Frequently Asked Questions

Assists

Why are your assist stats different to this other source?

Assist stats vary by source. There is no "official" assist definition, but the assist definition from Opta stats is the most widely used/accepted in football - they are the official data providers for many competitions and organisations such as the Premier League, La Liga, the BBC, WhoScored, SofaScore etc.

We therefore try to align all of our assist stats with Opta's.

What exactly is an Opta assist?

Most of the time, when you're looking at assist stats, you're looking at assists that have been collected by Opta. Most TV graphics, La Liga website, Premier League website, WhoScored, the BBC; these sources will all use Opta as their source for assists.

Opta's assist definition is as follows:

The final touch (pass, pass-cum-shot or any other touch) leading to the recipient of the ball scoring a goal. If the final touch (as defined in bold) is deflected by an opposition player, the initiator is only given a goal assist if the receiving player was likely to receive the ball without the deflection having taken place. Own goals, directly taken free kicks, direct corner goals and penalties do not get an assist awarded.

Why are Transfermarkt's assist stats so different?

As explained above, Opta's assist definiton is the most widely used and accepted in football. Transfermarkt on the other hand are much more loose with their assist definition; they count deflected passes, rebounded shots, penalties won, and own goal assists.

That's why their assist stats are more inflated than other sources. You will see Transfermarkt's assist numbers quite frequently on social media because their data is really accessible - it's the only well known source where you can easily get career stats for any player.

However they are seemingly very inconsistent in terms of awarding assists and there are subsequently many holes in their data. You can view a full list of all assists that Transfermarkt are missing from their records over on our Info page.

Although we use the Opta assist definition throughout this site, we do have a single page that lists all types of assist, including deflected passes, goalkeeper rebounds, post rebounds, penalties won (scored by others) and own goal assists: All Assists (+ non-Opta)

Why are your Champions League assist stats different to the UEFA website?

UEFA are one of the few major organisations in football that don't use Opta as their data provider. UEFA don't collect the data themselves, they simply use a different data company.

UEFA has Ronaldo on 2 more Champions League assists than Opta does, and Messi on 1 more assist. Messi has made 5 deflected assists in the Champions League, and Ronaldo has made 4 deflected assists, so it's likely that UEFA's numbers include a couple of these.

This kind of inconsistency is why we use Opta for all of our assist stats.

How many assists did Ronaldo make in Euro 2016?

UEFA credit Ronaldo with 3 assists at Euro 2016 which includes a goalkeeper rebound after his shot was saved before Quaresma's goal vs Croatia. As explained before, UEFA are one of the few major organisations in football that don't use Opta as their data provider; a rebounded shot does not count as an Opta assist. Ronaldo therefore made 2 assists at Euro 2016 according to the Opta definition.

Why is your Messi assist total different to Opta's?

From various Opta tweets, it's evident that they are missing 2 Copa del Rey assists for Messi from their records.

However upon checking all of them, we can confirm that they all fit the definition, with none of them appearing to be even questionable. It's possible that Opta may not have covered certain Copa games throughout Messi's career, such as ones from earlier rounds, so may be missing statistics from these games.

Free Kicks

Why is your free kick total for Ronaldo different to Opta's?

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 56 direct free kick goals in his career to date, but Opta have him on 57 free kick goals, so why is this?

Ronaldo has scored 2 goals from indirect free kicks inside the box (where the ball was rolled to Ronaldo to score) - these were against Aston Villa in 2009 and Malaga in 2013.

Despite being almost identical goals, Opta count the one vs Malaga in their direct free kick goal count for Ronaldo.

Outside the Box Goals

Why is this goal listed as inside the box? It looks outside to me!

A goal is only considered as outside of the box if the whole of the ball is outside the box when the ball leaves the shooting player's foot. This means that even if the ball is slightly touching the 18 yard line, it goes down as an inside the box goal.

If you're unsure whether a goal was inside or outside, you can view the fixture on WhoScored and look at the shot location using their Chalkboard feature. This data comes straight from Opta.

However, we know of at least one Opta mistake: they marked a Ronaldo goal vs Dortmund (14/10/2012) as inside the box - footage shows this was clearly outside the box.

Why does this video show Ronaldo with a lot more outside the box goals?

We have been sent this video a number of times, which suggests that Ronaldo has many more outside the box goals than the stats suggest.

The truth is that many of the goals in this video are in friendlies or are simply inside the box. Here's a full breakdown of the video:

  • 0:00 vs Moreirense - inside box
  • 1:26 vs ? - friendly
  • 1:44 vs Oxford - friendly
  • 1:51 vs Sevilla - friendly
  • 2:20 vs European XI - charity game
  • 2:39 vs Seoul - friendly
  • 4:58 vs Marseille - inside box
  • Video missing a free kick goal vs Getafe 25/03/2010
  • 5:25 vs Club America - friendly
  • 6:32 vs Hertha - friendly
  • 9:08 vs Bournemouth - friendly
  • 9:13 vs Chelsea - friendly
  • 9:21 vs Inter - friendly
  • 9:44 vs Sevilla - inside box
  • 10:58 vs AC Milan - friendly

Trophies

How many trophies have Messi and Ronaldo won exactly?

You will often see quite different total trophy counts on social media for both Messi and Ronaldo, but why?

The main reason is because there are some Super Cup wins they have not participated in; some people count these as trophies won, some people don't. It simply depends on your opinion, but most sources do count these.

Messi was not in the squad for Barcelona's successful 2005 Supercopa de Espana final.

Ronaldo was an unused sub for Sporting's Super Cup win in 2002. He was also not in the squad for Manchester United's Community Shield win in 2008, or for Real Madrid's UEFA Super Cup win in 2016.

Most widely accepted numbers:

  • Messi: 34 trophies
  • Ronaldo: 33 trophies

Discounting Super Cups they were not in the squad for:

  • Messi: 33 trophies
  • Ronaldo: 31 trophies

Discounting Super Cups as unused sub:

  • Messi: 33 trophies
  • Ronaldo: 30 trophies

Some sources will also include Messi's Olympic Gold Medal and even his FIFA U20 World Cup win, but these are not senior trophies and so shouldn't be counted as such.

Performance Stats

Where do you source your performance stats from?

All of the performance stats on this site, such as shots, key passes, successful dribbles etc. come from sources that use Opta as their data provider, such as WhoScored, SofaScore and FotMob. They are updated after each game but can be tweaked a day later following Opta's post-game checks.

Where do your Man of the Match stats come from?

The ratings and man of the match stats on this site are based on WhoScored's match rating system, apart from a handful of games they don't cover (such as early round Copa del Rey games and some internationals) in which case SofaScore is used.

Using an algorithm for ratings and for "man of the match" awards ensures consistency across all competitions and removes the human error / bias element.

Updated Apr 12, 10:16 PM UTC