The 'tiki-taka' does not lead in the four major European leagues

Neither Barça, nor City, nor Bologna, nor Bayer Leverkusen transform their ball possession into the leadership of their respective competitions.


There is a maximum in football that is irrefutable. If you score more goals than the opponent, you win. Point. That is the end. However, the means to carry out that simple premise is far from being the same on all teams. Thus, in an era where possession is associated with dominance and this desire for the ball is understood as the throwing weapon par excellence against the rival goal, it is surprising that none of the leaders of the four major European leagues are the teams with the greatest possession of the ball of its championship, according to data from the CIES Football Observatory. Thus, neither Barça can with Madrid, nor City with Liverpool, nor Bologna with Juve, nor Bayer Leverkusen with Borussia Monchengladbach. They lead a parallel competition with the dominance of the ball as a reward, but the leadership is from others.

It matters what, not how

In LaLiga, Barça tyrannizes the ranking with 63.8%. And it is tyrannical because Real Sociedad, second, is 7.5 percentage points (56.3%) of the culé set. There is more distance between the first and the second than that found between the men of Imanol Alguacil and a Villarreal located in the twelfth position (49.1%). Sevilla (54.5%) and Madrid (54.4%) close the head quartet with almost identical numbers. An Eibar in fifteenth place in the league classification appears next to the elite in this aspect in question.

What matters is the how, and not the what. Clear proof of this is LaLiga Smartbank. Cádiz has matched the best start in its history, 80 years later, being the second set with less time the ball in its possession of the category, with 45%, only 'surpassed' by 44.7% of Sporting de Gijón.

Also, it impacts that of the three most overwhelming matches of Valverde's men, understanding crushing as ball control, they have only added three points out of nine possible. Barcelona players beat Betis 5-2 at Camp Nou with a 68.8% possession; to fall against Athletic Club in Bilbao (1-0, also with 68.8%) and against Granada in Los Cármenes (2-0, with 66.9%). On the other hand, Madrid, undefeated leader, drew against Valladolid (1-1) in the match in which he amassed more ball (65.4%). It is important to be horizontal, but sometimes the vertical premium.

Red is more intense than blue

In England, Manchester City of Guardiola succumbs to the vertigo of Liverpool Klopp, despite having a better average possession (62.5%) than its neighbors (60%). Those in the city of the Beatles are more effective than those in the place where Oasis was born. Thus, the network band counts for victories its eight disputed matches (24 points), seeing the citizen getting smaller and smaller by the rearview mirror, thanks to the eight points that already exist between the two (16). The third in the fight for the ball, Tottenham (55.9%), is far from competing for the positions of honor this campaign: they are immersed in a mini-crisis that places them ninth with 11 units.

Pochettino's own team has the best data in a game, so far, of the four best leagues. A 74.8% possession that did not serve the Spurs to beat Newcastle on their visit to London (0-1). Like the City succumbed in Norwich (3-2) in the clash in which they enjoyed greater dominance of the ball (69.7%). From England they already point out that Guardiola wants rock and roll to give electricity to a game that is too slow at times.

The 'catenaccio' is part of the past

So, in Italy, a country where rock football is a memory and more and more is committed to the culture of the combinatorial game and possession (no squad rules the ranking with an iron fist); It is shocking to see Bologna at the head of this table in love with the ball (58.7%), ahead of three colossi such as the Naples of Ancelotti (58.6), the refurbished Inter Conte (58.3) and Juventus of the always proactive Sarri (57.6). All very tight, yes. However, Vecchia Signora has added 10 points more than those of Sinisa Mihajlovic, despite accumulating less possession time than Bolognese.

Milan must comply with seeing his name among the top positions in this type of classification and is followed by a 57.4% possession. The Rossoneri do not raise their heads and have just hired Stefano Pioli (already disliked by the fans) to try to turn the team's situation: they are thirteenth at 10 points of Juve, like Bologna, demonstrating that possession does not win championships.

No one takes the ball from Leverkusen

in a Bundesliga marked by energy drinks and the resurrection of Borussia Monchengladbach; It is the aspirin team that rules. Peter Bosz leads from the bench a young and colorful team where Kai Havertz shines on the green (the big ones already look at the bottom of their pockets). However, their 68.3% possession (highest number in Europe), has only earned them at the moment to place seventh in the classification, although only two points behind the leader.

The aforementioned Gladbach commands the equal race for the league title, despite being sixth in terms of ball possession (52.5%). Thus, the trident Plea-Thuram-Embolo is being able more than the long combinations of Bayer. In second and third place are the classics of Germany, Bayern (with n at the end in this case) and the 'other' Borussia, that of Dortmund, with 63.3% and 60.5% respectively. The head quintet is closed by Werder Bremen (53.1%) and Eintracht de Frankfurt (52.6%), sets that are already further from the top positions.

In most cases, the leaders of the four leagues have a taste for possession, but that is not the key to their leadership, as you can see with the numbers in hand. If the opponent does not have the ball can not hurt, but that equation is lame if the mystery corresponding to the goal is not cleared. We already said it at the beginning: If you score more goals than the opponent, you win. Tiki-Taka does not assure you of championships.



Photos from as.com
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