Rodrigo De Paul is one of the important midfielders for Argentina and Atletico Madrid in La Liga. He has been a strong presence in the midfield for Argentina and is the player responsible for a transition from defence to attack. He has done pretty well for Argentina in the World Cup so far and will be looking to put up a similar performance in the semi-final as well. We look at some stats to understand why Rodrigo De Paul is such an important piece of the puzzle for Argentina.
Rodrigo De Paul is a regular starter for both Argentina and Atletico Madrid. He has played 12 matches for Atletico Madrid in La Liga and all the matches in the World Cup as well. He started nine matches and came off the bench in three matches for his club. De Paul has two goals and two assists to his name across all competitions. The above visualisation shows the percentile rank of Rodrigo De Paul compared to other right-central midfielders in La Liga. He has impressive passing stats and is ranked in the top 93.9 percentile for dangerous passes per 90 minutes. De Paul is also ranked in the top 90.9 percentile for passes received per game. This indicates that the game flows through him. Another area where he excels is in defensive duels. The 28-year-old has decent attacking stats as well.
The above visualisation shows the passing map of Rodrigo De Paul in La Liga and the World Cup. He usually plays as a right-central midfielder and controls the flow of the game. De Paul has played an important role for Argentina in the midfield by collecting the ball, finding the right pass, and switching flanks. He has an 80.5% passing accuracy and averages 5.05 passes per game with a 60% success rate. In addition, the midfielder averages 8.07 passes into the final third, completing 73.7% of them. He also plays an average of 4.61 passes into the penalty box and is a strong presence in the middle of the park.
De Paul sometimes occupies a deep position in the midfield and carries the ball to the final third. He has good dribbling skills and is often the person responsible for a quick transition. He makes an average of 5.32 dribbles per game with a 57.6% success rate. Even though he is not a dashing dribbler, De Paul does well to carry the ball into the attacking third. He also makes an average of 2.8 progressive runs per game. His presence in the midfield gives assurance to the whole team and is instrumental in the team’s attack.
Another way in which De Paul contributes to the team is through his high regains. He positions himself in the attacking half and recovers the ball in dangerous positions. Of these recoveries, 19 are counter-pressing recoveries, and four are dangerous recoveries. These recoveries help the team attack from a dangerous position and gain the upper hand.
Rodrigo De Paul has started all the matches for Argentina and has been very important for the team. He has made 14 counterpressing recoveries in the attacking half and three dangerous recoveries. His first instinct, like all of his teammates’, is to look for Lionel Messi. He does that job very well and finds the right passes in the final third as well. His presence in the attacking half has been important for Argentina, as the play usually goes through him.
Compared to last season, his dribbling stats have gone from 2.77 dribbles per game to 5.32 dribbles per game. The progressive runs have also seen an improvement as they have gone from 1.78 runs per game to 2.8 runs per game. He is capable of carrying the ball into the final third and finding the right passes as well.
A player who is similar to Rodrigo De Paul is his teammate at Atletico Madrid, Koke. They both have similar styles of play, and the stats also suggest the same. The above visual shows the comparison between Rodrigo De Paul and Koke. The former contributes more towards the goal, while the latter has a better passing record. Furthermore, we can see from the video that De Paul has a better track record of dribbling and making dangerous passes, both of which are important from an attacking standpoint. At the moment, Diego Simeone is choosing De Paul ahead of Koke in the first eleven for Atletico Madrid, and he has returned his faith through some good performances.
Rodrigo De Paul has been a strong presence in the midfield for Argentina in this World Cup. His ability to carry the ball forward, find good passes, and recover the ball has helped Argentina immensely in this tournament. He will have an equally, if not more, important role in the upcoming matches, as the result of the match against Croatia could be determined by the winner of the midfield battle.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine