One’s a majestic Spaniard who’s played in La Liga – and scored against Real Madrid. The other is a former World Cup player with Serbia who’s weaved his sublime magic all season.
And the pair are set to meet in a Hyundai A-League Semi Final this Saturday in Sydney.
The reigning Johnny Warren Medal winner Diego Castro brings his glorious magic to Sydney this Saturday to face the sublime Serbian Milos Ninkovic and his Sydney FC side when Sydney FC and Perth Glory lock horns in the Hyundai A-League Semi Final 1.
Both men have played 26 matches this season so we can make a direct comparison between the two.
Who is more important to their side – the playmaker Serb or the roaming Spanish striker?
Ninkovic has scored nine goals for the Sky Blues.
Castro’s goal against Melbourne City in the Elimination Final against Melbourne City took him to 13 for the season.
He’s the leading goalscorer for Perth Glory.
But five of Castro’s goals have been penalties, meaning Ninkovic has been more prolific from open play.
Castro has fired off more shots than Ninkovic with 49 to 36.
But Ninkovic has been more accurate, with 55.6% of his efforts hitting the target, compared to 44.9% of Castro’s.
Ninkovic has made 1153 passes compared to Castro’s 964.
But the Spaniard is more accurate, finding his target 79.3% of the time, compared to the Serbian’s 77.5%.
Ninkovic has supplied 10 assists, while Castro has seven.
THREAT TO OPPOSITION
The tricky Spaniard has embarked on 71 successful dribbles this season, compared to just 39 by the Serbian.
Not surprisingly, each is heavily fouled as opposition teams often cross the line in order to suppress their threats.
Castro has won 78 free-kicks this season and Ninkovic 57.
Castro loves to cross the ball.
He’s put in 70 crosses this season, compared to Ninkovic’s 17.
This is probably due to the freer role he has for Glory than Ninkovic has for Sydney FC.
Castro has contested just seven aerial duels all season and won only one.
Despite being just six centimetres taller, Ninkovic has been far more vigorous in the air.
He has contested 47 aerial duels, winning 22 of them.
Ninkovic has engaged in 50 tackles this season compared to Castro’s 40.
But Ninkovic is far more effective, emerging successful in 74% of those tackles, compared to 52% for Castro.
Ninkovic has picked up five yellow cards while Castro has been booked four times.
And the Serb has given up 32 free-kicks compared to Castro’s 20.
Both are desperate to win the Championship. To do so, they must win on Saturday or their seasons end.
Wherever you are, do not miss this game. You’ll see two of the greats in the most cut-throat of games.