Length of passes: the best like it short

erica 1 nov

Issue number 263 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses the average length of passes by teams from 35 European domestic leagues.

The study highlights big discrepancies in playing styles.

There are almost 8 meters difference between the teams that executed the longest and shortest passes: Rotherham United (23.42m) and Paris St-Germain (15.85m). 

Many very competitive teams are in the top 25 of the rankings for the shortest passes, including Champions League semi-finalists FC Barcelona (2nd) and AFC Ajax (5th), as well as Europa League finalist Chelsea FC (4th).

The vast majority of teams executing the longest passes are in the bottom-half of the table in their respective leagues. Getafe CF is the exception that confirms the rule.

The analysis per league also reveals the persistence of cultural differences in the approach of the game.

Teams from the Scottish Premier League (21.08m) and the English Championship (20.58m) execute on average the longest passes.

At the opposite end of the table, we find the French Ligue 1 and the Finnish Veikkausliiga (18.89m in both cases).

Data comes from InStat.

About the CIES Football Observatory

The CIES Football Observatory is a research group within the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES). Created in 2005 by Dr. Raffaele Poli and Dr. Loïc Ravenel, the CIES Football Observatory currently comprises a staff of four full-time permanent researchers who specialise in the statistical analysis of football. Click here for more information.

About the CIES

The International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES) is an independent study centre located in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. It was created in 1995 as a joint venture between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the University of Neuchâtel, the City and State of Neuchatel. Click here for more information. Click here for more information.

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