FIFA World XI by Goalimpact

The FIFA didn't select the players that have the highest Goalimpact, but that isn't also to be expected. The FIFA World XI is a honor that is based on 2015 performance only, while Goalimpact is based on all games of the player's career. But even given that, there are some surprising omissions in the FIFA list: no Özil?!? Anyway, the list isn't too far of Goalimpact either and most players on the list are passing 150, my arbitrary level of world-class.

Other than Özil, notable omission from Goalimpact perspetive are Theo Walcott, Mario Götze and Cesc Fàbregas.

Rank GIPlayerTeamGoalimpactPlayer AgePeakGINationality
1Thomas MüllerBayern München211,726,2212,0Deutschland
4Karim BenzemaReal Madrid198,527,8202,6Frankreich
5Robert LewandowskiBayern München198,327,2201,0Polen
6Lionel MessiFC Barcelona197,628,3202,2Argentinien
9Manuel NeuerBayern München195,229,6200,0Deutschland
10BusquetsFC Barcelona193,927,3196,7Spanien
13MarceloReal Madrid185,927,5189,2Brasilien
14PiquéFC Barcelona185,828,8190,7Spanien
16Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid182,730,8192,3Portugal
19Mats HummelsBorussia Dortmund181,926,8183,8Deutschland
20Toni KroosReal Madrid180,525,8180,8Deutschland
21Arturo VidalBayern München179,528,4184,2Chile
28Wayne RooneyManchester United176,930,0182,9England
30David AlabaBayern München176,723,3181,5Österreich
34NeymarFC Barcelona175,623,8179,2Brasilien
46Eden HazardChelsea FC173,424,8175,1Belgien
48Arjen RobbenBayern München173,031,8188,0Niederlande
49James RodríguezReal Madrid172,924,3175,3Kolumbien
53Iker CasillasFC Porto170,434,4176,9Spanien
54Alexis SánchezArsenal FC170,026,8171,9Chile
59Kun AgüeroManchester City168,327,4171,4Argentinien
63Luis SuárezFC Barcelona167,428,8172,3Uruguay
69Dani AlvesFC Barcelona165,932,5183,9Brasilien
73Javier MascheranoFC Barcelona164,431,4177,5Argentinien
75IniestaFC Barcelona164,031,5177,5Spanien
93Xabi AlonsoBayern München161,233,9184,3Spanien
97Philipp LahmBayern München160,832,0176,8Deutschland
98Gianluigi BuffonJuventus160,737,8174,4Italien
109Sergio RamosReal Madrid158,929,6164,5Spanien
114Carlos TévezBoca Juniors157,931,8172,8Argentinien
116Luka ModrićReal Madrid157,730,2164,3Kroatien
131De GeaManchester United155,725,0170,7Spanien
133Gareth BaleReal Madrid155,426,3156,1Wales
135David SilvaManchester City155,329,8161,0Spanien
136Ivan RakitićFC Barcelona155,327,7158,8Kroatien
146David LuizParis Saint-Germain154,428,5159,1Brasilien
149Vincent KompanyManchester City154,229,6159,7Belgien
152ThiagoBayern München154,024,6156,1Spanien
155PepeReal Madrid153,832,7172,5Portugal
158Thiago SilvaParis Saint-Germain153,531,1165,1Brasilien
171Giorgio ChielliniJuventus152,331,3164,5Italien
183Zlatan IbrahimovićParis Saint-Germain151,334,1175,3Schweden
208Dani CarvajalReal Madrid150,023,8153,4Spanien
230Jordi AlbaFC Barcelona148,826,6150,2Spanien
288John TerryChelsea FC145,934,9176,2England
294Raphaël VaraneReal Madrid145,522,5152,8Frankreich
342Diego GodínAtletico Madrid143,029,7148,6Uruguay
358Branislav IvanovićChelsea FC142,331,7156,9Serbien
379Yaya TouréManchester City141,632,5159,5Elfenbeinküste
397Marco VerrattiParis Saint-Germain140,423,0146,3Italien
536Paul PogbaJuventus135,322,7142,3Frankreich
613Douglas CostaBayern München132,925,2134,1Brasilien
909Keylor NavasReal Madrid126,328,9131,1Costa Rica
2008Andrea PirloNew York City FC115,136,4157,8Italien

Ballon d’Or from Goalimpact's perspective

Every year FIFA is selecting the best football player of the world. Every year this is controversial because most people not be satisfied with the selection. Our main criticism to this is the clear bias towards attack players. This year, while there are still too many offensive players, at least some defenders and goalkeepers are on the list. But, if history is going to repeat, none of them is going to win.

The following table shows the Goalimpact of all candidates. All of them are clearly contributing to the success of their teams and well above the average rating of all football players which is 100. Most of them are rated to be among the 100 best football players.

GI Rank Player GoalImpact Player Age PeakGI Team
1 Cristiano Ronaldo 207.8 29.7 215.0 Real Madrid
2 Philipp Lahm 194.8 30.9 209.9 Bayern München
4 Manuel Neuer 194.3 28.5 197.8 Bayern München
6 Bastian Schweinsteiger 186.9 30.2 195.9 Bayern München
10 Lionel Messi 184.3 27.3 187.9 FC Barcelona
11 Zlatan Ibrahimovic 181.7 33.0 211.1 Paris Saint-Germain
14 Thomas Müller 175.2 25.1 177.4 Bayern München
16 Sergio Ramos 172.3 28.5 178.5 Real Madrid
17 Javier Mascherano 168.5 30.3 178.7 FC Barcelona
25 Karim Benzema 154.2 26.8 156.4 Real Madrid
27 Arjen Robben 153.2 30.7 166.6 Bayern München
35 Mario Götze 148.5 22.3 159.5 Bayern München
54 Iniesta 143.7 30.4 154.6 FC Barcelona
56 Ángel Di María 143.0 26.7 144.8 Manchester United
87 Toni Kroos 137.6 24.8 140.5 Real Madrid
128 Eden Hazard 132.5 23.8 138.2 Chelsea FC
184 Yaya Touré 128.2 31.4 147.5 Manchester City
205 Gareth Bale 127.0 25.3 128.8 Real Madrid
222 James Rodríguez 125.8 23.3 133.4 Real Madrid
253 Thibaut Courtois 125.0 22.4 171.1 Chelsea FC
581 Neymar 117.4 22.7 127.2 FC Barcelona
675 Paul Pogba 116.4 21.6 131.4 Juventus
879 Diego Costa 114.5 26.0 114.5 Chelsea FC

But the Ballon d'Or isn't about which player is the best, but about which player did play best in the first half of 2014. This, of course, is also influence by many other factors. E.g. Mario Götze is no doubt one of the biggest talents in world football, but probably he wouldn't have made it on the list anyway if it wasn't for his goal in the World Cup final. Philip Lahm was always one of the best football players of the world, but would he be selected if Guardialo hadn't moved him to the midfield drawing much more media attention on the German?

Despite the many valid reasons on why FIFA will not pick by Goalimpact, we expect the winner to be higher up in this list. Just to proof us wrong, we hope for a defender. Fingers crossed for Lahm and Neuer.

Rating of the Ballon d'Or Nominees

The FIFA announced the list of nominees for the Ballon d'Or. Given their Goalimpact, they are all well above average and most of them world-class. Personally, I find the usual bias in the selection towards strongly offensive oriented players a pitty, so I'm delighted to see Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Yaya Toure, and Neuer on that list. In case this list is strangely familar to you, it actually contains 80% of the players of the Goalimpact Top-10. Only Fabregas and Busquets are mssing.

Cristiano Ronaldo188,6
Lionel Messi184,5
Philipp Lahm179,9
Bastian Schweinsteiger178,7
Mesut Özil167,1
Thomas Müller166,5
Manuel Neuer164,9
Zlatan Ibrahimovic164,6
Andrés Iniesta164,5
Arjen Robben160,6
Franck Ribéry149,3
Yaya Touré148,6
Andrea Pirlo146,8
Robin Van Persie145,0
Robert Lewandowski144,7
Eden Hazard136,4
Radamel Falcao134,1
Thiago Silva132,6
Luis Suárez132,2
Edinson Cavani119,2
Gareth Bale117,6

By readers' request, I added the 1-Year-Goalimpacts of the players. These values estimate the impact the players had between October 2012 and October 2013. As the readers argued, the nomination is a price for the year and hence the 1Y-Goalimpacts should be a better gauche for their chances in the competition. That said, these values will suffer more from co-linearity and hence the values are less precise.

National Team
Bastian Schweinsteiger Bayern München Deutschland
Philipp Lahm Bayern München Deutschland 270,6 4767
Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Portugal 266,0 5251
Manuel Neuer Bayern München Deutschland 251,5 5425
Arjen Robben Bayern München Niederlande 249,72847
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Paris Saint-Germain Schweden 239,9 4910
Lionel Messi FC Barcelona Argentinien 230,44682
Franck Ribéry Bayern München Frankreich 219,1 4019
Mesut Özil Arsenal FC Deutschland 205,5 4155
Thomas Müller Bayern München Deutschland 201,9 4420
Andrea Pirlo Juventus Italien 198,7 4841
Iniesta FC Barcelona Spanien 185,8 4784
Robin van Persie Manchester United Niederlande 175,0 4600
Yaya Touré Manchester City Elfenbeinküste 174,8 4557
Robert Lewandowski Borussia Dortmund Polen 174,2 4957
Eden Hazard Chelsea FC Belgien 167,4 4820
Thiago Silva Paris Saint-Germain Brasilien 165,6 3681
Xavi FC Barcelona Spanien 162,0 4542
Falcao AS Monaco Kolumbien 161,5 4526
Neymar FC Barcelona Brasilien 155,6 1756
Luis Suárez Liverpool FC Uruguay 140,2 4260
Edinson Cavani Paris Saint-Germain Uruguay 129,44686
Gareth Bale Real Madrid Wales 129,1 3959

From the top ten players according to 1Y-Goalimpact with at least 2500 minutes, Arjen Robben, Cesc Fàbregas, Dani Alves and David Villa are missing. Bale, by the way, is only number 668 on the list.