This line wraps several times and is a posted 85 minute wait. And that’s with FastPass+ running, too. Because this is an unprecedented temporary change, we’re not going to include Toy Story Mania wait times in our analysis of actual crowd levels at Disney Hollywood Studios.Touring without a Toy Story Mania FastPassIt will be best to arrive at Hollywood Studios early and ride Toy Story Mania first. If you want to ride Toy Story Mania later in the day, as with all Touring Plans, you should re-optimize after every few steps. This will incorporate updates in wait time predictions at all the attractions.Everything looks fine at Hollywood Studios, until you turn your head. Share This!Update March 31, 2018When Toy Story Land opens, Toy Story Mania’s entrance will flip to the opposite side of the building, moving from its current location in Pixar Place to the new Land. Since January, Disney has been working on reconfiguring the queue. During this time, only two of the three ride tracks have been operational. From April 9 to May 7, Toy Story Mania will not offer FastPass+. This suggests that the capacity of the ride is going to vary during the final phase of the construction.Toy Story Mania’s new entrance when it opens in Toy Story Land this summer. Even Jessie has been roped into the construction. Get it? Roped into? I crack myself up.
When I saw Julie’s question about Boxing Day this morning:Serious question: what is boxing day and how does everyone celebrate it?— Julie (@juliedutch) December 26, 2014I smiled. I’ve got you covered, Julie. My friend James has a wonderful post about Boxing Day, and all things Christmas on his Why Christmas site.Here’s a few takeaways, but read the post to get the full background:Boxing Day is celebrated December 26, the day after ChristmasIts roots date back to the Middle Ages, almost 800 years ago, in the United Kingdom. Alms boxes were opened so the content could be distributed to those in need.In the past, servants would get the day off to celebrate Christmas with their familiesPre-World War II, delivery people would collect their Christmas tip or box from their delivery placesBoxing Day is a public holiday in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New ZealandCelebrating Boxing Day isn’t common in the United States. But it’s well known in my community. Boxing Night at Geneva Presbyterian ChurchI first learned about Boxing Day from Geneva Presbyterian Church, where we attended for several years. For the past 20 years, Geneva Presbyterian has held a Boxing Night clothing drive for the homeless, starting December 26 and ending the first week of January. Teens at the church spend the night in the church parking lot in boxes to raise awareness for the homeless. You can see photos from Boxing Night 2012 on Geneva’s Facebook page. Everyone in the community is encouraged to bring clothing, blankets, and toiletries which are taken to Fort Street Presbyterian Church Open Door Ministry to the homeless in Detroit.Many years, the stayover night is super cold. We’ll drive by the church parking lot, and see teens and adults huddled around the fire in a trashcan in the below-freezing weather. Julie, to answer your other question about how we spend Boxing Day: our family gathers blankets, clothes, and toiletries to donate to Geneva Presbyterian. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedWhy Christmas? The Christmas Site 18 Years in the Making and Still GrowingToday’s guest post is by my friend James Cooper. I’ve loved his Why Christmas? website for years, and I’m honored he accepted my invitation to write about how it came about. Hi, let me introduce myself, I’m James Cooper, a freelance web designer/developer from the United Kingdom. I’ve known Deborah…In “Web design”Photo of the Week: Plymouth Community Christmas Carol Sing-AlongThough it was a gray afternoon, the clouds didn’t chase away families and friends from joining the 2015 Plymouth Community Christmas Carol Sing-Along today in downtown Plymouth, Michigan at Kellogg Park. Led by Dr. Jerry Smith, the music director at my church, First Presbyterian Church of Plymouth, I joined dozens…In “Michigan”More Holiday Goodies: SitePoint Christmas SaleIf you’ve had your fill of holiday meals and sweets, and want to expand your knowledge beyond the 12 Days of Christmas free online courses from Lynda.com, here are some holiday goodies for your learning enjoyment. Through January 5, 2015, you can get some great deals from the SitePoint Christmas…In “Web design”
As many companies are still in the midst of their planning for 2014, there are a number of factors that will impact the way they hire new talent and manage their employees. As the HR space is constantly changing, with new ideas and technologies constantly cropping up, organizations need to identify how the latest developments can improve their talent management processes and figure out how they can be integrated into their current systems. But before looking into what 2014 may have in store, let’s take a look at how my predictions for 2013 held up:Social networking and niche sourcing sites will become more mainstream. The number of industry-specific job sites that have emerged throughout the year validate the growing use among employers who leverage niche and social recruiting sites to more easily find candidates with the right skills and qualifications.As seasons change, employees may stay on full-time. A recent survey from CareerBuilder showed that 49 percent of retailers plan to transition some of their seasonal workers into full-time employees, up ten points from last year’s survey.Relationship building will be an integral step in finding talent. We have definitely seen an uptick in employers that have sought to make the recruiting process more personal this year. Just consider the growing use of advanced CRM systems, such as Avature, and the release of LinkedIn Recruiter, which enables recruiters to better leverage the social platform to find right-fit talent.Companies will use real-time data for performance management. It is no surprise that Gartner and other organizations have labeled 2013 as the Year of Big Data, with 64 percent of organizations having invested in, or planning to invest in, Big Data in 2013. The detailed analytics organizations can now collect will continue to transform all aspects of HR, from using workforce data to recruit the best candidates and managing their performance to reducing turnover.Increased transparency in the workplace will better engage employees. Although the quarterly or annual employee review isn’t likely to disappear any time soon, more employers have indeed recognized the value in creating more workplace transparency, by providing immediate feedback to reinforce strong performance and to address development needs as soon as possible.While significant progress has been made in each area, I expect that organizations will continue to embrace these trends in the new year. So what else can we expect to see in 2014? Here are my latest predictions:Recruiting will evolve in a way that enables candidates to tell their own story.Although significant steps have been made already, I believe 2014 will be the year in which recruiters really begin to focus on the personal side of recruitment and seek the solutions that help them to build personal relationships with candidates. By utilizing the technology that enables recruiters to look beyond the skills and qualifications of their candidates, and better understand their personality and characteristics and whether they will really fit in with the organization. At the same time, as LinkedIn now has more than 250 million members, it has become essentially a database of candidates. Being able to make personal connections with candidates on LinkedIn and understand their personal stories will be a significant competitive advantage.This idea of focusing on the stories behind candidates is essentially happening in the market in general, such as the food and retail industries. Just as consumers prefer to shop local rather than purchase mass produced products and increasingly want to know about where their products come from, the same will happen with finding candidates. Employers will increasingly seek additional information beyond the resume to better understand the unique perspectives and life experiences they can bring, instead of just skimming over their work history.Companies will put greater focus on hiring veterans. Veteran hiring initiatives are nothing new; companies have long carried out programs to attract and engage veterans and benefit from the unique skills they can bring to the workplace. However, not enough jobs have been created to sustain a qualified veteran workforce, and the effectiveness of many veteran hiring initiatives has been brought into question. As the military drawdown continues, the number of veterans looking for civilian jobs will escalate in the new year. Given the benefits to the economy and to the veterans themselves who have given their all to protect their country, I expect companies will develop robust, more effective veteran hiring initiatives. Since a considerable investment has been made in developing veterans’ skills and providing them with training, more organizations will realize the ROI of getting these individuals back into the workforce.Manufacturing will come back, but require new skillsets.There are numerous statistics showing that the manufacturing industry is making a comeback in this country. But despite the growth in the number of U.S. manufacturing plants, those jobs are not the same of old. The new manufacturing jobs will require different skills to succeed in these plants, such as computer skills, programming and engineering. As manufacturing jobs continue to evolve, employers will need to provide the tools and resources that give their employees the necessary training and development to be successful in this new landscape.Each year brings us new ideas, developments and technologies that forever change the nature of HR. While it is impossible to say for sure what will happen in 2014, I think some of the current trends I’ve been seeing will come into the forefront in the year ahead. Either way, I look forward to seeing the changes that will appear in the HR industry in the new year – and how employers will continue to adapt.
Posted on 21st March 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Following Facebook’s suspension of Cambridge Analytica, the analytics firm charged with exploiting Facebook user data, the social platform’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, is said to be leaving.According to the The New York Times, Stamos said he will be leaving by August of this year and had been clashing with executives since 2016 “over how to handle Russian interference on Facebook and how best to reorganize Facebook’s security team before the midterm elections.”An initial report by The New York Times reported, “He has been overseeing the transfer of his security team to Facebook’s product and infrastructure divisions. His group, which once had 120 people, now has three.”.Monday night, Stamos responded to the news of his leaving on Twitter, stating that he is still fully engaged with his work at Facebook.Despite the rumors, I’m still fully engaged with my work at Facebook. It’s true that my role did change. I’m currently spending more time exploring emerging security risks and working on election security.— Alex Stamos (@alexstamos) March 19, 2018The media reports claim Stamos had advocated for Facebook to be more transparent about Russian interference on the site during the elections but was met with resistance. Current and former Facebook employees who were not identified told The New York Times that Stamos’s day-to-day responsibilities had been reassigned to others in December.So far, Stamos is the only top-level executive reportedly leaving the company in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica developments.Since announcing it was suspending Cambridge Analytica, Facebook’s handling of user data has dominated national headlines. Facebook announced Monday it has hired Stroz Friedberg, a digital forensics firm, to conduct an audit of Cambridge Analytica and has been given complete access to the analytic firm’s servers and systems.Facebook’s top executives have remained silent since the company announced the suspension of Cambridge Analytica. Axios reports this morning that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to speak within “the next 24 hours.”From our sponsors: Facebook chief security officer reportedly resigns amid data controversy Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 HomeDigital MarketingFacebook chief security officer reportedly resigns amid data controversy Facebook chief security officer reportedly resigns amid data controversyYou are here:
The National Anti-Doping Agency today lashed out at the BCCI for its “non-cooperation” and asked the Cricket board to make sure that their players fall in line with the WADA code.NADA Director General Rahul Bhatnagar said it was baffling to see BCCI rope in a Swedish company to conduct dope tests for cricketers while the national anti-doping body could have done the same job at a lesser cost or even for free.”The BCCI never sought the assistance of NADA to conduct dope tests. They have engaged a company — International Doping and Test Management (Sweden) — at a heavy cost to conduct dope samples, which NADA could have done at much lesser cost or free of cost,” Bhatnagar said.”It is surprising why BCCI is maintaining such a no-cooperation attitude with NADA,” he added.NADA is the national agency for conducting dope tests, collecting samples and results management of athletes and Bhatnagar said the body wants the cricketers to fully comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) codes, along with the ‘whereabouts clause’ against which the cricketers are up in arms.”NADA is strongly of the view that Cricketers must fully comply with all Anti Doping Regulations of WADA and NADA as all other sportspersons do. They are no exception and the rules apply to them equally. BCCI should ensure such compliance,” he said.Even though the International Cricket Council (ICC) is a signatory to the WADA Code, BCCI is spearheading an opposition to the vexed “whereabouts clause” which requires a player to inform, three months in advance, their availability for dope tests.advertisementWADA has already issued an ultimatum to the ICC saying they have to ensure that BCCI accepts the WADA Code in totality, failing which the world cricket governing body would be branded non-compliant.
Good news for BMW car lovers. The German company has launched a new variant in their 3 series line. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Sport Line, launched on Tuesday, is available in three metallic paintworks: Black Sapphire, Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect and Midnight Blue.The design of the car include Air breather in high-gloss Black and kidney grille slats. The car key has red trim while the side window is in Matt black. The steering wheel comes in sport leather abd seats in contrast red stitching. The interior trim of the car is in fine-wood with Pearl Chrome accents.The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Sport Line is available at all BMW dealerships across the country while the BMW 320d Gran Turismo Sport Line is locally produced at the BMW Plant in Chennai.Philipp von Sahr, President, BMW Group India said, “It’s not just the striking look or generous interior that makes the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo so fascinating. It offers a wealth of characteristic features and just as many ways of bringing them to the fore. The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Sport Line, featuring a series of striking exterior and interior design elements, promises unbridled dynamics and sets clear visual accents. Its striking design features in high-gloss Black portray a vigorous look, further reinforcing the unmistakable sporting character.”The new variant is available in Alpine White as non-metallic paintwork and in three metallic paintworks: Black Sapphire, Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect and Midnight Blue. Internal trims offered are Fine-wood trim Fineline Anthracite with Highlight trim finishers Pearl Chrome.advertisement
jim harbaugh rutgers trash talkIn sports, saying a team “laid an egg” is a popular expression, used when a favored squad comes out and doesn’t play up to its potential. Usually, “laying an egg” means the team loses the game.Michigan hasn’t really come out flat this season under Jim Harbaugh. At 8-2, it lost its opener at Utah and in the final seconds against Michigan State. In eight victories, the Wolverines have pretty much played as they are supposed to.So perhaps that’s why Harbaugh had this funny response today when asked why his team hasn’t “laid an egg” following a road win at Penn State. Harbaugh on why U-M never laid egg: “Analogy doesn’t resonate with me.I don’t like comparing humans to chickens or any other type of animal.— Mark Snyder (@Mark__Snyder) November 21, 2015Harbaugh is never boring. He’s…unique. But not boring.
If you need to visit urinal frequently in the night, get your blood pressure checked as researchers say it may be a sign of hypertension. “Our study indicates if you need to urinate in the night – called nocturia – you may have elevated blood pressure and/or excess fluid in your body. If you continue to have nocturia, ask your doctor to check your blood pressure and salt intake,” said study author Satoshi Konno of Tohoku Rosai Hospital in Sendai, Japan. Also Read – An income drop can harm brainThe study examined the link between nocturia and hypertension in the general Japanese population. The researchers enrolled 3,749 people who had an annual health check in 2017. Blood pressure was measured and information on nocturia was obtained through questionnaire. Nocturia (one or more nocturia events per night) was significantly associated with hypertension, showed the findings presented at the 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting of the Japanese Circulation Society (JCS 2019). The risk of hypertension rose significantly as the number of nocturia events per night increased. “We found that getting up in the night to urinate was linked to a 40 per cent greater chance of having hypertension. And more visits to the toilet, the greater the risk of hypertension,” Konno said.
New Delhi: Two days after cyclone “Fani” hit the Odisha coast, normal traffic as well as flight operations has been restored in the state and the Railways have also reintroduced 85 of the 138 cancelled trains, a Home Ministry statement said on Sunday. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) has cleared fallen trees from most of the roads in Puri, Khurda and Bhubaneswar and normal traffic has resumed, said the statement that was issued based on information shared by Odisha government in a National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) meeting chaired by Cabinet Secretary P.K. Sinha. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework The NCMC on Sunday reviewed relief measures in the “Fani” affected areas of Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. “Railways have reintroduced 85 of the 138 cancelled trains. The main line to Bhubaneswar has commenced operations while Puri will be ready to receive trains in about four to five days. Flight operations to Bhubaneswar resumed with 41 flights operating yesterday (Saturday), even though the local airport suffered extensive damage.” Also Read – Trio win Nobel Medicine Prize for work on cells, oxygen Odisha also said that power and telecommunication facilities were gradually being restored in the cyclone-affected areas of the state. “Major damages to the power transmission and distribution systems are reported in Bhubaneswar and Puri. Mobile services have been restored partially. In both the cities, about 70 percent water supply will be restored by Sunday evening. “At least 60 percent of affected telecom towers were expected to be operational by Sunday evening and diesel supplies were being provided to make them functional using Diesel Generator (DG) sets in the absence of regular power supply,” the statement said. Sufficient stocks of diesel and other fuels are available in Odisha, said the statement, adding the state also sought supply of storage water tanks. The Cabinet Secretary, in the NCMC meeting, directed that restoration of power and telecommunication facilities be accorded top priority and Ministry of Power and Department of Telecommunications to coordinate with Odisha government in this regard. The Power Ministry has moved DG sets of 500 KVA, 250 KVA and 125 KVA capacity and also provided workmen gangs, who are engaged in restoration of power lines and towers, said the statement. “Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal have been requested to provide additional assistance to Odisha, particularly in the area of power. Cabinet Secretary also suggested that public sector companies in Power and Oil and Gas sector contribute towards relief efforts under their CSR funding.” The Ministry of Steel has made available about 3,500 steel electric poles and additional quantities as requested by Odisha are being arranged from other places. The Defence Ministry, through transport planes and helicopters, moved medicines and other relief material, while naval and Coast Guard vessels near the Odisha coast have enough water to supply to affected areas. Reviewing the relief efforts, the Cabinet Secretary directed that officers of Central ministries and agencies should work in close coordination with Odisha government and provide all required assistance expeditiously. Chief Secretaries and Principal Secretaries of Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal participated in the NCMC meeting through video conference. Senior Officers from Ministries of Home Affairs, Defence, Civil Aviation, Railways, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Power, Telecommunications, Steel, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Health, the NDMA and the NDRF also attended the meeting.
Messi makes more passes than the other forwards, with a higher percentage of those passes trying to advance the ball toward the goal, and a higher percentage of those passes finding their targets (typical Messi!). His 3,800-plus completed forward passes are nearly twice as many as any forward in our data set (Francesco Totti for FC Roma has 2,200, followed by Wayne Rooney, the English striker, with 1,800 and Ronaldo with 1,500).One measure of the quality of a group of passes is how many are completed successfully, but it also matters what happens when those passes get where they’re going. It doesn’t help if a player passes 60 yards to someone swarmed with defenders. So a useful metric (made possible by play-by-play data) is the percentage of a player’s passes that lead to “successful” plays on the other end — meaning the receiving player manages to get off a shot, or passes the ball to someone else, and so on.As it turns out, not only does Messi pass the ball forward aggressively, he does so accurately, and the balls he delivers are “successful” a very high percentage of the time.For example, let’s look at Messi’s long ball forward passes from the midfield area. I’ve created a scatter comparing each player’s completion percentage for these passes to the percentage of them that are “successful,” and I’ve shown the volume of long pass attempts for each player as bubble sizes:Messi is among the most accurate passers for both metrics, and no one with as many attempts is more accurate.11Yes, that giant bubble in the middle is Wayne Rooney. There are players who complete a higher percentage of these passes and/or are more “successful” with them, but they’re typically being more selective in their attempts. For example, Ronaldo’s “success” rate of 60 percent beats Messi’s 54 percent (with a slightly lower completion percentage), but Ronaldo has only 35 successful long ball passes to Messi’s 81.Given that, it’s no surprise that Messi excels at the through-ball, the delicate and gorgeous play that requires perfect circumstances and perfect timing to be successful. Messi attempts almost twice as many of these passes as any other forward, and still manages to beat the trend.And then there’s the bread and butter of aggressive passing: moving it toward the goal on the opponent’s side of the field. In attacking territory, no one attacks as often as Messi does, and no one has more success doing so.These passes are where most assists come from, and indeed, Messi has the most assists per game from these kinds of passes of any forward, by a large margin. And again, despite making twice as many attempts as most people, he beats expectations.Touch by TouchBy this point, it should be evident that Messi has at least a little bit of skill. But there’s still heavy lifting to do: We have to show that he actually makes his team better.First, to ensure that we’re celebrating the greatness of Messi and not the greatness of Barcelona, we need to make sense of Messi on Barcelona. The easiest way to do that is to evaluate Barcelona without Messi, also known as the Spanish national team.The contrast between Spain in 2010 and Spain in 2014 seems huge: The 2010 team won the World Cup, and the 2014 team was tied for first in the tournament to be mathematically eliminated. But lost in this narrative is that the 2010 championship team wasn’t all that great, at least on offense. That World Cup team scored fewer goals per game than this year’s: only eight goals in seven games in 2010, while this year’s group-stage dropouts scored four goals in three. (That’s 1.2 goals per game overall.) For comparison, in the 2010-11 UEFA Champions League (the highest level of competition for European club soccer), Barcelona scored 30 goals in 13 games. In 47 UEFA matches since 2010, Barcelona has scored 104 goals, or 1.08 goals per game more than a Spanish team comprised of a similar offensive core and using the same “tiki-taka” playing style, minus Lionel Messi.Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison to make — but it’s consistent with the theory that Barcelona’s “play keep away until lightning strikes” offense really only works when it has Messi as its striker.Between Messi’s shots taken and chances created, he is responsible for about 48 percent of Barcelona’s regular (non-penalty, non-set play) shot attempts. Yet he and the players he assists score about 60 percent of Barca’s goals.In fact, the more involved Messi is in a shot attempt, the more likely his team is to score. He has scored on 22.1 percent of his regular (non-set, non-penalty, non-shootout) shots for Barca himself. The people to whom he’s dished assists and chances have scored on 18.1 percent of their shots. Meanwhile, Barcelona shots that didn’t come from Messi’s foot12Or other non-arm body part. But he mostly uses his feet. or Messi’s passing scored just 12.5 percent of the time.Even though Barcelona is one of the best teams in the world, there’s a huge difference between when Messi is involved in creating shots and chances and when he isn’t. Here are the equivalent differences for all players since 2010 with more than 100 games played and four or more shots or assist chances per game:Of course, these are raw shooting percentages and don’t account for the types of shots each player is taking or assisting, or the number of attempts. It’s generally harder to stay valuable over a larger number of shots, and we haven’t yet factored in that difficulty.For that, we turn back to the goals above average model, which compares each shot or chance outcome with its expectation. From this, we can tell whether a player has exceeded expectations for all of his shot attempts and chances created. Then we can do the same for all shots taken by his team without the player’s involvement, and compare the two. For example, if the player scored .02 goals above expectation per shot attempt, and the rest of his team scored -.01 goals less than expectation, that player’s value-added would be +.03 goals per shot (the value above replacement for that player on that team). Now let’s plot that added value against each player’s13Among players who played 100 games with two or more shots per game and one or more chance created per game. total offensive participation (the percentage of team shots he’s involved with):Finally, after however many charts, we see a diminishing return. At least for everyone not named Lionel Messi. He once again tops the field, impervious to the burden.But that’s just what happens once the shots are lined up. If we want to explore a player’s efficiency, we have to look into his touches more deeply. For this purpose, I created a stat called “possessions used.” It’s a little bit analogous to usage rate in basketball, and incorporates the number of touches in which a player:Takes a shot;Passes the ball to a player who takes a shot;Turns the ball over;Tries to pass the ball and fails;Tries to take on a defender and fails.In other words, it’s a stat meant to reflect anything that ends a team’s possession, whether that outcome is positive or negative. Events that simply prolong the possession (taking on a defender and succeeding, or passing the ball to another teammate who does not take a shot) aren’t factored in.Obviously passing the ball is an important skill (which I covered a bit above), but for this metric I just want to know about the relative likelihood of good outcomes (goals, assists) to bad ones (misses, turnovers, etc.) when the player does something possession-ending.14This also somewhat neutralizes any statistical advantage for players who play for pass-happy teams like Barcelona. Looking at players who “use” more than 15 possessions per game, we can plot possessions used against scoring and assists like so:Cutting out all the passing that doesn’t end in a shot, Messi generates the most points per touch of any player with a similar usage rate. But there are a couple of other important things to notice in this graph: Despite not taking as many shots, Messi uses more possessions per game than Ronaldo does. This is generally because Messi is much more likely to take on defenders, and thus is much more likely to lose possession of the ball or turn it over entirely. (He is also relatively more likely to set up a potential assist.)Importantly, turnovers in soccer aren’t as big of a deal as they are in basketball or American football. Shots, even bad ones, are more of a limited resource in soccer than possessions. Risking a turnover to increase your chances of scoring a goal even by a small amount can be worth it.Finally, Messi’s defense is consistent with that of a high-volume striker.15Which is to say, players who’ve logged 100-plus games, taken an average of three or more shots per game, and who’ve made at least 50 percent of their touches in the attacking third. That he’s practically munchkin-sized (he’s only 1.69 met — ahem, excuse me — 5’ 7” tall) seems not to matter.To look at Messi’s defensive skill, I combined successful tackles,16I didn’t count missed tackles as either positive or negative, because they aren’t nearly as bad as a successful tackle is good. interceptions and blocked shots, then adjusted for number of opponent possessions (as I did with offense above).There are a few lines where Messi’s stats are considerably worse than his peers’ (meaning Ronaldo’s): He doesn’t get a lot of clearances — although this is partly style, as Messi is more willing to pass out of defensive territory (or even take on defenders). And he doesn’t go for (or succeed at) a lot of aerials (50-50 balls in the air). While I haven’t studied this aspect of his game in depth, soccer experts in the FiveThirtyEight office theorize that it has something to do with his stature.ConclusionHow should Argentina fans feel about all this, given the disappointment they’ve experienced in World Cups past and the hopes they’ve pinned on Messi this year? So far in the 2014 tournament, Messi has been erasing whatever gap there was between his Barcelona stats and his Argentina stats, with style. And that gap was never really as big as it appeared.Since the 2010 World Cup, Messi has scored 19 goals and six assists for Argentina in 22 games (.9 goals per game and .3 assists per game, compared to 1.1 and .4 for Barca). For shooting/assisting efficiency, he has scored .199 GAA per game for Argentina versus .262 for Barca. He also has better defensive stats for Argentina, so even if there are persistent differences, it’s quite possible it has to do with style and Messi’s role on each team rather than the quality of his play.And 22 games is a tiny sample. Even so, these stats are perfectly consistent with the argument that Messi is the best footballer on earth: That .199 GAA is better than the .175 GAA per game that Ronaldo has earned at Real Madrid since 2010. This is what that .199 GAA looks like:In other words, if Barca-Messi and Argentina-Messi were two different people, even based solely on the stats recorded since 2010, there’s a good chance they’d be the two best players in the world.One of them is playing on Tuesday.CORRECTION (July 1, 12:32 p.m.): The axes in an earlier version of the chart on through-balls above misstated what they measured. The chart shows attempted through-balls and through-ball assists, not attempted and successful assists.CORRECTION (July 1, 1:06 p.m.): This article originally misstated that Cristiano Ronaldo had 289 goals since the 2010 World Cup. He had 230 goals, and 59 assists in that time, for 289 combined goals and assists.CORRECTION (July 7, 7:29 a.m.): An earlier version of this article also incorrectly said that Ronaldo had 41 successful long ball passes when in fact he had 35. In their Group F World Cup match late last month, Argentina and Iran were still deadlocked after 90 minutes. With the game in stoppage time and the score tied at 0-0, Lionel Messi took the ball near the right corner of the penalty area, held it for a moment, then broke left, found his seam, took his strike and curled it in from 29 yards. What was going to be a draw was now a win, and Messi had put Argentina into the Round of 16.It was the sort of play that inspired the phrase “Messi magic.” But for those who only watch soccer when the World Cup rolls around, this was probably only the second (or at most third) goal they’d seen from the little man they call La Pulga (“The Flea”). Despite having 407 career goals in club and international play (including a record 91 in 2012 alone) and a record four Ballon d’Or (World Player of the Year) awards, until this year’s tournament, Messi hadn’t scored in a World Cup match since 2006.Since scoring an eerily familiar goal in the 2007 Copa Del Rey, Messi has constantly been compared to Argentine great and his former national team coach Diego Maradona. Despite his young age — he turned 27 on June 24 — Messi has taken substantial criticism in Argentina and elsewhere for failing to engineer a World Cup run like that of the man with the “Hand of God.”To Argentina devotees, it probably doesn’t help that during Messi’s tenure at FC Barcelona the club team has won two FIFA Club World Cups to go with six La Liga and three UEFA (All-European) championships.Perhaps this year will be different. Messi is finally having the kind of World Cup expected of him. He has scored in every game so far (four goals overall), including one on a beautiful free kick against Nigeria and the aforementioned game-winner against Iran. As of this writing, FiveThirtyEight gives Messi and his compatriots a 16 percent chance of winning the tournament — second only to host nation Brazil.Even though national teams are patchwork and only play together for a handful of games each year, how Messi plays with Argentina relates to what is ultimately a fair criticism of his success: Most of it has come for FC Barcelona, a free-spending virtual all-star squad, packed with many of the world’s best players.1Imagine how good Peyton Manning would be if whomever he played for could spend three times as much as 90 percent of NFL teams.As the primary striker for such a juggernaut, it can be hard to detangle Messi’s goal-scoring prowess from Barcelona’s general offensive dominance. And the 2013-14 season hasn’t helped: Battling minor injuries and facing competition for touches from superstar arrival Neymar, Messi’s most recent season was slightly below par by his standards, yet Barca finished second in La Liga. (And in the seven games Messi missed, they went 6-1.) He still scored 41 goals, but that total was less than the 60 he scored the year before, and fewer than the 51 that rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid scored en route to capturing the Ballon d’Or.I think this criticism is fair — and I found it intriguing enough to look into the matter myself. So I gathered and organized data, crunched it, re-crunched it, and gathered more data2The crux of my research is based on play-by-play data (plus x-y coordinates) from ESPN’s partnership with the sports data companies Opta and TruMedia. and crunched it some more.By now I’ve studied nearly every aspect of Messi’s game, down to a touch-by-touch level: his shooting and scoring production; where he shoots from; how often he sets up his own shots; what kind of kicks he uses to make those shots; his ability to take on defenders; how accurate his passes are; the kind of passes he makes; how often he creates scoring chances; how often those chances lead to goals; even how his defensive playmaking compares to other high-volume shooters.And that’s just the stuff that made it into this article. I arrived at a conclusion that I wasn’t really expecting or prepared for: Lionel Messi is impossible.It’s not possible to shoot more efficiently from outside the penalty area than many players shoot inside it. It’s not possible to lead the world in weak-kick goals and long-range goals. It’s not possible to score on unassisted plays as well as the best players in the world score on assisted ones. It’s not possible to lead the world’s forwards both in taking on defenders and in dishing the ball to others. And it’s certainly not possible to do most of these things by insanely wide margins.But Messi does all of this and more.ScoringI think it’s fair to say that goals mean more in soccer than points do in most sports. And Messi scores a lot of them. Since the end of the 2010 World Cup, Messi has been responsible for 291 goals and assists in the 201 of his games in club and national team play tracked by the sports analytics company Opta. How does that compare with other soccer stars across top leagues around the world? (The Opta data set includes 16,574 players and 24,904 games in both league and international play since the end of the 2010 World Cup.)Coming in just behind Messi with 289 goals and assists since the 2010 World Cup is Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi’s rival from Real Madrid. When it comes to scoring, these two aren’t just on top of the pile, they’re hang-gliding somewhere way above it. Messi and Ronaldo have been compared to each other so often by sports media and fans alike that it almost feels trite to compare them again, but it can���t be helped. If we want to compare Messi to all players with a remotely similar volume of production, we’re left with Ronaldo.Now let’s leave assists aside for a second (much more on them later), and concentrate on Messi’s shooting. Like Ronaldo, he has an enormous number of goals, but also takes an enormous number of shots. If this were basketball, we might expect a negative (or at least decelerating) relationship between shot volume and shot efficiency — the more shots a player takes the less efficient he is.3Unless he is LeBron James. But it turns out this isn’t really the case in soccer: More efficient shooters tend to take more shots. Despite this, Messi is still a trend-breaker:4For this plot, I’ve excluded penalty shots, shootout shots and direct free kicks. I’ll discuss those separately. Of the 866 players who qualified for that plot — by playing in 50-plus games and averaging at least one shot attempt per game — Messi is the ninth-most efficient shooter overall (Ronaldo is 173rd), and he’s by far the most efficient of anyone with a similar shot volume. The highest-volume shooter who is more efficient is Mario Gomez, the former Bayern Munich striker, who takes about two-thirds as many shots as Messi.But in soccer, unlike in basketball, shooting efficiency isn’t the single most important stat. Since the value of a possession in soccer is much lower, so is the cost of missing a shot (and missed shots often have good outcomes as well). That said, quality shot opportunities in soccer are still a limited resource, so making the most of them is important.To generalize a bit, some of the value a shooter provides comes from taking more and better shots (e.g. taking them closer to the goal, at a better angle, amid fewer defenders, etc.), and some of it comes from putting in those shots more often. For example, Messi’s typical regular (non-set piece) shot comes from 14.9 yards out, while Ronaldo’s average shot comes from 20.1 yards out. ESPN/TruMedia has a model for estimating the chances of a player making each shot he takes based on type and location (this metric is known as expected goals). The difference between a player’s actual goals and his expected goals is called “goals above average” (or GAA). Because Messi takes shots that are more likely to go in, his average attempt has an expectation of .182 goals, while the average Ronaldo shot has an expectation of .124 goals — so we would expect Messi’s shooting to be more efficient based on that alone. However, Messi has also exceeded that expectation by a greater amount than Ronaldo has. Messi scored .220 goals per shot attempt for .038 GAA per goal. Ronaldo scored .139 goals per attempt, so he had .015 GAA per goal.Here’s a comparison of the top 20 shot-takers overall (regular shots in all games since the 2010 World Cup):In this group, Messi both takes the best shots and does the most with those attempts.If we break this down using shot-location data, it’s clear that Messi is highly efficient across a wide range of distances.The percentage of shots Messi makes from outside the penalty area is absolutely stunning. He scores almost as often per shot from outside the penalty area (12.1 percent) as most players do inside it (13.1 percent).Of 8,335 players in our dataset who have taken at least one shot from outside the box, only 1,835 have scored from that distance at any point. There are 47 players with 50 or more attempts from outside the box without a single goal, and about 500 with at least 20 attempts and no goals. Messi leads the world with 21 goals from outside the penalty area, on just 173 shot attempts.Ronaldo takes more than twice as many shots from this distance, but still has fewer goals overall. Messi, meanwhile, scores at a remarkable rate. Adjusting for shot quality with the GAA model, Messi is running 12.6 goals above expectation (based on shot-by-shot expectation, not the trend line in the chart). Ronaldo, with more than twice as many shots, ran just 5.5 goals above expectation, and no one but Messi is higher than 7.5 goals.The 21st of those outside-the-penalty-area goals was Messi’s extra-time winner against Iran, which came from 29 yards out (33 yards to where it went in). That goal was quintessential Messi: He got the ball on the right side of the field, held it for a few seconds, broke to the middle and — in heavy traffic — swerved it in on off his left foot. Plus he did it all without an assist.Unassisted ShootingDespite dishing a large number of assists (more on that to come), Messi sometimes gets called “selfish.” But maybe he isn’t selfish enough.About 44 percent of Messi’s “open” (non-set piece) shots are “individual plays,” taken without an assist.5I should note that the data on this has a little gray area. The play-by-play data lists “assisters” on several plays that are nonetheless designated as “individual plays” and for which no one was awarded an assist. I treated all such shots as unassisted, even if another player’s assistance was noted. This is lower than the 46 percent of unassisted shots for players overall, but Messi scores on these shots more than 23 percent of the time, compared to all players’ 5 percent. Additionally, he gains .089 goals above average on each unassisted shot. Ronaldo gains .023, and the average player is slightly negative at -.004 GAA.Let’s look at how Messi’s assisted shooting compares to other players with 100 or more shots both assisted and unassisted6Since assist-related stats tend to be dependent on a team’s offensive system, for this chart I’ve grouped shots by team, so it only includes Messi’s shots for Barcelona and Ronaldo’s for Real Madrid.:Somehow, Messi has done even better when taking it on his own than when somebody sets him up. Moreover, on unassisted shots he shoots nearly 10 percent and .044 GAA better than the next best player (Sergio Aguero for Manchester City) does, despite taking the fourth-most such shots of the 28 players in the group.To be clear, you could probably choose any skills for your axes and produce a similar graph. Messi can shoot it just about any which way. Here are some miscellaneous shooting stats he’s accrued at Barcelona:Messi loves his left foot, shooting with it 78 percent of the time, and scoring 23 percent. But don’t sleep on his right foot: When he uses it, he scores 23 percent of the time. He shoots slightly below average on (a limited number of) headers (10 percent vs. 13 percent).About 8 percent of his shots are “weak” kicks (compared to 6 percent for all players in the data set), but he makes 27 percent of them, and does so more often than we’d expect. He has an average GAA of .026 on those kicks (all players: 5 percent shooting on weak kicks with -.055 GAA). Only 5 percent of his kicks are “strong” ones (compared to 8 percent for all players), but those kicks score 36 percent of the time, and have .251 GAA each! All players have scored on 11 percent of their “strong kick” shots and have an average .051 GAA per shot.About 12 percent of his shots have “swerve” on them (compared to 10 percent for all players); 31 percent of those swervy kicks score, for a huge .202 GAA (all players: 8 percent, .020 GAA).On direct free kicks (like the one he scored on against Nigeria), Messi has scored about 8 percent of the time (compared to all players’ 5 percent), with .021 GAA per shot (Ronaldo has scored on 7 percent with an identical .021 GAA).7I’ve excluded other set-piece attempts because they’re very dependent on each player’s role on his team. Ronaldo has taken five times as many shots in those situations, but Messi has been slightly more efficient.Messi has scored on 86 percent of his penalty kicks, versus an average of 77 percent for all players. But put one check-mark in Ronaldo’s column, as he has scored on 93 percent of his penalty attempts. Since both are the primary PK-takers for both their club and national teams, this difference — if it held up in the long run — would be worth about three-quarters of a goal per year.To make all those unassisted shots possible, Messi has to take on a lot of defenders one on one. There’s a stat for that, and in my view it’s one of the most revealing, reflecting both Messi’s skill and style, and the relationship between the two. Of all forwards in our data set who’ve played 100-plus games, he “takes on” defenders the most, and he’s the most successful at it.The only forward who takes on defenders nearly as aggressively as Messi is Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker for Liverpool who is perhaps too aggressive for his own good (ahem). Suarez is successful less than 35 percent of the time.This may help explain how Messi gets so many better shots, and why his “unassisted” shots are so good. It also points to the main stylistic difference between Messi and Ronaldo: Ronaldo takes more mid-range shots but misses a lot of them; Messi tries to beat a lot more defenders, loses sometimes, and then makes up for it (and then some) by having better assisting and shooting opportunities as a result. That’s not to say one approach is better than the other, but note that it means that the observed shooting gap between them is at least somewhat exaggerated. While Messi appears to shoot much more efficiently, that’s partly because he loses the ball more during failed take-on attempts, while Ronaldo loses it more because of missed shots. Only the second of those is accounted for in shooting stats. (I’ll get more into how we can account for loss of possession in the touch-by-touch analysis later.)Passing and AssistsFrom the above, you might think Messi is a selfish player. Or you might assume that if Messi is so good at shooting, he’d focus on it to the exclusion of other skills. But, in true Wayne Gretzky-esque fashion, Messi is also one of the top assisters in our data set. Once again, that makes him a crazy outlier: No one else (aside from, yes, Ronaldo) even comes close to his combination of goals scored versus goals dished.Not only is Messi the top game-by-game goal-scorer of the last four years, he’s the third-most productive distributor of assists, despite being the primary scorer on his own team! Only Mesut Ozil and Franck Ribery8Frank Ribery is a terrific winger/midfielder who can sometimes put the ball in the net, but he’s the fourth-leading scorer on powerhouse Bayern Munich’s Bundesliga-winning squad. earned more assists than Messi, and Ozil did it on Real Madrid9Messi and his Argentina teammate Angel di Maria (also of Real Madrid) are tied to four decimal places, but Messi just edges him in the fifth. — setting up Cristiano Ronaldo.But how does he do it? The biggest obstacle to evaluating Messi’s passing ability is accounting for the fact that he plays for the most pass-happy team in the world. Watching Barcelona can be a bit like watching a playground game of keep away. Barcelona’s players are infamous for their “tiki-taka” style of play, which relies on an enormous amount of short, high percentage passing. Above all else, they try to maintain possession of the ball until a chance opens up. This sounds like a great strategy, but there’s a reason it isn’t employed universally: To make it work, a team has to be stocked with amazing passers, and it has to have strikers capable of creating chances against set defenses.10Whether “possession football” — much less the extreme form employed by Barca — is even a good strategy at all is controversial. In a seminal 1968 study, Charles Reep noted that 80 percent of goals came from possessions involving three or fewer passes, and that successfully completing a lot of passes without losing the ball was very difficult. He thought this proved that possession football was inefficient, but many have disagreed with his logic, and subsequent studies have shown mixed results.Messi is both of those things. And what’s more, his passing profile is nothing like the other Barcelona forwards, who typically send 72 percent of their passes back or square. Messi is far more likely to try to advance the ball toward the goal, and far more likely to succeed: