Leonardo Balerdi is an Argentinian defender who has been making a name for himself with his consistent performances for Marseille in Ligue 1 this season. Balerdi began his professional career with Boca Juniors in Argentina before making the move to Europe in 2018, signing for Borussia Dortmund in Germany. Balerdi decided to leave Germany after two years and signed with Marseille in 2020. Since arriving at the club, Balerdi has been an integral part of their defence and has been a key figure in their impressive defensive record this season. He has been able to read the game well, making crucial interceptions and tackles to help the team maintain their solid defensive shape. Additionally, he has been able to contribute going forward too, as he is comfortable on the ball and can start attacks with accurate passing. Below, we look at some of his stats for Marseille in Ligue 1.
Balerdi in 2022/23
Balerdi usually plays as a left centre-back, but on rare occasions, he can also slot in as the right-back. The viz above shows the percentile rank of the player’s stats compared to other centre-backs in Ligue 1 in 2022/23. He has played 21 matches and ranks in the top 97.1 percentile for defensive duels per 90 minutes and in the top 83.0 percentile for defensive duels won. Other areas where the player does well include accurate passes per 90 and positioning.
Performance in 2021/22
Balerdi played a total of 17 matches for Marseille in 2021-22. It can be seen that he performed well in the department of maintaining possession as well as contributing heavily to the attack. He was also in much better form in terms of making dribbles and providing more accuracy in terms of passing and possession stats. He has shown major improvement in terms of defensive performance and has improved significantly in terms of defensive duels won.
As a left centre-back, Balerdi’s defensive gameplay is decent. From the viz above we can see that his average position along the defensive line is well within his own half. The player makes 12.36 recoveries and 5.18 interceptions per match. Furthermore, he contests 9.18 defensive duels with a win rate of 73.1%. As for aerial duels, the centre-back contests 3.9 per match with a 47.5% win rate.
He has a shot block xG of 0.56 and has blocked 16 shots. Most of his blocks have come from inside the box, but some are also outside the box. He averages 2.52 clearances per 90 minutes and 0.8 shot blocks per 90 minutes. The centre-back makes maximum tackles in the defensive third, in and around the box.
High pressing tendencies
The above viz represents the overall high regains made by Leonardo Balerdi for Marseille in Ligue 1 in 2022/23. It can be seen that the player makes movements up the pitch in order to put pressure on the opposition. As a centre-back, Balerdi has made a total of 19 counter-pressing recoveries in the middle and final third of the pitch. Additionally, he has made seven high regains and three dangerous recoveries for Marseille this season.
The above viz is a representation of the passes made by the player. It can be seen that most of his work rate is again on the right side of the defence and in the middle third of the pitch. The player makes 49.59 passes per 90 with 89.8% accuracy. Additionally, he makes 5.17 passes into the final third on average. Balerdi makes 17.16 forward passes with 77% accuracy per 90 minutes. He possesses fine passing ability in terms of passes attempted and pass accuracy. He provides a trustworthy option in defence as a man with plenty of experience in the back and often tends to show maturity on the pitch by leading the backline. He makes progressive passes as well and makes contributions by making central and through passes to the midfielders.
Overall, Balerdi has been one of the key players behind Marseille’s success in defence this season, and his presence has been a huge boost for the team. He is a player who is continuing to develop and improve, and it will be interesting to see how he continues to progress in the future.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine