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Saturday, November 18, 2023

Another way of ranking the international top scorers (II)

There came quite some reactions and suggestions on my first post about another way of ranking the international top scorers. I can only agree with the main criticism: the measure of how valuable the top scorer is, could be better contrived than by calculating the average elo-points of the opponent per goal scored. This measure indeed mainly indicated that some top scorers played mostly weaker opposition.


Some suggested to not take the average but just weigh the goals with some weigh factors. I agree, each goal scored should contribute -more or less- to the total score of a top scorer, not carry the danger that the total score got reduced.


The suggestions about which factors to use to weigh each goal were many:

1 the strength of the opponent;

2 the type of match in which the goals were scored;

3 the difference in strength between the opponent and the team of the top scorer;

4 the teams they couldn't score against (!);

5 the average goals per cap;

6 the number of minutes the top scorer played.


To quantify factor 6 I don't have enough information available, especially for most matches in the twentieth century. Factor 4 was a bit overdone for my taste. I found factor 5 not that important. Factor 1 is kind of included in factor 3.

Eventually I decided to weigh the goals with the factors 2 and 3.


By the way, I excluded the goals Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Ali Mabkhout (2) scored yesterday and last Thursday.


To calculate the weigh factor for the type of match I generated 4 categories of matches:

type of match

weigh factor

World cup, continental final, Olympics, Confederation Cup

2

qualifier for WC, continental final or Olympics

1

friendly tournament or Nations League

0,75

friendly

0,5


To calculate the weigh factor for the difference in strength between the team of the top scorer and the opponent I generated 5 categories of strength difference, with the elo rating of a team right before the match as the measure of strength:

elo team of top scorer minus elo opponent

weigh factor

less than -600 (opponent much stronger)

1,75

between -300 and -600 (opponent stronger)

1,25

between 300 and -300 (opponent of equal strength)

1

between 300 and 600 (own team stronger)

0,75

more than 600 (own team much stronger)

0,25


You can see that for both factors I gave a weight of 1 to the 'middle' category, the 'qualifiers' match type and the opponent of equal strength. Easier categories I assigned a weight smaller than 1, goals scored in more difficult categories weigh for more than 1 goal.

I varied with the chosen weigh factors for the categories but that didn't result in a significant different ranking.


So here it is, the resulting ranking with the weighed goals per top scorer and the ratio against their scored goals. Most of them have a ratio below 1, only Ronaldo and Luis Suarez have scored relatively more 'difficult' goals:

name

weighted goals

ratio weighed goals/goals

Cristiano Ronaldo

108,50

0,85

Lionel Messi

91,63

0,86

Ali Daei

83,44

0,77

Sunil Chhetri

77,94

0,84

Luis Suarez

70,00

1,03

Ronaldo

69,13

1,11

Pelé

66,50

0,86

Miroslav Klose

66,38

0,93

Mokhtar Dahari

65,94

0,74

Robert Lewandowski

64,75

0,80

Carlos Ruiz

64,50

0,95

Ali Mabkhout

63,88

0,79

Hossam Hassan

62,94

0,93

Gerd Müller

62,38

0,92

Neymar

62,06

0,79

Romelu Lukaku

61,88

0,78

Didier Drogba

61,13

0,94

Godfrey Chitalu

57,38

0,73

Sandor Kocsis

57,06

0,76

Kunishige Kamamoto

56,81

0,76

Harry Kane

56,50

0,93

Stern John

53,69

0,77

Piyapong Pue-on

53,25

0,76

Robbie Keane

52,50

0,77

Jassem Al-Houwaidi

50,94

0,81

Kinna Phiri

50,88

0,72

Ferenc Puskas

50,06

0,60

Hussein Saeed

49,69

0,64

Abdul Kadir

49,25

0,70

Bashar Abdullah

48,75

0,65

Edin Dzeko

48,75

0,75

Ahmed Radhi

48,63

0,78

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

47,63

0,77

Majed Abdullah

47,19

0,66

Abdul Ghani Minhat

43,56

0,71

Kiatisuk Senamuang

42,44

0,60

Teerasil Dangda

40,38

0,63

Vivian Woodward

39,94

0,53


So, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the most valuable all-time international top scorers after all with the highest number of weighed goals. Let's wait and see if any of the other still active players can come even close.


About me:

Software engineer, happily unmarried and non-religious. You won't find me on Twitter or other so called social media. Dutchman, joined the blog in March 2018.

8 comments:

  1. If match has double I value, is the largest taken?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know what you want to ask with match and I value , George. Is it even related to the post about the weighing of goals above ?

      Delete
    2. Sorry for unrelated question, I mean, if, for exapmle, it's a Nations League group stage match (importance for FIFA rankings = 15) and continental championship qualifier match (I = 25) at the same time, or World Cup qualifier and continental championship (25 and 35), what I is/will be taken?

      Delete
    3. Ah, that's what you mean :)
      Yes indeed, the largest I-factor is used then.

      Delete
  2. I'm 53 years old. I have been interested in football since I was 12 years old. I always thought that football was a team game. Until Ronaldo and Messi appeared. And everyone started counting some idiotic records, Miss World, sorry, best footballer. And now here, some stupid scorer lists. I'm disgusted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can understand where you are coming from. Did you read the introduction of my first post about this topic?

      Delete
    2. yes, I read it. And I couldn't believe that people could be interested in such nonsense. My 6-year-old nephew keeps asking me who is better, player A or player B. I understand, he is 6 years old. But adults have tables and let them check who is the best team in the competition. If they are interested in individual achievements, let them change sports, e.g. tennis.
      I'm sorry for my comment but I can't agree with how people see football today. And it's such a simple game.

      Delete
  3. Ed I approve of your analysis that has Licho Suarez as no 1.

    I’m Uruguayan so yes I’m very biased but Suarez I’m his prime was the best 9 I ever saw. Only comparable to Brazilian Ronaldo who was a better 9 but wasn’t as flexible. At Liverpool Suarez had to be the team. At Barcelona Surez knew he had to play second fiddle to Messi but stil shone.

    I love your analysis mate (and your salty nature on occasion, I’m the same).

    ReplyDelete