CIES Football Observatory


Issue n°196 - 25/09/2017

Ball possession:
Celtic heads the rankings

The fresh collaboration with the leading football data company InStat allows us to present exclusive analysis on the performance of clubs throughout Europe. The first CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post of this kind focuses on the percentage of ball possession since the start of the season for teams from 35 national competitions. The highest figure overall was recorded for Celtic Glasgow: 70.8%.

The Scottish team completed 659 passes per match compared to an average of 196 for their opponents. Celtic made 7.1 passes per possession phase, while their opponents only achieved three. The average duration of a possession was 23.5 seconds for Celtic and only 11.1 seconds for their opponents.

Big-5 league clubs are over-represented in the top positions of the rankings. This reflects the greater technical ability of their players, as well as the stronger importance given to possession in the playing philosophy of a higher proportion of teams. For more insights on data produced by InStat, please contact us.

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Ball possession
since the start of the season (%) [A]

[B] Successful passes per match
[C] Passes per possession
[D] Seconds per possession

Data: InStat

Editeurs: Raffaele Poli, Roger Besson and Loïc Ravenel