Scolari’s Family vs. The Goalimpactors

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Since the 3-0 victory over Spain in the Confed Cup final Scolari’s team is set up. He found a reliable team, full of eagerness to win the world cup at home. The core of the Seleção are the four captains Jùlio César, Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Fred. Nevertheless most attention concentrates on Neymar, number 10 and the latest candidate for being the new Pelé. Even though Scolari is deeply trusted by his team and fans, his decisions regarding some players are not.

Taking part in the Goalimpact series World Cup – All Optimal National Teams I want to see wether Felipao is doing the right thing – or if he left some players out that had to be in his squad. To judge that, we don’t rely on personal opinions but on the Goalimpact – a number, that tells us how much a player hat effected his team’s goal difference. The higher, the better. This gives us the opportunity to compare players beyond the borders of positions, leagues and even generations. Hiwever, this does not lead to tactical decisions – as the Goalimpact does not tell us how a player effects the goal difference.

Família Scolari: Fred, Jùlio César und Thiago Silva (v.l.n.r.) bilden mit David Luiz den Kern der Seleção

Família Scolari: Fred, Jùlio César and Thiago Silva build the core of the Seleção together with David Luiz.

Back to Brasil’s national team: Does the Goalimpact back Scolari’s decisions? Or have the fans to be worried? One thing I can promise: There have to be made a few spectacular substitutions …

Team Goalimpact

The team with the highest Goalimpact rating on their positions is:

Aufstellung nach Goalimpact

The Goalimpactors: green = in Scolari’s starting 11, yellow = in the squad, red = left out

As you can see at first glance: five players started by Goalimpact don’t even appear in Scolari’s 23-man-squad (red). The other six are, but only three of them are also in their manager’s starting eleven (green).

At second glance we recognize that Goalimpact has not just left Neymar out – but all four captains as well! Why in the world would you do that?! Let’s have a closer look:


Goalimpact goes like a bull at a gate: not one single of Scolari’s goalkeepers are cosen by Goalimpact as well! Helton (GI 148) from FC Porto would be the crystal clear number 1, followed by Benfica’s Artur Moraes and Fábio (Cruzeiro). Scolari’s starter, Jùlio César (116), is only fourth best. Here you can see the meaning of Família Scolari: publicly he isn’t indisputable, but Scolari has absolute confidence in him. That there is no place in the squad for 32 points better Helton is a mystery nonetheless.


Even the back four don’t remain untouched: at least in the nomination of full backs the algorithm and the 2002 world cup champion agree – there is no way around Marcelo (150) and Dani Alves (178). But the centre backs are different ones – Goalimpact prefers Alex (141) from PSG and Bayern’s Dante (136). There might definitely be arguments for Dante compared to sometimes chaotic David Luiz – but why one would leave out Thiago Silva is absurd. The guys over at Spielverlagerung even described him „with peace of conscience as history’s best centre back“ and Brasil’s key player in their WC special. His colleague Alex has no arguments besides the GI – and therefore won’t add more to his 17 caps.


Luiz Gustavo (141) is the country’s first holding midfielder, for Scolari and Goalimpact. His combatants however are chosen differently: Scolari favors Paulinho and Oscar, Goalimpact plays Fernandinho (145) and Fernando (140) instead. Whilst the first one is in the squad, the latter misses the tournament.


Here is all about Neymar – not. Goalimpact selects three different players: Willian (141) and former world player Kakà (133) play behind the lonely striker Alan (131) from RB Salzburg. Why Scolari plays Hulk (131) instead of Kaká is understandable (only 2 points difference), but Fred’s place is hard to save: Alan is rated higher by 20 points. Just another case where the principle família comes in: his place in the first eleven and his leading role are guaranteed through the confed cup. Alan and Kaká have to watch the world cup at home. Striking is the change in left attacking midfield: Willian and Neymar are separated by 27 GI points. Will he be able to fulfill his free role on a world cup level?

Team Scolari

And it even gets better – here is Scolari’s team of choice:

Scolaris Aufstellung

Scolari’s first team. green = also in GI’s first XI, yellow = in GI squad, red = not nominated

The names are known – consider the colors: not enough, that Scolari’s key players are not started by Goalimpact, they even are left out completely! How would one justify that?

Luiz Felipe Scolari

Doesn’t have a clue what’s these number games are all about: Luiz Felipe Scolari, world cup champion 2002.

Potencial, consistency, perception

As said in the beginning, Goalimpact doesn’t make a statement about how a player affects the team’s goal difference. To put it clearly: A player that scores four goals but allows three to the opponent has a better GI than a player who doesn’t score, but keeps the sheet clean. For a team’s balance the latter could be, however, the better choice.

Plus, in judging players you usually think in terms of potential: What is a player capable of doing, if he uses his skillset properly in the right position and system? Goalimpact in contrast looks at the outcome – independent from the player being played in the wrong position or the tactics being tailor-made to him.

Another factor is the perception of players like Neymar: Everyone knows him, his tricks and goals – but all the matches he has had no impact on fade away in the public memory and don’t produce YouTube clips. Maybe Neymar overperformes regularly – but as long as he underperformes at the same number, he is rated equally to a player that has average performances throughout.

Grey is, young friend, all theory

Scolari put a team together he believes in. A sworn in collective, knowing each other for some time, focused on a common goal. A football team, with strenghts and weaknesses balanced by an experienced manager, connected through a tactical plan, with joy to play together. All these is not measurable by Goalimpact.

If the família Scolari was successful in the end – that however will be readable from the Goalimpact.

Der Família erster Streich: Die Selecao präsentiert Präsidentin Dilma stolz den Confed-Cup.

Família’s first strike: Seleção presents the confed cup to president Dilma.

Bonus features:

Find below the GI charts from all players, nominated by Scolari or Goalimpact. The thin line (not on keeper’s charts) represents the expected peak. If it stays stable, the player develops as foreseen; if it raises, better than expected.

Diese Diashow benötigt JavaScript.

Brasil’s WC squad with GI values. GI’s alternatives in the right columns.

Scolari’s squad Goalimpact’s picks
Position Name GI Name GI Diff
GK Júlio César 116,48 Helton 148,31 + 31,83
GK Victor 115,40 Artur Moraes 120,35 + 4,95
GK Jefferson 93,13 Fábio 117,46 + 24,33
CB Dante 136,44
CB David Luiz 131,88 Alex 141,23 + 9,35
CB Thiago Silva 129,16 André Ramalho 136,21 + 7,05
CB Henrique 104,04 Miranda 134,73 + 30,69
RB Daniel Alves 177,76
RB Maicon 122,81 Rafinha 133,51 + 10,70
LB Marcelo 150,19
LB Maxwell 142,71
DM Luiz Gustavo 141,16
CM Fernandinho 144,52
CM Ramires 130,37
CM Hernanes 122,59 Fernando 140,33 + 17,74
CM Paulinho 113,18 Cadu 125,46 + 12,28
AM Oscar 123,61
RAM Willian 141,02
RAM Hulk 130,84
LAM Neymar 114,41 Kaká 132,53 + 18,12
LAM Bernard 100,75 Robinho 128,35 + 27,60
CF 114,31 Alan 131,17 + 16,86
CF Fred 110,59 Luiz Adriano 127,09 + 16,50


Title: Hao Ke [CC-BY-SA-3.0]; Família Scolari: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr [CC-BY-3.0-br]; Scolari: Tony Cavalcanti [CC-BY-SA-2.0]; Dilma: Blog do Planalto [CC-BY-SA-2.0].

Dieser Beitrag wurde am von unter WM veröffentlicht.

Über Tery Whenett

Tery fing mit 8 Jahren an, systematisch Fußballthemen zu sammeln und in einem Aktenordner aufzubereiten. Mit 16 unterhielt er eine Hargreaves-Fanpage und beginnt, unzählige Fußballartikel zu speichern. Und nun, zehn Jahre später, wird das geballte (Halb-)Wissen ausgebloggt.

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