No club made so far a greater percentage of passes backwards than current Premier League leaders Manchester City: 41.6%. This reflects the emphasis put on possession by Guardiola’s side.
Six other teams from the five major European leagues are in the top 10 positions of the table:
Chelsea (4th), Arsenal (5th), Sassuolo (7th), Barcelona (8th), Paris St-Germain (9th) and Real Madrid (10th).
The only exceptions are Shakhtar Donetsk (2nd), Lokomotiv Moscow (3rd) and Ferencvaros (6th).
Conversely, with only 24.0% of passes backwards, the bottom-ranked Championship team Wycombe Wanderers are at the bottom of this table too.
The more competitive the leagues, the higher the percentage of backward passes.
The greatest proportion of passes backwards was recorded for the English Premier League (36.5%).
The time for kick and rush is definitely over. This is not that much the case for less performing championships.
The lowest percentage of backward passes was observed in the Austrian Bundesliga (29.6%).
More statistics at team level are to be found in the CIES Football Observatory Performance Atlas.
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.
CIES – Centre International d’Étude du Sport
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