Long balls: Leicester 1st in England and 3rd in Europe

Scooper One | 18th Apr 2016

Long balls: Leicester 1st in England and 3rd in Europe

Leicester City’s success during current Premier League season is outstanding. The analysis of the percentage of long balls out of total passes confirms the exceptional feature of Claudio Ranieri’s team.

While the percentage of long balls for the best performing teams generally does not exceed 3%, this figure is almost 7% at Leicester. This is the highest level in England and the third in Europe.

All the data is available in issue number 146 of the CIES Football Observatory Big-5 Weekly Post. Only in two big-5 league clubs out of 98, the percentage of long balls compared to total passes is higher than at Leicester: Darmstadt (10.7%) and Ingolstadt (7.8%).

The highest figures in the three remaining big-5 leagues were recorded at Eibar (6.6%), Frosinone (6.3%) and Bastia (6.2%). At the opposite end of the spectrum are Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich (both 1.1%), Barcelona (1.4%), Juventus (1.6%) and Manchester City (2.4%).

The average percentage of long balls for Champions League semi-finalists is 2.1%. At league level, this percentage varies between 3.8% in Italy and 4.6% in Germany.

The figures in England and Spain (4.4%) are slightly greater than that observed in France (4.1%). In absolute terms, Deportivo La Coruña had the most recourse to long balls (851, two more than Leicester), while Bayern Munich the least (246).

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