How well did Lionel Messi perform in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final where Barcelona defeated Manchester United 3-1? Although stats don’t capture the true beauty of some of his runs, they do paint a clear picture of his solid performance. We used the Guruvi Soccer app to track his performance for this match.
We captured the majority of the touches of the ball that Messi had. Overall, we captured 86 events. Messi took 4 shots and scored on one of them. He had no assists and committed no fouls or offsides. The breakdown of his events that finished on the offensive side of the field are shown in the table below. The vast majority of the offensive events (73%) ended in Messi making a successful pass to a teammate. Only 7% of the offensive events ended in Messi making a bad pass and only 6% of the events ended in Messi losing the ball while trying to dribble through the defenders.
For the events on the defensive side of the field, 80% of them ended in Messi making a successful pass to a teammate, 10% of them ended in Messi being fouled, and 10% ended in Messi losing the ball while trying to dribble.
Of the 86 events, 94% of them started by Messi receiving a pass from one of his teammates, the remaining events started by Messi winning a ball that was not in anyone’s possession (i.e. won free ball.)
Overall, the statistics show that Messi was very active during the match (86 events captured) and was very consistent in that about 90% of the times that he received the ball the outcome was positive (i.e. he either made a successful pass, took a shot, or got a free-kick by being fouled.) He found the open spots and made himself available to his teammates on both sides of the field and made a lot of short passes. His high consistency passes combined with his great dribbling skills made it especially hard for the Manchester United defenders to defend against him.