Radamel Falcao vs. Edinson Cavani: Which Striker Wins the Stats Battle?

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterFebruary 13, 2013

Radamel Falcao vs. Edinson Cavani: Which Striker Wins the Stats Battle?

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    World football has two prime strikers on offer this summer, and for reasons detailed here, they'll cost potential suitors a bomb.

    Radamel Falcao, a Colombian plying his trade with Atletico Madrid, and Edinson Cavani, a Uruguayan turning out for Napoli, are interesting the biggest and richest clubs.

    How do you choose between the two, though? Let's look at some statistics.

Stylistic Similarities

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    I recently wrote an article asking why the pure striker—or poacher—is a dying breed, despite the current formations and creative midfields on offer.

    These two are very similar in style and represent the fox-in-the-box mentioned here, taking the sole responsibility of scoring and nothing else.

    It's by design, not laziness, and Diego Simeone has actively stated in press conferences on television that he asks Radamel Falcao to do as little as possible off the ball.

    Walter Mazzarri has Edinson Cavani work a little harder—but not much—and would prefer to see his No. 9 fresh as a daisy to lap up the chances Marek Hamsik fires his way. 

Goals Per Game

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    Both Radamel Falcao and Edinson Cavani have astonishing goalscoring records this season, which is why we look to make the comparison.

    Falcao has netted a total of 25 goals from 24 starts, while Cavani has bagged 26 from 25 starts.

    Those statistics are simply astounding. However, Falcao wins when you take into account that seven of Cavani's strikes have come in the UEFA Europa League, while Diego Simeone opted not to field his main goal threat in that competition.

Goals Per Shot

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    It's all right hogging the goals, but are you clinical enough?

    With these two playing as exclusive poachers, scoring is the only contribution they really make to a team. Every shot, therefore, is watched with a beady eye as the crowd expects the net to ripple.

    Edinson Cavani's record is good, scoring one goal every 4.3 shots, but Radamel Falcao has been even more impressive with one goal every 3.7 shots.


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    Statistics can be warped by exceptional, one-off performances.

    They're both exceptionally consistent players, but Radamel Falcao's hat-trick against Athletic Bilbao and five-goal haul against Deportivo La Coruna have aided the steadiness of his record.

    Edinson Cavani is more of a constant goalscoring threat, scoring a single goal on 14 separate occasions this season, while he's also chipped in with the odd league brace.

    You can look at these statistics whichever way you like—Cavani scores in almost every game he plays, Falcao could go missing for a few but more than makes up for it in the end. 

Miscellaneous Stats

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    Here are a few other miscellaneous statistics to consider.

    The reason they're not fully listed is because they're not integral to the jobs these players do on the field. Therefore, while they're nice to know, they're far from critical.

    Statistic Edinson Cavani Radamel Falcao
    Aerial duel win %  42  46
    Pass completion % 77.7 75.8
    Dribbles (pg) 1 0.7
    Fouls drawn (pg) 1.5 2
    Turnovers (pg) 2.3 2.9


    You have €60 million, you can pick one. Who do you choose and why?


    All statistics via WhoScored?