Statistical Glossary

In keeping with our commitment to go beyond the ordinary, here are the statistical terms used in our ratings that you may have questions about. Our base data is from Squawka and Whoscored and encompasses a period of three years as we realised that was the right mix of taking consistency and recency into consideration.

We will add definitions as requested. To request an addition, email us at

Goal Contribution – This is simply combined goals and assists.

Pass Intent – The ratio of forward to backward passes. For some categories of players such as attacking midfielders, central and defensive midfielders, we found it necessary to take into consideration the responsibility these players have for advancing play and the things that may affect.

For example, back passes are safer in general and are not an accurate gauge of passing skill on their own. The intent behind it matters and a lower passing percentage may be because of intent. Actual effect of these passes may very well be greater and must be considered.

Ball Retention –  Lower combined dispossessions and bad touches as per Whoscored equates to a better ball retention score. Both measures combined are the possession loss measure.

Index Ratings/Scores – Our ratings indexes are weighted averages of index ratings for a range of categories deemed essential to each playing position. Therefore, it is a score out of 100 which also indicates in some way how dominant or good a player is compared to the other qualifying players in each category.

Each category is indexed out of 100 with the leading player given a base mark of 100 and the others a score relative to that figure. Eg. If a player has a goal contribution every 100 minutes and the leading player in that category, say strikers, does so every 50 minutes then the leading player is assigned a score of 100 and the other a score of 50 since his record is only half as good.

Each score is then weighted and then the resulting score a rating out of 100 relative to the best players in that position/category. Index scores are only comparable in a category and not across as a category as nuanced as the central midfielders will produce lower overall scores. This is an indication of the wide ranging strengths and weaknesses of different players in that position. Therefore, all types of players in each position are catered for and this is reflective of the final lists.