Lionel Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo: A supercomputer decides who is the better footballer between the two

the asian age

Sports, Football

A group of scientists in Belgium from the KU Leuven University along with data experts from the Netherlands have devised a formula.

The debate about who between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time has raged like wildfire ever since the two came into prominence. (Photo: AFP)

Mumbai: The debate about who between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi is the greatest of all time has raged like wildfire ever since the two came into prominence. But, apparently, a supercomputer has finally decided who the better one is.

According to Sporza, a group of scientists in Belgium from the KU Leuven University along with data experts from the Netherlands have devised a formula to find out which player is the better one.

Jesse Davis, a professor of the university, said, “The value of a soccer player is often determined by goals and assists. A goal is a rare event, however, because an average of 1,600 actions is estimated to occur in a match. Our model looks at each action – shots, passes, dribbles, tackles – and calculates its value.”

The formula is called Valuing Actions by Estimating Probabilities (VAEP).

According to the VAEP, Messi stands above Ronaldo with an average of 1.21 per game while Ronaldo is down at 0.61. These results state that the Argentinean is a better overall player than the Portuguese.

PhD student Tom Decroos, who helped with the research, said, “In the first seasons, Messi and Ronaldo’s scores are very close to each other. From the 2015/16 season, Messi has stepped away from his eternal rival.”

He added, “We see a trade-off with most football players: either they make a lot of actions with less high value – that’s the case with Paul Pogba, for example,”

“Or you have players who are less likely to hit the ball, but who have a big impact. That is typical of strikers like Harry Kane, Mohamed Salah and Ronaldo.

“Messi is exceptional in this area: the Argentinian has a very high number of actions and they also have a high value.”

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