Weighted goalscorers: 2010-11 La Liga

I was very encouraged by the reception that my weighted goalscorers metric has received, so I went to work on applying the metric to a league competition.  It is not a trivial task at all, especially when you are building a table of league fixtures and goalscorers and organizing them by matchdays.  But after about 10 hours of work over the weekend I finally assembled all of the data, and after 25 minutes more I have some results.

I used the current season of Spain's Primera División (La Liga) to try this metric out.  I have a few reasons for doing so:

  1. It's a Big Five league that gets a lot of attention internationally,
  2. It follows what I call a periodic double round-robin tournament: every team plays each other, and the order of the second round-robin is identical to the first one,
  3. It's a league in which there is little doubt as to who the best goalscorer (or goalscorers) is. 

Now, if those top two scorers land on the top of my weighted goal metric, it doesn't necessarily mean that the metric is any good, as a commenter pointed out in my previous post.  Such a result does give some encouragement that I am capturing the right thing about the value of a goalscorer, albeit imperfectly. 

I should point out that in this iteration, I count penalty kick goals and open play goals equally, and I disregard own-goals.  Perhaps in a later iteration I will weight penalty kick goals differently but I haven't thought too deeply on the best way of doing that. 

So below the fold, here is the weighted goalscoring table for La Liga through the 35th matchday (which ended this afternoon):

Player Team Goals Weighted
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid 33 19.897
Lionel Messi Barcelona 31 17.877
David Villa Barcelona 18 11.708
Giuseppe Rossi Villarreal 18 10.864
Fernando Llorente Athletic 17 10.284
Sergio Agüero Atlético 17 9.454
Salomon Rondón Málaga 13 8.730
Álvaro Negredo Sevilla 14 8.618
Pablo Osvaldo Espanyol 12 7.843
David Trézéguet Hércules 11 7.778
Roberto Soldado Valencia 15 7.629
Pedro Barcelona 13 7.148
Manu Getafe 9 6.778
Felipe Caicedo Levante 12 6.557
Aritz Aduriz Valencia 10 6.224
Karim Benzema Real Madrid 12 5.809
Diego Castro Sporting 10 5.800
Nilmar Villarreal 11 5.767
Gonzalo Higuaín Real Madrid 9 5.763
Kaká Real Madrid 7 5.729


As one would expect, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo top the weighted goalscorers table, but it might be surprising that Ronaldo tops the table.  The only reason he does is because of today's match against Sevilla in which he scored four goals.  Ronaldo does score a higher proportion of his goals from the penalty spot than Messi, so perhaps that should be taken into account in a future iteration.

The rest of the top five are the names you would expect, and the top goalscorers on raw totals also top the weighted goalscorer list.  The first surprises on the list appear to be Salomon Rondón of Málaga and Pablo Osvaldo of Espanyol.  The two were just signed to multi-million euro deals by both clubs, so it's very possible that they will command high transfer fees in the near future.  David Trézéguet has a high weighted goal total as well, but his club is deep in the relegation zone, so it is almost certain that he will leave the club if Hércules do indeed go down.

Now that I have a functioning table for La Liga, I can update it for the remaining weeks of the competition, and use the table as a template for other competitions.  I won't be able to develop a similar table for another league in the near future, at least not for free.