The difference between winning and losing can come down to the final minutes of a match. With the pressure on, which players keep their cool and secure the win?
With this in mind, we wanted to find out which players perform the best under pressure by looking at the number of winning goals scored during extra time, the last 5 minutes, and the last 30 minutes from all players in notable leagues.
Top 10 players who perform the best under pressure
|Rank||Player||Extra Time (No. of Winning Goals)||Last 5 Minutes (No. of Winning goals)||Last 30 Minutes (No. of Winning goals)||Score /10|
|5||Paulo Henrique Sampaio Filho (Paulinho)||7||11||24||9.67|
Legendary Portuguese professional footballer Cristiano Ronaldo performs the best under pressure with an awe-inspiring score of 9.97/10. Ronaldo’s average goal time is 50.95 minutes. Despite the difficult period he is facing at Manchester United currently, he is not short of career-defining goals with 7 winning goals scored in extra time, 16 in the last 5 minutes, and 51 in the last 30 minutes.
Following in the second position with a score of 9.82/10 is one of the greatest footballers of our lifetime, Argentine Lionel Messi, who like Ronaldo, has scored many goals throughout his career. 712 goals were analysed with his average goal time being 51.52 minutes and 5 winning goals being scored in extra time, 9 in the last 5 minutes, and 38 in the last 30 minutes.
In joint third position are French footballer André-Pierre Gignac and Uruguayan footballer Edinson Cavani who both score 9.76/10 for their performances under pressure. Both players scored 5 winning goals in extra time, but Cavani outscored Gignac by two goals during the last 5 minutes (8 vs. 10). Additionally Gignac scored 28 goals in the last 30 minutes and Cavani scored 24 goals in the last 30 minutes.
In the fourth position is Polish professional footballer, Robert Lewandowski who scores 9.7/10 for his performance under pressure. He has an average goal time of 49.05 minutes of the 520 goals analysed. Impressively, Lewandowski has scored 5 winning goals in extra time, 8 in the last 5 minutes, and 26 in the last 30 minutes.
Closely followed is Brazilian professional footballer Paulo Henrique Sampaio Filho, otherwise known as Paulinho, who scores 9.67/10 for his performance under pressure. He has an average goal time of 53.32 minutes of the 331 goals analysed. Impressively Paulinho has scored 7 winning goals in extra time, 11 in the last 5 minutes, and 24 in the last 30 minutes.
- BestOnlineCasinos.com analysed goal logs containing over 678,000 goals for over 64,000 players in notable football leagues both past and present. The research sought to identify the best performing players in high pressure scenarios through the analysis of winning goals scored in late stages.
- Firstly, a dataset containing 678,000+ goals scored by players in notable competitions was acquired using match event logs sourced from a comprehensive sport analytics data source(s). Goals were then one-hot encoded to identify those scored in either extra time, the closing 5 minutes, or the closing 30 minutes.
- Further one-hot encodings were subsequently performed to identify winning goals. Winning goals are defined as only those resulting in a direct victory with a one goal margin. This definition of winning goals isolates only those that were scored in high pressure scenarios.
- An aggregation calculating for each player, the total sample of goals, total winning goals, winning goals in extra time, winning goals in the last 5 minutes, and winning goals in the last 30 minutes was computed.
- An asymmetrically weighted index score out of 10 was then calculated giving greater significance to the number of winning goals and winning goals scored in extra time.
- The data was collected on the 26/10/22