Champions League Statistics: Total Football Style

Mzl
I realize that not everybody is into football statistics to the degree that I am.  Many fans are able to watch a game, appreciate it for what it is at face value, and after the match is over they are able to go back to their lives outside of football. I do not have that option. Much the same way a drug addict needs that next hit, a smoker needs that next drag, or Lionel Messi needs to make defenders look stupid, I need that next "top 10" ranking. I love to breakdown stats and try and determine what numbers are relevant to games and why. I especially like to analyze statistics relating to my beloved FC Barcelona. What do I get when I combine FC Barcelona, the Champions League, and my obsession for football statistics? Fortunately I get the TotalFootball CL 2010 app on my iphone.

After reading the paragraph above I probably should have been hired to do their marketing but unfortunately I wasn't, I just wanted to share this cool app I found.

This app is not purely for FC Barcelona fans of course as all 32 teams competing in the group stage are covered. The depth and variety of statistics are amazing. As an example, let's look at passing.  Under the "passing" category you can view player rankings for passes, passes received, successful passes, unsuccessful passes, all assists, goal assists, shot assists, all passes made in the attacking third of the pitch, all successful passes made in the attacking third of the pitch, throw ins, goal kicks, goalkeeper throws, forward passes, square passes, backward passes, long passes, and short passes (as Barca fans might imagine, we dominate square passes and backward passes but only Sergio Busquets makes the top 10 for forward passes for Barca). That is just for passes! There are all types of attacking and defending statistics to keep stats nerds like me happy to no end. The app does cost $4.99, which may be a put-off for some, but the purchase was a no-brainer to me, I love this app. 

Here are some statistics that I found were interesting relating to FC Barcelona in this season's Champions League through four games:

*While I sometimes criticize Barca for the seemingly hundreds of passes that take place 40 yards from goal with no pressure, Barca have four of the top five players in terms of successful passes made in the attacking third of the field (Iniesta, Xavi, Messi, and Alves).  Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder was also on the list.

*Lionel Messi and David Villa are second and third in shots taken (27 and 19 respectively).

*Only FC Twente's Bryan Ruiz and Tottenham's Gareth Bale (aka Welsh Jesus) have more successful "take on's" than Andres Iniesta. I think a "take on" is similar to pornography in that I don't know if I could describe it but I know it when I see it. Ruiz and Bale are also in the top six for unsuccessful "take ons" while Iniesta is not. I don't know what this all means but if anyone out there is saying Andres Iniesta isn't efficient with his "take ons" you are wrong!

*Not a single Barcelona players shows up on ANY of the defensive lists. This is a good thing I suppose, we don't get as many blocks, tackles, interceptions, and clearances as other teams do because 65% of the time we have the ball.

A few non-Barca interesting statistics:

*Real Madrid's Xavi Alonso leads all players with 17 shot assists, although none of those shots actually became goals. With Ronaldo and Higuain at his disposal how is that possible?

*Benfica's Carlos Martins leads all players with five goal assists, yet Benfica have only scored six goals and sit third in group B. That is amazing to me, I know nothing else about Carlos Martins but this tells me he is capable of playing for a better team.

This app also gives amazing insight into exactly what is happening on the pitch and where, as the screenshot above demonstrates.  Go in and purchase this app because the only thing worse for me than having no stats to analyze is to have stats to analyze and nobody to discuss them with.  Visit www.totalfootballapps.com.

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