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July 23, 2019

Messi Data Release Part 2, 2008/09 - 2011/12

By Euan Dewar

Last week we unleashed the first part of our Messi dataset, covering the big little man’s early days from 2004/05 – 2007/08. That first release offered a unique look into the burgeoning years of our intrepid protagonist. His formative days have never really been given this sort of treatment before, so the value was obvious and people seemed to have fun with it.

We did our analysis on the site featuring all sorts of data nuggets and cameos from famous faces. Of course though the whole point here is to get it out into the wider world so you can have a go with it. It’s early days for this project but already folks are starting to get their feet wet. This project isn’t just intended for experienced analysts, we want it to be a gateway for everyone into the world of playing with data (hence why we produced R Primers in English and Spanish). Here’s an assorted selection of what folks on Twitter have shared so far, with apologies to anyone who feels left out:

Now though, we bring in part two. Given Messi’s inconsistent playing time during those initial years, the real meat of his career was yet to come. With this new dataset you’ll really get the chance to sink your teeth into some beefy stuff.

Our second release covers 2008/09 – 2011/12. That’ll be the entirety of Pep Guardiola’s time as Barcelona manager and, my word, what heady days they were. Trophies galore, heaps of goals and essentially turning football on its head (for better or worse, depending on your perspective) via the medium of a million passes. This, of course, is also when Messi himself went truly supernova. At 21-years-old he had now moved from ‘best young talent in the world’ to ‘this is absurd, how is he even doing this, Jesucristo’.

But don’t take my word for it. All of that data is now yours to play with at your own leisure (it actually quietly went up last night! Hello to any eagle-eyed folks – Ethan – who spotted that). If you’ve yet to use our data then head over to our resource centre, sign the user agreement and jump in. If you’re already set up then you don’t need to do anything, the new seasons are all there. Enjoy finding your own ways to demonstrate Messi’s ridiculousness.

Again, if you’re a bit tentative with getting started then have a gander at our guides for using the data in R. Hopefully they’ll offer a gentle nudge in the right direction.

GUIDE IN ENGLISH HERE -> Using StatsBomb Data In R English

GUIDE IN SPANISH HERE–> Using StatsBomb Data In R – Spanish

However you approach it you should have a blast digging into the Pep-era data. Next week this tour takes us to the 2012/13 – 2015/16 seasons, the era of ‘Messidependencia’, the dawn of a new preposterous attacking trio and all sorts of records being broken.

Until then, be well and have great days.

Article by Euan Dewar