Kevin Rating Synthesis


As most of you are aware, there’s this guy named Kevin that does the reviews for this here website. And some of you smart readers are even aware that during those reviews, he rates the players in each match. What you probably aren’t aware of is that there’s a bookish nerdboy collecting those ratings and putting them through the ringer and come up with averages, medians, and some analysis. That Peter Parker-esque science geek is, of course, me.

Each week I feed the numbers into my number crunching machine, carefully calibrated to understand exactly the emotions involved in these integers. The machine is, of course Excel. And it does fairly simple mathematical operations.

So, then, to the numbers themselves, with the highest average rating at the top and the median rating in parentheses (these are for all competitive matches, not just league matches):

Abidal, Eric    8.29    (9)
Messi, Lionel    7.56    (8)
Xavi    7.36    (7)
Chygrynskiy, Dmytro    7.33    (8)
Puyol, Carles    7.30    (7)
Pique, Gerard    7.20    (7)
Keita, Seydou    7.09    (7)
Toure, Yaya    6.86    (7)
Valdes, Victor    6.80    (7)
Dani Alves    6.73    (6)
Pedro    6.63    (7)
Ibrahimovic, Zlatan    6.38    (6.5)
Krkic, Bojan    6.00    (6)
Iniesta, Andres    5.67    (6)
Henry, Thierry    5.29   (5)
Maxwell    4.75    (4.5)
Suarez, Jeffren    4.50    (4.5)
Marquez, Rafael    4.33    (4)
Busquets, Sergio    4.17    (3.5)

Guardiola    7.00    (7)
Team    5.91    (5)

Please note that I included substitute appearances at their full value (that is if you had a start that lasted 90 minutes, your rating was weighted the same as your 10 minute sub appearance, so if it was 9 and 7, you’d get an 8 average. If you have a thought on how to better weight it, let me know. Also note the rating “incomplete” was just a blank, as if the player didn’t play, meaning it counter neither for nor against a player.

So it’s Eric Abidal that is our current “best” player while Busi is our undisputed “worst” player. The Kevin Rating Synthesis (KRS) does not lie. The team is playing at just over what one could argue is “average” (5), though the 5.91 team average is a bit different from the average of all the individual performances, which is 6.59. Rather than point to that as a weakness of the KRS, I would say that it is a strength that shows that individual talent and skill do not always help the team. Assuming that the team gets a 10, you would expect most players within that team to have something akin to that and the reverse is true too, about the majority of the players.

More things being tracked:

Home league average: 6.28
Away league average: 6.92
Best league performance: at Racing, 7.43 team average (team rating of 8 that day)
Worst league performance: vs Almeria, 5.51 team average (team rating of 4 that day)
Best home player: Abidal, 9.00, (1 appearance)
Best away player: Messi, 8.67 (3 appearancess)
Those who have received 10s: Pique (1), Puyol (1), Messi (1), Abidal (1, UEFA Super Cup)
Worst rating of the year: 3 (Busi and Messi once each)

The rest of you can parse these numbers, but I think they’re fairly spot on. We’ve got players saving our bacon and some players trying to fry that bacon to hell and gone…cough Busi cough.

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Written by:

Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. jnelson
    October 8, 2009

    Hmm…interesting that Abidal is first. Of course nobody would expect Henry near the top though.

  2. October 8, 2009

    This stat is probably more important than goals, assists, minutes played, etc etc COMBINED…

    (But I think there is a mistype for the Yaya’s average. It’s supposed to be 16.86, not 6.86).

  3. ElShowDeJason
    October 8, 2009

    Can we start a petition to have the The International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) and ESPN incorporate the KRS into their statistic tracking?

  4. ElShowDeJason
    October 8, 2009

    Oh, and that Mushroom Kingdom graph was great!

  5. jnelson
    October 8, 2009

    HA that Mushroom Kingdom graph at the top is hilarious!!!

  6. Eduard
    October 8, 2009

    Can you send me your excel file? I’m in love with excel(pretty good at it too, since I spend 60hrs a week on it). Maybe I can clean it up for you?

  7. john
    October 8, 2009

    My official rating of KRS: 1.

    (I’m totally kidding, but am I seriously the first one to make a KRS ONE reference, or am I missing it.)

  8. Jose25
    October 8, 2009

    Nice work… This is only from this season, correct?

    If so, I think the team rating is absolutely spot on. We have not been playing badly but we are playing “average” relative to our potential.

    And Abidal has probably been the most consistently good player.

  9. Kxevin
    October 8, 2009

    What I would like to point out is the clearly erroneous aggregate rating of Henry. I forgot that I’m supposed to love him, dammit! 😀

    Have to fix on that rating. And hey, wait….I love Ibra too! What’s he doing in the bottom half of the ratings? 😀

    Nice piece of work, Isaiah, and what it shows is that statistically, you can actually track a player’s performance. Yes, for individual match ratings, people can say that Baby Kxevin loves this player or hates that player. The averages usually don’t lie. And averages also reflect consistency as much as anything else.

    T’will be very interesting to see this over the course of the season. Thanks again, Isaiah.

    • Jose25
      October 8, 2009

      Yup, I would love to see a player by player progress graph at the mid-season break, and then at the end 🙂

        • eklavya
          October 9, 2009

          I think this post is more to see if Kxevin is doing the reviews correctly rather than to see if the players are playing correctly 😛

  10. ElShowDeJason
    October 8, 2009

    Although Ibra is in the bottom half, you must also acknowledge that he has been produced immensely for us. He has been one of our most important performers this season.


    Imagine when he is getting 9s and 10s!!!

  11. Jnice
    October 8, 2009

    Txigrynski takes Castellano classes everyday except match days. Sick.

    • October 8, 2009

      he’s probably doing it for free too cos there was a vacant seat already paid for by a certain “i run my mouth and don’t bring it” Belarussian!!

    • Corrine
      October 9, 2009

      EWWWWWWW and i just read that he doesn’t have a driver’s license and prefers walking


      he should give me his free audi

      • Boat Forever
        October 9, 2009

        He’s just the kid every mother would like to have for her son

        • Tutomate
          October 9, 2009

          do you mean for a son? Or are you implying what I think?

          • Boat Forever
            October 9, 2009

            lol, for what you are implying I am reserved 😛

  12. stowe
    October 8, 2009

    Looks great! i think maybe ibra is brought down a little bit by games early in the season. He has definitely improved his performances as he begins to mesh with the team. Of course we expect so much from our great players that maybe that affects their ratings. I guess we have to look at it in terms of what we expect from each player and if they are meeting those expectations.
    Great job isaiah and kevin
    just don’t get biased trying to bring up averages (although I wouldn’t mind some henry bias since i love him too)

  13. Corrine
    October 9, 2009

    interesting post 🙂 i hope that team average number can get bumped up soon

  14. inNYC
    October 9, 2009


    for the number nerds out there (I’m not one), with links.

    Since I’m awake watching the Red Sox lose.

    • October 9, 2009

      Thanks for sharing that. The link Brian from MGoBlog (awesome site, by the way) shared is truly fantastic for the scream.

  15. yogi
    October 9, 2009

    Thanks for the work Isaiah. Looking at this, at least my perception has changed a bit. I always thought ratings were on lower side for Messi but they are not.

    Would be interesting to know the stats from last season. Is it possible?

    • eklavya
      October 9, 2009

      Ballbeav did a average of all the players ratings by KRS in the whole season last year, it must be somewhere in the archives…

  16. eklavya
    October 9, 2009

    Pardon me but what does “median ratings” mean?

    • Helge
      October 9, 2009

      Median is “the number in the middle” if there’s an odd amount of ratings and the average of the ratings left and right from an imaginary middle if there’s an even amount of numbers.

      So, example:
      1,4,6,7,9 –> Median is 6 (average 5.4)
      1,4,6,7 –> Median is 5 (average 4.5)

      • eklavya
        October 9, 2009

        Oooooooh, I get it now, thanks! 🙂

  17. Helge
    October 9, 2009

    Nice analysis, Isaiah. What do you think about making a recap of last season? People always say we cannot compare this season to the historic last one, but what tell the numbers of KRS?

    Oh, just saw that yogi had the same idea 😉 But maybe there’s more motivation, if more people ask for it.

  18. Boat Forever
    October 9, 2009

    Match pre-poned… But given the obsession of Del Bosque to play all our starters full 90 minutes even when Spain is leading by like 4 goals, that’s bad news ain’t it?

  19. eklavya
    October 9, 2009

    BTW the facebook fans are now 150!Congrats!

  20. poipoi
    October 9, 2009

    the matches for ” la copa.1/16″ are already set:

    I don’t have any links yet but I just watched the news and the journalists were filming the 2ª B teams that could end up facing EE or Barça… There is such a big diffrenece between the celebration of the 2ª B team facing EE (Alcorcón, a celebration yes, but a kinda weak one) and the 2ª B team facing Barça (Cultural Leonesa, they went nuts, totally out of control… as if they just won the CL)

    😀 😀 😀

  21. Kxevin
    October 9, 2009

    So, I reckon that Dumbenech is going to play Henry against Faroe Islands, a side that Les Bleus should be able to beat in their sleep. Benzema will be riding the pines to start. Apparently Dumbenech isn’t as impressed as the rest of the world.

    Looks to be Gignac and Anelka to start, with Henry in there somewhere, probably on left wing, where he doesn’t have to run as much.

    My sole interest in Internationals at this point is that none of our players get injured. Les Bleus will beat Faroe and finish second in the group, forcing them to pay attention to the group leader, to see if they’ll have to do a playoff or directly qualify.

    So Henry and Abidal, go easy please. We need you.

  22. ooga aga
    October 9, 2009

    you shouldnt include substitute appearances. period.

      • Kxevin
        October 9, 2009

        Disagree. Starter or subsitute, a player still has the opportunity to influence a match. Ibrahimovic, for example, came in for Henry and completely changed what was looking like a draw, to a win. If you are subbed in, you played. And if you played, you should be rated.

  23. Alexinho
    October 10, 2009

    Busquets could be the worst right now, but if Iniesta isn’t in the top five, we’ve still got some number-crunching to do before any judgments can be made. Interesting that Abidal is our best, though, and I suppose you’re right about that.

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