FC Barcelona lead the league in possession. GRAPHIC: FCB

Xavi Hernández said on Tuesday that with Luis Enrique as coach “the style is the same with a few differences but the philosophy has not changed.” The statistics bear him out. Yet again Barça remain clear leaders in the rankings that refer to controlling play. The blaugranes are way ahead of their rivals when it comes to possession in the league. They have enjoyed 68.4% of the ball per match, with Real Madrid second (57.2%), Rayo third (57.1%), followed by Celta (56.5%) and Real Sociedad (53.5%).

Barça are the team who have attempted most passes and the one who has completed most in the first 11 games of the season. In both cases they are almost a thousand ahead of their nearest rivals. Furthermore, Barça also lead the league when it comes to percentage of successful passes.

TEAM
PASSES
(Per game)
GOOD PASSES
(Per game)
%GOOD PASSES
FC Barcelona 7,183 (653) 6,335 (576)  88.19%
R.Madrid
6,200 (564) 5,406 (491)  87.19%
Celta Vigo
5,326 (484)  4,155 (378)  78.01%
Rayo Vallecano
5,115 (465) 4,014 (365)  78.48%
Athletic Club
5,024 (457)  3,748 (341)  74.6%
Sevilla
4,723 (429) 3,646 (331)  77.2%
Valencia
4,582 (416)  3,625 (329)  79.11%
Córdoba
4,532 (412)  3,433 (312)  75.75%
Atlético Madrid
4,514 (410)  3,469 (315)  76.85%
R.Sociedad 4,504 (409)  3,441 (313)  76.4%

 In the last 11 league matches the play in games involving Barça has taken place on the whole in midfield (51.83%). In the graphic below you can see that the blaugranes have taken the initiative in matches with 32.52% occurring in the attacking last third, whilst only 15.63% has taken place in the last third in their own half.

Elsewhere, there are 4 Barça players who amongst the top 10 most successful passers in the league. They are: Ivan Rakitic (616), Sergio Busquets (576), Dani Alves (534) and Leo Messi (519). This ranking is led by Real Madrid’s Toni  Kroos (753) who is followed by Rayo’s Trashorras (732). Barça is the side with most representatives in this top 10 with Leo Messi, curiously enough, the only striker included.

PLAYER
GOOD PASSES
% GOOD PASSES
Kroos (R.Madrid)
753 93.66%
Trashorras (Rayo)
732 87.14%
Rakitic (Barça)
616 90.72%
Modric (R.Madrid)
586 90.57%
Busquets (Barça)
576 91.28%
Ramos (R.Madrid)
567 89.43%
Alves (Barça)
534 88.7%
Cabral (Celta)
529 84.91%
Messi (Barça)
519 84.12%
Krohn-Dehli (Celta) 514 85.38%

*Stats provided by Opta