Stat Leaders from the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores

By Ben Morris in Soccer
| February 5, 2021 3:06 pm PDT
Copa Libertadores Players Stats (2020/21 Season)

Palmeiras clinched the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores title in dramatic fashion, edging Brazilian rivals Santos in the final.

For various reasons, the previous edition of South America’s premier club competition will go down in history as one of the most memorable tournaments to date, so I think it’s worth looking back at the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores player stats.

While assessing the Libertadores stat leaders for 2020/21, I cover multiple attacking, defending, and goalkeeping statistics.

Who was the top scorer? Which goalkeeper kept the most shutouts? Who provided the most assists? Keep reading for an in-depth look at the Copa Libertadores stats for 2020/21.

Attacking Stats for the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores

Let’s kick things off by checking out the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores attacking stats.

Goals

  • Santos Borre (River Plate) – 7
  • Eduardo Salvio (Boca Juniors) – 6
  • Julian Alvarez (River Plate) – 5
  • Kaio Jorge (Santos) – 5
  • Luiz Adriano (Palmeiras) – 5
  • Rony (Palmeiras) – 5

River Plate’s Santos Borre won the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores Golden Boot, scoring seven goals in 11 appearances. However, his side eventually fell to Palmeiras in the semi-finals.

Eduardo Salvio – the second-highest Libertadores scorer – also led his team to the semi-finals, netting six goals along the way. Boca Juniors ultimately lost to Santos, although it’s safe to say that Salvio can’t be blamed for his side’s shortcomings.

Four players scored five goals during the previous Copa Libertadores campaign, including Palmeiras’ title winners Luiz Adriano and Rony. Verdao team-mate Willian was one of many players to score four goals in the competition.

Julian Alvarez may have only scored five goals, but as you can see from the table below, he was the most efficient goalscorer in the 2020/21 Libertadores.

BEST GOALS PER 90 MINUTES AVERAGES (2020/21 COPA LIBERTADORES)
Player Goals Minutes Goals Per 90 Minutes
Julian Alvarez 5 469 0.95
Luiz Adriano 5 548 0.83
Pablo Magnin 3 343 0.79
Braian Romero 3 354 0.76
Marcos Riquelme 3 360 0.75
Bruno Henrique 4 449 0.75

Alvarez made as many appearances as Borre and Salvio throughout the tournament, yet he was often used from the bench. Having only played 469 minutes of Libertadores soccer, he finished the campaign with an eye-catching goals/90 average of 0.95.

Adriano played the most minutes of any player in the top six, but he managed to score two goals more than the three players directly below him on the leaderboard.

Assists

  • Rony (Palmeiras) – 9
  • Matias Suarez (River Plate) – 8
  • Gonzalo Montiel (River Plate) – 6

There were three assist kings that topped the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores stats – Rony, Matias Suarez, and Gonzalo Montiel. Below them, eight different players racked up three assists.

Rony contributed four assists in five group games, as well as scoring two goals. He then set up two goals in a single game against Delfin in the round of 16, before assisting Breno’s winning goal in the final.

River Plate pair Matias Suarez (8) and Gonzalo Montiel (6) notched up a combined total of 14 assists during the tournament. Remarkably, Suarez registered a hat-trick off assists against Nacional in the second leg of their quarter-final tie.

It is worth pointing out that two Palmeiras players – Wesley and Gustavo Scarpa – recorded three assists on their way to clinching the title.

Shots

  • Santos Borre (River Plate) – 38
  • Carlos Tevez (Boca Juniors) – 38
  • Marinho (Santos) – 37
  • Matias Suarez (River Plate) – 34
  • Nicolas De La Cruz (River Plate) – 31
  • David Terans (Penarol) – 31

It is isn’t surprising that no player registered more shots than Santos Borre in the last Libertadores. I mean, the River forward finished as the competition’s leading goalscorer.

However, Carlos Tevez’s 2020/21 Copa Libertadores stats are surprising.

The Boca captain endured a tournament to forget. Despite having the same number of shots as the top scorer, he only managed to net three goals in 11 appearances – failing to score in nine outings.

Interestingly, Uruguayan side Penarol didn’t even make it out of their group, yet David Terans still managed to notch up 31 shots in six games. That’s an average of just over five shots per game!

The fact that goalscorers like Alvarez and Adriano don’t feature on this list proves just how efficient they were.

Crosses

  • Ignacio Fernandez (River Plate) – 69
  • Nicolas De La Cruz (River Plate) – 55
  • Gonzalo Montiel (River Plate) – 53
  • Pedro Perlaza (LDU de Quito) – 52
  • Juan Carlos Arce (Bolivar) – 51

As you can see, River Plate players dominate the Copa Liberatores stats for 2020/21 when it comes to crossing. But it’s fair to say that Montiel enjoyed the most success.

Nicolas De La Cruz only contributed two assists, while Ignacio Fernadez racked up three. On the other hand, Montiel finished third on the assist leaderboard, providing six.

Juan Carlos Arce only played five games in the competition, with Bolivar bowing out in the group stage. But the winger was able to register a whopping 51 crosses – averaging just over ten crosses per game.

Copa Libertadores Defending Stats for 2020/21

In this section, I cover two key defending stats for the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores – tackles and interceptions.

Tackles

  • Matias Vina (Palmeiras) – 21
  • Marcos Rocha (Palmeiras) – 20
  • Leonardo Jara (Boca Juniors) – 18
  • Jorman Campuzano (Boca Juniors) – 18
  • Oscar Opazo (Colo-Colo) – 17
  • Gustavo Gomez (Palmeiras) – 16

As well as producing two goals and three assists, Matias Vina also made the most tackles of any player during the 2020/21 Liberatores. Pretty impressive for a left-back, right?

Vina played every second of 11 of Palmeiras’ 13 matches, and despite putting in so many tackles, he only received two yellow cards throughout the entire tournament.

On the other side of Palmeiras’ defense, right-back Marcos Rocha almost matched his team-mate. Still, it is worth noting that Rocha only made nine Libertadores appearances in 2020/21. If the veteran had played in every game, he would have almost certainly topped the Copa Libertadores tackle statistics.

Boca duo Leonardo Jara and Jorman Campuzano each tallied 18 tackles, while Paraguayan center-back Gustavo Gomez (16) also played a big role in Verdao’s title triumph.

Interceptions

  • Luan Peres Petroni (Santos) – 35
  • Carlos Izquierdoz (Boca Juniors) – 28
  • Matias Vina (Palmeiras) – 26
  • Gonzalo Montiel (River Plate) – 24
  • Lucas Verissimo (Santos) – 22
  • Para (Santos) – 16

Luan Peres Petroni made seven more interceptions than his nearest challenger – Carlos Izquierdoz. However, both players suffered heartbreak in the latter stages of the competition.

Having also finished at the summit of the tackles chart, Vina’s 26 interceptions see him rank third here. It goes without saying that he was one of the standout performers during the last Copa Libertadores.

Vina’s statistics are impressive, although it could be argued that Montiel outshone his full-back rival. Not only does the River Plate right-back feature on both the assist and crossing leaderboards, but he also made the fourth-most interceptions in the 2020/21 Libertadores.

GONZALO MONTIEL (2020/21 COPA LIBERTADORES)
Appearances Goals Assists Crosses Interceptions
11 1 6 53 24

Santos forward Marinho was named the player of the tournament, but in my eyes, Montiel can count himself pretty unfortunate to have missed out on that accolade.

2020/21 Copa Liberatores Goalkeeping Stats

Let’s finish up by looking at the goalkeeping statistics for the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores.

Shutouts

  • Weverton (Palmeiras) – 8
  • Esteban Andrada (Boca Juniors) – 8
  • Franco Armani (River Plate) – 6
  • Jorge Pinos (Indipendiente) – 6
  • Vanderlei (Gremio) – 6

Weverton played every single second of Palmerias’ 13 games in the previous Copa Libertadores. Remarkably, he conceded just six goals on his way to lifting the trophy – keeping eight clean sheets in the process.

Esteban Andrada also achieved eight shutouts while conceded six goals, although Boca did play a game less than Palmeiras.

With six clean sheets each, Franco Armania (River Plate), Jorge Pinos (Indipendiente), and Vanderlei (Gremio) all came close to the stat leaders for the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores.

Further down the list, three shot-stoppers – Sergio Rochet (Nacional), Marcelo Lomba (Internacional), and Adrian Gabbarini (LDU de Quito) – all achieved three shutouts.

BEST SHUTOUT PERCENTAGES (2020/21 COPA LIBERTADORES)
Player Shoutouts Games Shutout %
Jorge Pinos 6 8 75%
Esteban Andrada 8 12 67%
Weverton 8 13 62%
Vanderlei 6 10 60%
Franco Armani 6 11 55%

Saves

  • Martin Silva (Libertad) – 47
  • Weverton (Palmeiras) – 41
  • Raul Fernandez (River Plate) – 41
  • Vanderlei (Gremio) – 31
  • Leao Butron (Alianza Lima) – 28
  • Gabriel Arias (Racing Club) – 28
  • Javier Rojas (Bolivar) – 28

Libertad narrowly scraped through to the knockout stages, but if it wasn’t for the heroics of their goalkeeper, the Paraguayans probably would have been knockout out much sooner.

Despite only playing eight games, Martin Silva made 47 saves in the last Libertadores, although he only managed to record two shutouts – conceding 11 goals along the way.

Averaging just under six saves per game, it’s safe to say that Silva was a busy man!

Unsurprisingly, clean-sheet kings Weverton and Vanderlei are among the top four save-makers. But I didn’t expect to see players like Leao Butron (Alianza Lima) and Havier Rojas (Bolivar) here.

Alianza finished rock bottom of Group F with just a single point to their name, while Bolivar also endured a disappointing group-stage exit.

Wrapping Things Up

I thoroughly enjoyed following the 2020/21 Copa Libertadores, so it only made sense that I reminisced about the tournament by detailing the player stats.

You usually hear about the top goalscorers after a major competition, but personally, I always find it interesting to look at some of the less popular statistics.

I mean, tackles and shutouts may not be as exciting as goals and assists. Still, they can often be equally as important.

If you enjoy statistics as much as I do, make sure you check out my 2020 MLS stat leaders post below.

MLS Player Stats for the 2020 Season – Most Shots, Assists, Tackles, and More

With the 2020 season in the books, let’s take a look at the MLS stat leaders. We all know that LAFC’s Diego Rossi won the Golden Boot, while Alejandro Pozuelo was named MVP. But who kept the most shutouts? Who was the top tackler? And who received...

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