Robben also tests the keeper with two of every three attempts, registering an impressive 65% shooting accuracy, way above the Champions League average of 43%. Wesley Sneijder is trailing far behind with only a 27% shooting accuracy. Robben’s goals against Fiorentina in the last 16 and against Manchester Utd in the quarter finals were crucial in ensuring Bayern Munich’s passage to the latter stages of the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League.
His capacity to breeze past players is also highlighted by the fact that only Lionel Messi and Frank Ribéry have completed more dribbles than Robben in the competition in 2010.
Arjen Robben v Wesley Sneijder – 2009/10 UEFA Champions League
Sneijder, on the other hand, is less inclined to take players on but is the top creative player in the knockout stages of the Champions League this season. He has delivered the final ball for an Internazionale shot 22 times, including three assists. Overall this season, this means Sneijder has delivered five assists, compared to zero for Robben.
Van Gaal has upper hand on Mourinho
Castrol Performance data shows that Louis van Gaal has a better win ratio in the UEFA Champions League than Jose Mourinho, his counterpart on 22 May in Madrid.
One of the two will join the record books by winning their second UEFA Champions League with a different side. Only two managers have accomplished this feat in the past: Ernst Happel in 1970 (with Feyenoord) and 1983 (with Hamburg) and Ottmar Hitzfeld in 1997 (with Dortmund) and 2001 (with Bayern Munich).
The pair worked together during van Gaal’s first spell in charge of Barcelona in the late nineties, with Mourinho occupying the role of assistant to the Dutchman. However, this will be their first encounter as managers and it looks like van Gaal is best equipped if we look at their record in Europe’s premier club competition: the Dutchman has won an impressive 60% of matches while Mourinho has failed to win in over half his games.
Their different philosophies are also highlighted by the fact that Mourinho’s sides have generally scored fewer goals than van Gaal’s teams, 1.38 and 1.91 respectively.
However, the Portuguese technician is better when it comes to defending, as he showed against Barcelona in this season’s semi-finals. His sides have conceded only 0.86 goals per game (van Gaal’s have shipped in 1.02 per game on average).
Insights by Castrol. For more winning insights visit castrolfootball.com.