Back in July 2019, we launched the Messi Data Biography with the ambition of collecting and coding the entirety of Lionel Messi’s La Liga career at Barcelona to release for free, public, non-commercial use. After 17 seasons, the biography is now complete.
The Messi Data Biography remains one of the coolest and most gratifying things we have done as a company for so many reasons. Not only do WE have access to every action Messi ever attempted on a La Liga football pitch, but YOU do too. The opportunity to conduct longitudinal analysis of one of the greatest players of all time is unprecedented for those inside the industry, let alone those outside. We know you’ll have your own creative ways to analyse and visualise Messi’s La Liga career.
To flatten the learning curve, we’ve released packages for both R (StatsBombR) and Python (statsbombpy) to help manipulate the data, as well as writing and releasing a guide to using R in both English and Spanish. The guide contains tons of advice and example code to get you started on your coding and data analysis journey.
There are three key things you will need to get started with:
- The data: which can be accessed here
- The R Guide: tutorials and example code for how to use the data in R
- The data specification: details of what the event data actually looks like
Between the three of those resources, and after a few small tinkers with the code provided in the R Guide, you’ll soon be producing vis much better than this:
To give you an idea of some of the storylines the Messi data can tell us about him as a player, here’s a list of some of the deep analyses we’ve conducted on Messi and his path to greatness:
- Messi Data Biography Analysis: Young Messi 2004-05 to 2007-08
- Messi Data Biography Analysis: The Guardiola Era, 2008-09 to 2011-12
- Messi Data Biography Analysis and Data Release: 2012-13 to 2015-16
- Messi Data Biography: 15 Seasons Now Complete and Available
- What Is Lionel Messi In 2021?
We’ve also released several other datasets and, per the data release we made last week, the amount of free data released and available to the public now extends past 3,000,000 events in over 1000 matches.
Here’s a list of all the competitions available through our datahub:
- The Lionel Messi Data Biography (04/05 – 20/21)
- FA Women’s Super League (18/19, 19/20, 20/21)
- Arsenal Invincibles Season (03/04)
- UEFA Men’s Champions League Finals (various, 99/00 – 18/19)
- FIFA Men’s 2018 World Cup
- FIFA Women’s 2019 World Cup
- NWSL 2018
Lastly, the data is there to be used by YOU. Here are some examples of some thoughtful uses of the data through the years that may provide some inspiration towards creating datavis of your own.
Best of luck,
The StatsBomb Team