opponents.

Casemiro was important as a defensive midfielder. He finished 3rd in interceptions, 4th in tackles, and 4th in passes into the opponents’ final 3rd.

Colombia and Peru put on a great display and impressed

Colombia finished in 3rd place after beating Peru in the third-place match. Juan Cuadrado performed great and was 4th in Shot Creating Actions and Expected Assists. David Ospina was also important in goal, especially with the ball on his feet.

Peru had an impressive Yoshimar Yotun lead them to 4th place with his passes completed (1st), pressure (1st), and touches (1st). Christian Cueva was also great offensively as he was 3rd in shot creating actions and in successful dribbles.

Who stood out for you?

Do not hesitate to contact us if you need help for your own analysis or have questions!

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