The Best XI Ever

In Brazil in summer of 2014, Jogi Löw prepared the German national team to enter the World Cup. He took care of all the details as famously documented in the movie "Die Mannschaft". One detail he addressed earlier was picking the best players to join the team. Germany had that year excellent players to choose from and Löw didn't want to take any risk. He mainly selected by output. And he did a very good job. Actually, for the opening game he fielded a starting XI with a Goalimpact of 179.0, the highest Goalimpact ever, in all competitions, on club and national team level.

From all his players available, he chose the ones with the highest Goalimpact, apart from Bastian Schweinsteiger who missed some weeks of team training due to an injury. That team beat Portugal 4:0 ensuring a good start in the tournament. Also the exactly same team drew a few days later against Ghana 2:2 in the heat of Fortaleza.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeClubNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Per Mertesacker160.0165.629.7Arsenal FC47543835
Mats Hummels187.5188.425.4Borussia Dortmund32528466
Thomas Müller216.0218.024.8Bayern München37729855
Toni Kroos178.9181.424.4Bayern München31923051
Philipp Lahm164.4173.030.6Bayern München58151993
Manuel Neuer194.6199.128.2Bayern München43840917
Benedikt Höwedes165.8166.326.3FC Schalke 0432928208
Jérôme Boateng169.0169.425.8Bayern München35428593
Mario Götze171.4180.622.0Bayern München20414298
Mesut Özil206.9207.525.7Arsenal FC43833170
Sami Khedira154.7157.227.2Real Madrid34927770
Average179.0182.426.4
Bench
André Schürrle151.7156.123.6Chelsea FC25718827
Miroslav Klose126.1164.236.0Lazio Roma60545175
Roman Weidenfeller139.7145.233.8Borussia Dortmund41438278
Julian Draxler126.2147.320.7FC Schalke 0417011338
Bastian Schweinsteiger181.8187.529.8Bayern München56743606
Matthias Ginter115.7139.920.3SC Freiburg13712556
Lukas Podolski138.9144.029.0Arsenal FC42932205
Kevin Großkreutz145.6145.825.8Borussia Dortmund34527128
Christoph Kramer100.7105.923.3Bor. Mönchengladbach18014941
Shkodran Mustafi106.3115.122.1Sampdoria756182
Erik Durm98.7107.722.1Borussia Dortmund1239537
Ron-Robert Zieler116.6129.525.3Hannover 9617316172
Average129.0140.726.0

When Germany played Brazil in the semi finals, the team's Goalimpact was slightly lower. Featuring aging Miroslaw Klose instead of Mario Götze reduced the Goalimpact more than replacing Per Mertesacker by Bastian Schweinsteiger could improve it.

Notice also that Germany lacked depth in the team. Many bench players had a considerably lower Goalimpact than the first XI. Hence, they were lucky not to suffer multiple injuries. So it is no surprise that the weakest starting XI of Germany in the tournament played the final against Argentina. It had only a Goalimpact of 171.2.

FC Barcelona 2013/2014

The starting XI with the highest Goalimpact, 177.5, ever to play at club level, was Martino's Barcelona in a league game on 15. February 2014 against Rayo Vallecano that they trashed 6:0. It was also the second best starting XI ever after Germany 2014. Again there weren't many options to improve the team's Goalimpact further. Just GI would have chosen Mascherano over the aging Puyol.

Notice how may players have left the team in the meanwhile, mainly to join a Premier League club.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Busquets206.6207.325.6Spanien30124065
Lionel Messi202.4203.726.6Argentinien46037187
Dani Alves172.1181.730.8Brasilien53445708
Piqué187.2189.327.0Spanien36130563
Alexis Sánchez168.5169.925.1Chile32221786
Iniesta172.6178.229.8Spanien53938371
Pedro165.1166.226.5Spanien27017408
Adriano156.6161.929.3Brasilien35725429
Puyol138.1174.935.8Spanien63655202
Cesc Fàbregas209.3210.926.8Spanien48936983
Victor Valdés173.9178.432.1Spanien52348678
Average177.5183.928.7
Bench
Javier Mascherano175.9181.529.7Argentinien45038045
Alex Song178.2179.126.4Kamerun34127004
Ibrahim Afellay133.7137.627.8Niederlande28520221
Neymar135.4144.622.0Brasilien18214671
Pinto121.2136.138.322620660
Jordi Alba117.8119.524.8Spanien22817260
Cristian Tello115.1122.822.5Spanien [U21]1306210
Average139.6145.927.4

Bayern Munich 2014/2015

The second highest ranked club ever with 177.0 isn't rated much lower. On 11. March 2015, Pep Guardiola's Bayern defeated Shakhtar Donetsk with a humiliating 7:0. Apart from the excellent starting XI this was facilitated by a very early red card against Shakthar.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Rafinha166.7172.129.5Brasilien Olymp.36330547
David Alaba162.2169.222.7Österreich27122450
Thomas Müller212.5213.425.5Deutschland41833197
Arjen Robben179.2190.631.1Niederlande52739194
Bastian Schweinsteiger180.3189.130.6Deutschland58745018
Manuel Neuer194.9199.228.9Deutschland48245071
Holger Badstuber148.1148.126.0Deutschland27023655
Jérôme Boateng169.6170.726.5Deutschland39231889
Robert Lewandowski196.8197.926.5Polen31725342
Mario Götze186.6193.522.8Deutschland24317029
Franck Ribéry150.6166.031.9Frankreich46737594
Average177.0182.727.5
Bench
Claudio Pizarro119.9161.836.4Peru62344801
Pepe Reina167.8172.432.5Spanien63458921
Philipp Lahm162.7175.131.3Deutschland60654247
Medhi Benatia144.6148.627.8Marokko22719902
Juan Bernat119.4128.522.0Spanien1228762
Dante164.4177.131.3Brasilien33930018
Sebastian Rode109.9112.424.4Deutschland [U21]16912927
Average141.2153.729.4

Overview

And here are the top 25 starting XIs ever according to Goalimpact. Per season the table is showing each team only once, with the highest Goalimpact. Observations:

  • The only non-Spanish, non-German entry is Manchester City from the last two seasons.
  • All entries are from recent years. For the clubs this can be explained by a stronger concentration of top players on few top clubs. I'm not sure what to make for the national team from it. The third best national team is the Netherlands 1998 followed by Germany 1982. So maybe for national teams this is incidental.
  • The highest ranked starting XI ever to lose a match was FC Barcelona (174.8) losing against Real Valladolid 1:0 on the 27th match day of the 2013/2014 season of Primera Division. This is the 21st ranked starting XI. (not in the list below as this was not their best starting XI that season.)


Competition Season Round Team Goalimpact Match
World Cup 2014 in Brazil Group G Germany 179.0 Deutschland - Portugal 4:0
Primera Division 2013/2014 24. Match Day FC Barcelona 177.5 FC Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano 6:0
Champions League 2014/2015 Achtelfinale Bayern München 177.0 Bayern München - Shakhtar Donetsk 7:0
Primera Division 2012/2013 22. Match Day FC Barcelona 176.3 Valencia CF - FC Barcelona 1:1
Bundesliga 2013/2014 27. Match Day Bayern München 175.2 Hertha BSC - Bayern München 1:3
Champions League 2011/2012 Achtelfinale FC Barcelona 174.2 FC Barcelona - Bayer Leverkusen 7:1
Champions League 2014/2015 Final FC Barcelona 172.4 Juventus - FC Barcelona 1:3
EC-Quali. 2014/2015 Group D Germany 172.3 Schottland - Deutschland 2:3
WC-Quali. Europe 2012/2013 Group C Germany 171.9 Schweden - Deutschland 3:5
Bundesliga 2015/2016 1. Match Day Bayern München 171.1 Bayern München - Hamburger SV 5:0
Primera Division 2012/2013 7. Match Day Real Madrid 170.6 FC Barcelona - Real Madrid 2:2
EC 2012 in Poland/Ukraine Final Spain 169.3 Spanien - Italien 4:0
WM-Quali. Europa 2012/2013 Group I Spain 169.1 Spanien - Finnland 1:1
EC 2012 in Poland/Ukraine Group B Germany 168.8 Niederlande - Deutschland 1:2
EC-Quali. 2014/2015 Group C Spain 168.4 Spanien - Slowakei 2:0
Primera Division 2014/2015 17. Match Day Real Madrid 168.3 Valencia CF - Real Madrid 2:1
Champions League 2011/2012 Halbfinale Real Madrid 167.9 Real Madrid - Bayern München 1:3
Confederations Cup 2013 in Brazil Group B Spain 167.2 Nigeria - Spanien 0:3
Primera Division 2015/2016 5. Match Day FC Barcelona 166.5 Celta Vigo - FC Barcelona 4:1
Champions League 2012/2013 Halbfinale Bayern München 165.8 Bayern München - FC Barcelona 4:0
Champions League 2010/2011 Halbfinale FC Barcelona 165.8 FC Barcelona - Real Madrid 1:1
Primera Division 2015/2016 2. Match Day Real Madrid 163.6 Real Madrid - Real Betis 5:0
Champions League 2013/2014 Achtelfinale Real Madrid 163.0 FC Schalke 04 - Real Madrid 1:6
Champions League 2014/2015 Group E Manchester City 160.7 Manchester City - AS Roma 1:1
Premier League 2013/2014 35. Match Day Manchester City 159.8 Manchester City - West Bromwich Albion 3:1




Atlético Madrid - FC Barcelona: Stats for Lineups

Given the starting XI, FC Barcelona is expected to win at Atletico Madrid by a narrow margin of 0.12 goals. This is a tight match.

Atletico Madrid

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Thibaut Courtois130.6130.621.9Belgien19618188
Diego Godín122.3127.328.1Uruguay32729377
Filipe Luís123.4128.828.7Brasilien29625671
Juanfran117.7123.529.3Spanien35226439
Miranda133.3139.329.6Brasilien31628549
Tiago107.9135.032.9Portugal35925045
Koke119.8134.122.3Spanien17911724
Raúl García120.5124.827.8Spanien [U21]39125960
Gabi114.8127.130.837629350
Adrián110.4111.026.3Spanien Olymp.28618191
David Villa136.1160.632.3Spanien50738650
Bench
Aranzubía94.694.634.5Spanien Olymp.36934102
Toby Alderweireld142.5145.725.1Belgien20317977
Emiliano Insúa112.9115.625.3Argentinien16914685
Mario Suárez117.2119.927.1Spanien21615654
Cristian Rodríguez108.0113.328.5Uruguay31818071
José Sosa115.6121.128.8Argentinien35523192
Carlos Ramos84.4120.519.6171


FC Barcelona

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Pinto76.576.538.422220264
Bartra127.4137.623.3Spanien [U21]1189847
Jordi Alba120.2123.625.0Spanien23718081
Dani Alves178.2192.030.9Brasilien53846090
Cesc Fàbregas179.7181.926.9Spanien49437445
Xavi145.9179.934.2Spanien76261995
Iniesta157.2163.329.9Spanien52437095
Javier Mascherano165.2171.329.8Argentinien45138387
Busquets154.9155.925.8Spanien30424390
Lionel Messi182.1184.026.8Argentinien45937457
Neymar115.2129.922.2Brasilien19115272
Bench
Oier99.999.924.6585377
Martín Montoya129.2140.423.0Spanien [U21]12810800
Adriano131.0136.829.4Brasilien35725654
Alex Song141.8143.226.6Kamerun34026760
Sergi Roberto113.8128.522.2Spanien [U21]1278881
Pedro145.3147.026.7Spanien28018212
Alexis Sánchez137.4139.825.3Chile33422408


Stats on Lineups for Barcelona vs Atletico Madrid

Curious to see Pinto's game. He is strikingly low rated for a Barca player. Barca expected to win by 0.684 goals anyway.

FC Barcelona

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Pinto76.576.538.422220264
Piqué155.5158.427.2Spanien35630111
Jordi Alba120.2123.625.0Spanien23718081
Dani Alves178.2192.030.9Brasilien53846090
Cesc Fàbregas179.7181.926.9Spanien49437445
Xavi145.9179.934.2Spanien76261995
Iniesta157.2163.329.9Spanien52437095
Javier Mascherano165.2171.329.8Argentinien45138387
Busquets154.9155.925.8Spanien30424390
Lionel Messi182.1184.026.8Argentinien45937457
Neymar115.2129.922.2Brasilien19115272
Bench
Oier99.999.924.6585377
Bartra127.4137.623.3Spanien [U21]1189847
Adriano131.0136.829.4Brasilien35725654
Alex Song141.8143.226.6Kamerun34026760
Sergi Roberto113.8128.522.2Spanien [U21]1278881
Pedro145.3147.026.7Spanien28018212
Alexis Sánchez137.4139.825.3Chile33422408


Atletico Madrid

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Thibaut Courtois130.6130.621.9Belgien19618188
Diego Godín122.3127.328.1Uruguay32729377
Filipe Luís123.4128.828.7Brasilien29625671
Juanfran117.7123.529.3Spanien35226439
Miranda133.3139.329.6Brasilien31628549
Tiago107.9135.032.9Portugal35925045
Koke119.8134.122.3Spanien17911724
Arda Turan132.5135.427.2Türkei34826847
Gabi114.8127.130.837629350
David Villa136.1160.632.3Spanien50738650
Diego Costa115.0116.825.522216880
Bench
Aranzubía94.694.634.5Spanien36934102
Toby Alderweireld142.5145.725.1Belgien20317977
Emiliano Insúa112.9115.625.3Argentinien16914685
Mario Suárez117.2119.927.1Spanien21615654
Cristian Rodríguez108.0113.328.5Uruguay31818071
Diego117.5123.229.1Brasilien38031690
José Sosa115.6121.128.8Argentinien35523192


Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Goalimpacts of the Lineups

The duel of two of the best teams of the world. Both have excellent players, Real Madrid even the best player of the world. But it is not only one football god playing tonight. It is a complete pantheon. You need to search for slightly lower quality with a magnification glass. And even then they will be players that are among the best in next to any other team of the world.

Real Madrid

In the defense, Carvajal seems to be the weaker side. Goalimpact never seems to become a fan of Bale, too.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Diego López106.5106.532.328025682
Pepe139.9152.030.9Portugal30727158
Sergio Ramos163.8167.727.8Spanien47342084
Marcelo146.6147.325.8Brasilien26622077
Dani Carvajal121.1136.322.1Spanien [U21]695778
Gareth Bale121.3125.424.6Wales30025319
Xabi Alonso164.1185.032.2Spanien59348571
Luka Modric125.5130.028.4Kroatien30624966
Ángel Di María142.5142.626.0Argentinien35222732
Cristiano Ronaldo195.8200.729.0Portugal59449593
Karim Benzema152.4152.726.1Frankreich37424255
Bench
Iker Casillas165.5165.532.7Spanien72667489
Raphaël Varane112.9137.920.8Frankreich897696
Fábio Coentrão124.3124.625.9Portugal21516584
Nacho110.5116.024.0Spanien [U21]493821
Isco111.2128.321.8Spanien14010713
Illarramendi117.3123.323.9Spanien [U21]956953
Morata117.9139.021.3Spanien [U21]693979


FC Barcelona

The quality of the player at Barcelona is generally higher. Xavi is not young anymore. Still excellent, but only a shadow of his great past when he ruled a game. Jordi Alba seems to be the weak spot in the defense. Neymar, as Bale, needs to show more effectiveness to be loved by Goalimpact. And, let's hope Pinto doesn't need to play. He doesn't seem to be good enough for this game.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Victor Valdés155.7155.732.1Spanien58154134
Piqué146.4148.527.0Spanien37632024
Jordi Alba120.4123.524.8Spanien22717101
Dani Alves170.1180.930.8Brasilien57149190
Cesc Fàbregas181.3182.926.8Spanien48036383
Xavi133.6164.934.0Spanien82167641
Iniesta154.6159.929.8Spanien56541441
Javier Mascherano165.9171.229.7Argentinien44137435
Busquets149.7151.025.6Spanien32226152
Lionel Messi175.4176.726.6Argentinien49841176
Neymar114.8130.422.0Brasilien18214671
Bench
Pinto76.976.938.322020102
Bartra125.7136.023.1Spanien [U21]1139471
Adriano133.3138.429.3Brasilien35325425
Alex Song141.6142.526.4Kamerun33526454
Sergi Roberto112.8128.422.0Spanien [U21]1218789
Pedro142.1143.226.5Spanien28919446
Alexis Sánchez137.0139.525.1Chile32021633


Manchester City vs. FC Barcelona: Stats for Lineups

A lot of world-class is here on the pitch. Not only Barcelona, but also Manchester City has an exceptionally good squad. Weak spot for city is Kolarov, though that is complaining on a very high level. To speak of a weak spot in Barcelona is ridiculous. However, if we need to name one being force by a gun, we'd pick Jordi Alba.

Manchester City

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Joe Hart127.0127.026.8England30728632
Vincent Kompany139.8143.627.8Belgien39134073
Pablo Zabaleta130.5135.429.1Argentinien39132504
Aleksandar Kolarov109.6114.028.3Serbien24518565
Gaël Clichy155.9160.528.5Frankreich37031185
Martín Demichelis117.1143.233.1Argentinien41934719
Jesús Navas138.9143.428.2Spanien42234421
David Silva137.2141.528.1Spanien39730829
Fernandinho143.5148.228.824820776
Yaya Touré134.7145.430.8Elfenbeinküste39232857
Álvaro Negredo116.8121.328.4Spanien29421080
Bench
Costel Pantilimon113.3113.327.0Rumänien13011989
Micah Richards111.8112.925.6Großbritannien26422273
Joleon Lescott139.3155.331.5England43138744
Samir Nasri128.3129.626.6Frankreich41129433
Javi García124.0126.127.0Spanien [U21]22516545
Edin Džeko133.8137.827.9Bosnien-Herzegowina32224105
Stevan Jovetic106.4111.324.3Montenegro16512283


FC Barcelona

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Victor Valdés155.7155.732.1Spanien58154134
Piqué146.4148.527.0Spanien37632024
Jordi Alba120.4123.524.8Spanien22717101
Dani Alves170.1180.930.8Brasilien57149190
Cesc Fàbregas181.3182.926.8Spanien48036383
Xavi133.6164.934.0Spanien82167641
Iniesta154.6159.929.8Spanien56541441
Javier Mascherano165.9171.229.7Argentinien44137435
Busquets149.7151.025.6Spanien32226152
Alexis Sánchez137.0139.525.1Chile32021633
Lionel Messi175.4176.726.6Argentinien49841176
Bench
Pinto76.976.938.322020102
Bartra125.7136.023.1Spanien [U21]1139471
Adriano133.3138.429.3Brasilien35325425
Alex Song141.6142.526.4Kamerun33526454
Sergi Roberto112.8128.422.0Spanien [U21]1218789
Pedro142.1143.226.5Spanien28919446
Neymar114.8130.422.0Brasilien18214671


Atlético Madrid vs FC Barcelona: Team Rooster

Ateltico is a team without apparent weakness, but Barca is individually much better.

Atletico Madrid

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Thibaut Courtois128.7128.721.7Belgien17516235
Diego Godín120.8124.927.9Uruguay30527262
Filipe Luís122.7127.228.4Brasilien28124303
Juanfran118.0122.929.0Spanien33124452
Miranda132.0137.129.3Brasilien29826875
Tiago110.4134.032.7Portugal35424697
Koke117.0132.622.0Spanien15910119
Arda Turan131.8133.726.9Türkei32925535
Gabi114.1123.130.535527382
David Villa139.9160.132.1Spanien50638999
Diego Costa112.9115.125.320215027
Bench
Aranzubía96.396.334.3Spanien Olymp.36333469
Toby Alderweireld142.9146.124.8Belgien19217126
Emiliano Insúa111.9114.725.0Argentinien16214048
Raúl García117.1120.327.5Spanien [U21]36724297
Cristian Rodríguez108.4112.928.3Uruguay30117497
Josuha Guilavogui109.1118.223.3Frankreich1218838
José Sosa115.3119.928.5Argentinien34022631


FC Barcelona

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeTeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Victor Valdés157.5157.532.0Spanien57653669
Piqué146.5148.426.9Spanien37231652
Jordi Alba119.8123.224.8Spanien22316729
Dani Alves171.1181.430.7Brasilien56648725
Cesc Fàbregas179.1180.626.7Spanien47135624
Xavi131.4162.133.9Spanien81467112
Iniesta153.8159.129.7Spanien56041179
Javier Mascherano165.4170.629.6Argentinien43537012
Busquets149.8151.325.5Spanien31725687
Pedro140.9141.826.4Spanien28118837
Alexis Sánchez134.3136.925.0Chile31121044
Bench
Pinto75.575.538.221619730
Bartra123.5134.223.0Spanien [U21]1099099
Adriano131.7136.729.2Brasilien34824960
Alex Song139.9140.626.3Kamerun32525679
Sergi Roberto110.2126.421.9Spanien [U21]1138343
Lionel Messi174.5175.626.5Argentinien49140698
Neymar114.9131.121.9Brasilien17914604