More dribbles than Neymar: Stats show why Messias could be a useful addition for Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s next and possibly their final signing of the summer window will be Junior Messias from Crotone, and the news has provoked a mixed reaction.

Messias has reported this morning to begin his medical examinations ahead of a deadline day move to Milan. Gianluca Di Marzio (via MilanNews) reports that the figures of the deal are as follows: €2.6m for the loan, an option to buy at €5.4m and an additional €1m in bonuses.

There are fans who are skeptical about Messias’ arrival at Milan given that bigger names were linked who certainly have age more on their side, but other objectives came and went so the management decided to seal a deal for the 30-year-old.

Messias amassed 9 goals last season in a team that were relegated without much of a fight and he also added 4 assists playing as a number 10 mostly. According to the data highlighted by Opta, during the Serie A 2020-21 he was the only player – together with Rodrigo de Paul – to complete at least 100 dribbles. He made 105, while the former Udinese star is first with 122.


Moreover, Sofascore highlight how Messias completed the most dribbles of any Brazilian player in the ‘top five’ European leagues last year with 105 and he was in their best Brazilian XI. By comparison, Neymar Jr. had 87 dribbles and Cunha 82, in second and third place.

Finally, some interesting data from ACMaldini on Twitter compares Messias with Romain Faivre of Brest, another major target. From the overlay, we can deduce that the Brazilian has more end product and is more oriented towards scoring, while the Frenchman tends to be more of a creative and build-up oriented playmaker.

READ MORE: AC Milan 4-1 Cagliari – Five things we learned – Plenty of positives, but one concern remains

Tags AC Milan Junior Messias


  1. I will happily apologize to him and everyone else if he turns out to be half as good as management hopes he will be.

    But a guy that started playing professional football at 24, and up until last year was Serie D and C player, is gonna be overwhelmed by everything at AC Milan. He will be like a deer in headlights. So out of his depth.

    I so hope I’m wrong about him.

    1. He has a better mentality than Leao or Castillejo and they have been at Milan for some time now. I think he will bite on every training for the reasons you mentioned, not fail.

  2. I don’t think the issue is the player himself, but more the age of the respective options. If this lad was 23 and had potential to raise on value for the next few years, it would raise more eyebrows.

    At least as a loan it looks like a short term solution with no requirement for the buy.

    I think they’ll regret not tying up Faivre for €15m though, can see him going to England for €20-30m in Jan or next year.

  3. Faivre was taken out of d market by Brest we all ready bid 12 +3m in bonuses to match his 15m valuation bt his club decide to tke him off d market due to internal conflict we can still go for him in January if we are interested

  4. If truely he has more beating than neymar then is a good player atleas we will ve plenty of dribbler at d attack and forget d age but they will b more competent at d attack simon,sellmacher then messia and don’t forget his name he will b a saviour(since is messia)

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