Players Who Best Outperformed Their xG in La Liga This Season – Ranked

90min looks at the 10 La Liga players who best outperformed their xG this season | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

We all think we know who the best finishers in La Liga are but without any conclusive data to back ourselves up the argument rolls on.

This is where xG comes in, the most reliable measure of finishing ability available.

For anyone who doesn’t know what it is, xG stands for expected goals. In other words, it indicates how many times a player or team should be scoring.

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The quality of each scoring chance is analysed and given an xG rating depending on various factors that affect the difficulty of the opportunity. This can include the type of assist, whether the shot was taken with the head or foot, the angle of the shot, the distance and how much pressure the shooter was under from the opposition.

Pretty simple, eh?

Basically then the better a player outperforms the xG, the better at finishing they are. Here are the ten players who did this best during the 2019/2020 La Liga season.

Lucas OcamposLucas Ocampos
Lucas Ocampos has been a star performer for Sevilla this season | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Without Lucas Ocampos’ contribution this season, Sevilla would have been in real danger of missing out on a Champions League spot.

The forward has top scored for Julen Loptegui’s side and could attract interest from some of the best sides in Europe this summer.

If he is picked up by a bigger club, they will receiving one of the best finishers in Spain as his xG to goal differential shows.

xG to Goal Differential: 2.8

Maxi GomezMaxi Gomez
Celta Vigo have badly missed Maxi Gomez this season as they narrowly avoided relegation | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

After outperforming his xG by 2.3 during the 2018/2019 campaign, Maxi Gómez has got even better this season.

He’s been in fine form for Valencia and looks set to be one of the few players spared during the upcoming summer clearout.

Still only 23, Gómez has managed nine goals this season – far more than his xG predicted.

xG to Goal Differential: 3.2

Anssumane FatiAnssumane Fati
Ansu Fati’s has burst onto the scene this season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

In what has been a disappointing season for Barcelona, Ansu Fati’s emergence as a potential star for the future has been a rare highpoint.

The Spain Under-21 international became Barca’s second youngest ever scorer back in August and has added six goal to his La Liga tally since.

It’s an impressive total for such a young player, particularly as its so much higher than his xG.

xG to Goal Differential: 3.2

Karim BenzemaKarim Benzema
Karim Benzema would have been a contender for the Ballon d’Or this year – had it not been cancelled | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Like a fine wine, Karim Benzema seems to be getting better with age.

Previously a facilitator during Cristiano Ronaldo’s reign of dominance at Real Madrid, the Frenchman has stepped out on his own during recent seasons.

He’s been Los Blancos’ most potent attacker this term, notching 21 goals.

xG to Goal Differential: 3.2

Ángel Rodríguez has helped Getafe defy expectations again this seasonÁngel Rodríguez has helped Getafe defy expectations again this season
Ángel Rodríguez has helped Getafe defy expectations again this season | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Ángel Rodríguez is a veteran of Spanish football and he has continued his consistent scoring antics this campaign.

Though they ultimately fell short, the 33-year-old helped Getafe mount a top six challenge and the Spaniards are still in with a chance of glory in this season’s Europa League.

Key to their success has been Rodriguez’s lethal finishing with the striker chipping in with 10 goals.

xG to Goal Differential: 3.5

Arturo VidalArturo Vidal
Arturo Vidal played an important in Barcelona’s season | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Often underestimated, Arturo Vidal has been a consistent contributor for Barcelona this season.

The Chilean bounced back from rumours that he would be pushed out the club to score some important goals, netting eight in total.

The gladiatorial midfielder’s xG suggests that he had not right to make the net bulge that many times.

xG to Goal Differential: 3.7

Raul GarciaRaul Garcia
Raúl García has been Athletic Club’s talisman this season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Languid and graceful, Raúl García enjoyed one the best seasons of his career.

Although Athletic Club will be disappointed not to have capitalised on their promise to secure better than their eventual 11th placed finish, Garcia could not have given any more.

Operating in a centre-forward or number ten role, the Spaniard notched a career best 15 goals, unsurprisingly outperforming his xG dramatically in the process.

xG to Goal Differential: 4.1

Oscar Rodriguez ArnaizOscar Rodriguez Arnaiz
Oscar Rodriguez has been on loan at Leganes since 2018 | Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

If some of his Leganes teammates had performed as well as Real Madrid loanee Óscar Rodriguez this season, Super Pepino (the club’s cucumber mascot) might be entertaining fans in La Liga next season.

Unfortunately this did not happen and minnows were relegated at the end of a campaign in which their star man, Martin Braithwaite, was callously stolen by Barcelona.

Without Rodriguez’s finishing though, their demotion would have been confirmed long before it was.

xG to Goal Differential: 4.6

Gerard MorenoGerard Moreno
Gerard Moreno rejoined Villarreal back in 2018 | David Ramos/Getty Images

It’s been a good season for Gerard Moreno. In fact, it’s been a great one.

Not only has the 28-year-old helped Villarreal to Europa League qualification, he’s also earned his first caps for Spain.

His current record of three goals in three games for La Furia Roja should give you an inkling as to how good a finisher he is. In case you needed anymore confirmation, just take a look as his xG to goal differential this season.

xG to Goal Differential: 4.6

Lionel MessiLionel Messi
Lionel Messi has hit 25 La Liga goals this season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

*Pretends to be shocked*

Looks like it’s another record for Lionel Messi then.

During the 2017/2018 campaign La Pulga outperformed his xG by 8.6, the season after it was a ridiculous 12.3. The time out the figure has been a lot lower, but it’s still more than enough to earn him top spot.

For the first time ever, there is some doubt over Messi’s short term future. Perhaps we might be treated to a new best finisher next season?

xG to Goal Differential: 5.7


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