Not too long ago the only statistic that really mattered in football was 'goals scored'.
So long as a team emerged victorious, their manager and fans were generally satisfied. How exactly that positive outcome was achieved was of little significance.
Things have rapidly changed since the publication of the book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game in 2003, however, and the release of the movie Moneyball in 2011 – based on the text - has only further boosted the use of data in football.
Sporting directors, managers, coaches and trainers are all using several data points as they make their decisions, but Moneyball has also drummed up plenty of interest in the matter among supporters.
Fans of the game want to know which team dominated possession, who had the most shots on target, who made the most tackles, what percentage of its chances a team converted, and so on.
It’s common knowledge these days that Bayern Munich generally dominate possession in the Bundesliga and that Barcelona complete a higher percentage of passes than any other team in La Liga.
There are plenty of surprising statistics as well, though.
Despite their supremacy in Serie A, Juventus were not the team with the most shots per game in 2013-14. The Turin giants tested opposing goalkeepers 15.8 times per match, whereas AC Milan – who only finished eighth in the table – averaged 16.2 shots per game.
Meanwhile, in the English Premier League, mid-table side Southampton outperformed powerhouses such as Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool when it came to possession last season, averaging 58.6 per cent.
To keep track of all the key data points in the five major European leagues - Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Serie A – Goal will team up with Huawei to present the Huawei European Team Ranking which will present all the statistics that matter in one handy widget, allowing you to sort Europe’s top teams by 12 categories:
- Goals scored per game
- Goals conceded per game
- Shots per game
- Passes per game
- Pass completion
- Clean sheet
- Passes in the final third per game
- Chance Conversion
- Average Possession
- Average Shooting Accuracy
- Average Tackles per game
- Accurate crosses per game
Want to keep track of all the key statistics in Europe’s top five leagues? Keep an eye out for the Huawei Team Ranking, due to be launched in the first week of September.