Euro 2016 – Assessing international teams

International football is difficult to analyse. Unlike domestic league football, where vast quantities of data exist to assess team and player performance in a variety of conditions, negligible relevant data is available for international football. It is, by its nature infrequent – so tournament line-ups may bear little resemblance to those of previous matches – with often little or no data to assess how teams fare in truly competitive circumstances.

But the challenge of analysing international football is also a fascinating opportunity, because no-one else will have adequate data either – this levels the playing field for those that don’t usually have access and resources to carry out full analysis. And, for those that like to bet, international tournament football can offer some great value.

So, for Euro 2016 I’m trying to provide a variety of insight that might inform how it will unfold, and use it to estimate the likelihood of different outcomes (including the winner!) in a similar way to my Premier League projections. The building blocks for this are International team ratings, which I outline here.

As mentioned, assessing international teams is tricky. Some assessments are readily available online – e.g. FIFA and ELO ratings. But these aren’t perfect (particularly FIFA) and for my projections I need ratings in terms of attack and defence strength. So I’ve based my international ratings on my “adjusted goals” method that I use for domestic football leagues (described here). This is a simple method based on goals and shots, for and against.

The main problem is that for league football it’s easy to derive ratings using a team’s underlying data. But there’s not enough data to do this for international football team. So I’ve worked out ratings for each team by combining the “adjusted goals” rating for each player in a team’s squad (i.e. each player has his own attack and defence strength rating, which also helps in assessing the strengths of team line-ups). The steps are:

  1. Broadly assume that each player’s rating is at the same level as the club they play for. i.e. to play regularly Bayern Munich or Real Madrid you need to be pretty good. However, this obviously doesn’t accurately assess players that perform better at international football than club football (or vice versa).
  2. Adjust team ratings for a player’s attacking or defensive strength (where data available) e.g. goals, assists, tackles, interceptions. So e.g. Ronaldo has a high attacking strength, Sergio Ramos is strong defensively. I’ve needed to make some subjective adjustments for players from some of the more obscure leagues.
  3. Adjust team/player ratings for the strength of the league they play in, for this I’ve used UEFA coefficient and Euro club index, and applied some subjectivity.
  4. Each team’s overall rating is the average attack and defence rating for the best 16 players in the squad. Only one goalkeeper is included in the top 16 (and goalkeeper only contributes to a team’s defensive rating).

This produces the following ratings for the 24 Euro 2016 teams (note, I’ve not yet allowed for France’s home advantage).

Rank Team Adjusted goals for Adjusted goals against Adjusted goal difference
1 Spain 2.14 0.91 1.23
2 Germany 1.83 1.01 0.82
3 France 1.78 1.00 0.78
4 England 1.83 1.19 0.64
5 Portugal 1.64 1.16 0.48
6 Belgium 1.77 1.31 0.47
7 Italy 1.49 1.07 0.42
8 Croatia 1.50 1.18 0.32
9 Austria 1.29 1.27 0.02
10 Turkey 1.38 1.37 0.01
11 Ukraine 1.30 1.34 -0.04
12 Czech Republic 1.17 1.25 -0.08
13 Switzerland 1.27 1.36 -0.09
14 Wales 1.29 1.42 -0.13
15 Republic of Ireland 1.06 1.40 -0.34
16 Russia 1.14 1.48 -0.34
17 Poland 1.09 1.51 -0.42
18 Sweden 1.11 1.64 -0.53
19 Slovakia 1.01 1.59 -0.57
20 Albania 0.83 1.62 -0.79
21 Northern Ireland 0.77 1.61 -0.84
22 Romania 0.78 1.74 -0.96
23 Iceland 0.77 1.75 -0.98
24 Hungary 0.72 1.94 -1.22

 

Eurorating

I’m aware that there’s an element of subjectivity here, and that there other factors that need to be allowed for such as manager’s tactics and player fitness. But these ratings will form the basis of my projections – with adjustments, where necessary, throughout the tournament.

Next up – tournament projection and assessing the likely winner

Previous Euro 2016 articles

Euro 2016 preview 1 – how goal patterns repeat in international tournamentsEuro 2016 preview 1 – how goal patterns repeat in international tournaments

Euro 2016 – Why England’s most likely last 16 opponents are Germany.

These are the individual player ratings used for the top 100 (non-goalkeeper) tournament players.

Rank Player Country Adj Goals Difference Adj Goals For Adj Goals Against
1 Gareth Bale Wales 3.37 4.59 1.22
2 Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal 2.69 4.03 1.34
3 Zlatan Ibrahimović Sweden 2.23 3.57 1.34
4 Thomas Müller Germany 2.10 2.87 0.76
5 Lucas Vázquez Spain 2.06 3.19 1.13
6 Robert Lewandowski Poland 1.99 2.84 0.85
7 Antoine Griezmann France 1.81 2.61 0.79
8 Koke Spain 1.73 2.43 0.70
9 Toni Kroos Germany 1.71 2.75 1.04
10 Ivan Rakitić Croatia 1.69 2.48 0.79
11 Thiago Spain 1.64 2.05 0.41
12 Arda Turan Turkey 1.62 2.71 1.09
13 Mario Götze Germany 1.58 2.34 0.75
14 Dele Alli England 1.51 2.52 1.02
15 Luka Modrić Croatia 1.49 2.50 1.01
16 Kevin De Bruyne Belgium 1.45 2.76 1.31
17 Sergio Ramos Spain 1.43 2.05 0.62
18 Jordi Alba Spain 1.40 2.10 0.70
19 Mesut Özil Germany 1.39 2.88 1.48
20 Kingsley Coman France 1.38 2.20 0.82
21 David Silva Spain 1.33 2.61 1.28
22 Sergio Busquets Spain 1.32 1.98 0.66
23 Gerard Piqué Spain 1.27 1.90 0.63
24 Jérôme Boateng Germany 1.23 1.73 0.49
25 Mateo Kovačić Croatia 1.23 2.21 0.98
26 Dimitri Payet France 1.22 3.06 1.84
27 Andrés Iniesta Spain 1.21 2.10 0.89
28 Álvaro Morata Spain 1.20 2.25 1.05
29 Pepe Portugal 1.15 1.87 0.72
30 Harry Kane England 1.15 2.48 1.34
31 Aritz Aduriz Spain 1.14 2.51 1.37
32 Dries Mertens Belgium 1.12 2.34 1.22
33 Paul Pogba France 1.09 1.96 0.87
34 James Milner England 1.07 2.36 1.29
35 Marc Bartra Spain 1.07 1.89 0.82
36 Lorenzo Insigne Italy 1.07 2.37 1.31
37 Thomas Vermaelen Belgium 1.04 1.83 0.80
38 Jamie Vardy England 1.01 2.58 1.56
39 Yannick Ferreira Carrasco Belgium 0.98 1.80 0.81
40 Marek Hamšík Slovakia 0.96 2.12 1.17
41 Blaise Matuidi France 0.96 1.90 0.94
42 David Alaba Austria 0.93 1.55 0.62
43 Mats Hummels Germany 0.89 1.50 0.61
44 Olivier Giroud France 0.88 2.31 1.43
45 Mario Mandžukić Croatia 0.87 1.88 1.01
46 Arkadiusz Milik Poland 0.83 2.16 1.33
47 Yevhen Konoplyanka Ukraine 0.81 2.35 1.54
48 Nolito Spain 0.81 2.40 1.59
49 Sami Khedira Germany 0.80 1.78 0.99
50 Simone Zaza Italy 0.79 1.93 1.14
51 Mousa Dembélé Belgium 0.77 1.65 0.88
52 Hakan Çalhanoğlu Turkey 0.75 2.12 1.37
53 Toby Alderweireld Belgium 0.72 1.49 0.77
54 Joshua Kimmich Germany 0.72 1.70 0.99
55 Patrice Evra France 0.71 1.44 0.73
56 Giorgio Chiellini Italy 0.69 1.23 0.54
57 Danny Rose England 0.68 1.59 0.91
58 Renato Sanches Portugal 0.68 1.66 0.98
59 Kyle Walker England 0.67 1.49 0.82
60 Ben Davies Wales 0.67 1.54 0.87
61 Adam Lallana England 0.66 1.95 1.29
62 Nuri Şahin Turkey 0.65 1.75 1.10
63 Leonardo Bonucci Italy 0.64 1.26 0.63
64 Christian Fuchs Austria 0.63 1.49 0.86
65 Jordan Henderson England 0.61 1.83 1.21
66 Aaron Ramsey Wales 0.61 1.77 1.16
67 N’Golo Kanté France 0.61 1.35 0.74
68 Juanfran Spain 0.61 1.29 0.69
69 Christophe Jallet France 0.60 1.52 0.93
70 Christian Benteke Belgium 0.60 2.28 1.69
71 Julian Weigl Germany 0.58 1.41 0.83
72 Alessandro Florenzi Italy 0.58 1.76 1.18
73 Tomáš Rosický Czech Republic 0.57 1.68 1.12
74 Graziano Pellè Italy 0.56 2.10 1.54
75 Laurent Koscielny France 0.55 1.28 0.73
76 João Mário Portugal 0.55 1.49 0.94
77 William Carvalho Portugal 0.55 1.49 0.94
78 Adrien Silva Portugal 0.55 1.49 0.94
79 Raheem Sterling England 0.55 1.86 1.31
80 Stephan El Shaarawy Italy 0.54 2.16 1.62
81 Thiago Motta Italy 0.54 1.56 1.02
82 Bacary Sagna France 0.54 1.46 0.92
83 Eric Dier England 0.51 1.51 1.00
84 Bruno Soriano Spain 0.51 1.31 0.81
85 Duje Čop Croatia 0.50 1.73 1.23
86 Admir Mehmedi Switzerland 0.49 1.99 1.50
87 Mikel San José Spain 0.48 1.35 0.87
88 Victor Lindelöf Sweden 0.47 1.16 0.69
89 Eliseu Portugal 0.47 1.16 0.69
90 Cesc Fàbregas Spain 0.47 1.97 1.50
91 Vieirinha Portugal 0.46 1.54 1.08
92 Jan Vertonghen Belgium 0.45 1.22 0.77
93 Shane Long Republic of Ireland 0.43 1.95 1.52
94 Andrea Barzagli Italy 0.42 1.15 0.73
95 Steven Davis Northern Ireland 0.41 1.73 1.32
96 Yohan Cabaye France 0.41 1.51 1.09
97 Vlad Chiricheș Romania 0.41 1.32 0.92
98 Zlatko Junuzović Austria 0.39 2.24 1.85
99 Stefano Sturaro Italy 0.39 1.25 0.86
100 Lucas Digne France 0.38 1.43 1.06
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s