Stats & Links: Bundesliga’s Double-Double
In basketball, a double double is the performance of a player who has at least ten entries in two statistics categories within a game – usually ten points and ten rebounds or ten assists.
We have slightly adjusted these statistics for football, since it’s a low scoring game. A double-double is therefore defined as the achievement of at least ten goals and ten assists during a season.
Since assists in the Bundesliga were not listed until the 1988 season, the statistics can only be traced back to this year. transfermarkt.de was used for data collection.
Thomas “Mr. Double-Double” Müller
Unlike basketball, where different types of players can achieve a double-double, football clearly prefers offensive players. Accordingly, there is not a single defender among the 70 players who have made a double-double since 1988.
Nevertheless, the statistics are meaningful for attackers. For example, there are strikers who also have a good eye for their better positioned teammate and attacking midfielders who can also score at will. This is confirmed by a look at the list, on which many well-known names appear.
The list of most double-doubles is led by Thomas Müller. The archetypal Bayern player has already completed five seasons with at least ten goals and ten assists. In the 2014/15 season he scored 13 goals and 14 templates.
After ten seasons in the league, Müller even has a career average of a double-double. Müller scored an average of 10.2 goals per season and provided 10.6 more goals for his team-mates. Without his first season, in which he played only 4 games and was not involved in any goals, these numbers even rise to 11.3 goals and 11.8 assists.
Once again, the special class and special role of the self-proclaimed Raumdeuter is evident here. Again and again he creates great opportunities for his team-mates, puts balls in good positions and finishes dangerously himself.
After two years in search of his supposedly self-evident lightness, Müller found his role in the Munich offense again this year. With 6 goals and 10 assists with eight remaining games, the 2014 World Champion is once again on the right track to a sixth double-double.
Princes of the Double-Double
Four other players created three double-doubles in their careers. The first player to do so was Andreas Möller, who was also the first player to score ten goals and ten assists in a single season. In the seasons 89/90 for Dortmund, 91/92 in Frankfurt and 94/95 again at BVB he managed this trick. Möller was also the first to achieve a double-double twice in his career.
In the four years from 2003 to 2006, midfield maestro Marcelinho finished three seasons in the capital with at least ten goals and ten assists. In the 2004/05 season he scored 18 goals and prepared 13 more.
Miroslav Klose was the first player to score a double-double three times in a row, in Bremen between 2005 and 2007. The striker from the Hanseatic city always impressed with his eye for the team-mate and even scored 15 goals in his last season at the Weser in 2006/07.
Seven years later in the 2013/14 season Marco Reus followed suit. The ex-Gladbacher also finished his third season in a row with at least ten entries in both categories. Over these three years Reus had an average of 16 goals and 12 assists per season.
Dortmund’s Magical Triangle
Stuttgart’s magic triangle is legendary. In the late 1990s, Giovanne Elber, Krasimir Balakov and Fredi Bobic destroyed opposing defenses at will.
This is also reflected in the double-double statistics. In the 1996/97 season, all three players achieved a double-double. The later sporting director Bobic contributed the most scorer points with 19 goals and 11 assists.
Three players from a club with a double-double in the same season is truly magical. So magical that no other team could do this until the 2012/13 season.
During this season, Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Jakob Blascykowski all scored more than ten goals and ten assists. BVB finished the season in second place with 71 points behind the later triple winners from Munich.
While Thomas Müller has been the player with the most double-doubles in the Bundesliga since the start of data collection, there are very few double-doubles in the rest of the Munich squad.
Jürgen Klinsmann was the first player in a red and white jersey to score more than ten goals and ten assists in the 1996/97 season.
Afterwards, it was eight years before Roy Makaay was admitted to this elite club with 22 goals and 13 assists. With the exception of the 2015/16 season, Bayern has had one double-double player in the squad every season since 2010.
Besides Müller, Arjen Robben (2011 and 2017) and Franck Ribery (2012 and 2013) were the usual suspects. Ribery’s 2011/12 season is particularly noteworthy, with 21 assits in addition to his 12 goals.
In this statistic, too, the two wingers who have shaped the Munich team’s game in recent years shine like few others.
On the outside looking in
The list of players with a double-double includes almost all major Bundesliga offensive players of the last twenty years. In addition to World Cup winners such as Thomas Häßler (1998: 12 goals / 12 assists), European Cup champions such as Mario Basler (1995: 20/12) and international stars such as Lincoln (2005: 12/10), Diego (2007: 13/14 and 2008: 12/10) and van der Vaart (2008: 12/10), there are also such extraordinary entries as Miriuta (2001: 11/11) and Cardoso.
However, two players are missing when you look at the list. The long-time national team captain and double champion with Bayern Michael Ballack does not appear. Born in Görlitz, he failed several times. He came closest in his final season for Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 when he led the factory team to the runners-up spot with 17 goals and 8 assists.
The midfield conductor of the Weser, Johan Micoud, is also looked for in vain. The brain of the Bremen champions from 2004 never quite came to a double-double for Werder in his four seasons. Three times he narrowly missed it: 2004 10 goals / 8 assists, 2005 8/9 and 2006 8/14.
To finish off, we’ll add another one. A Super-Double-Double would be a Double-Double, where the player scored 20 goals and 20 assits. Since this has not happened so far – not even a 15/15 season could be reached so far – the players with at least 20 goals and 10 assits or 10 goals and 20 assists will be discussed here.
13 players have achieved this so far. Ten of them reached the 20 goals and only three registered the 20 assists that were chosen as the cut here.
Accordingly, the group is divided into strikers like Huntelaar (2012: 29/11) and Sand (2001: 22/10) and midfielders like De Bruyne (2015: 10/21) and Mkhitaryan (2016: 11/20).
For Bayern, only Makaay and Ribery appear in this exclusive list. With a total of four players – Lewandowski (x2), Mkhitaryan and Chapuisat – Dortmund appears most frequently here.
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