Barca and Liverpool lead ball-in-play stats but Bundesliga heads Big 5 league average

December 4 – Fans who want to see the ball in play get the best value of money in Europe’s Big 5 leagues if they watch the Bundesliga where the ball is in play on average 58.5% of the time. Sweden’s Allsvenskan tops the list of European leagues though with the ball in play 60.2% of the time.

Called the “average effective time” within a game, it is defined as the percentage of minutes in which the ball was in play. The data from InStat and analysis by the CIES Football Observatory covers 37 European leagues.

While the Bundesliga tops the Big 5 leagues, (4thoverall) Borussia Mönchengladbach lead the German team ranking 62.5% while Schalke are bottom with 55.1%.

In comparison Spain’s LaLiga are bottom of the Big 5 (17thoverall) with a 55.8% averaged led by Barcelona with 60.1%. But both LaLiga and Barca are behind the Premier League and and Liverpool with 56.5% and 62.2% respectively.

Teams playing in the Champions League (second in the table with 60.2% average) on average keep the ball on the pitch more. Belgium’s Club Brugge lead all European teams with 66.2%. The lowest team in Europe is Feirense in Portugal’s Primeira Liga with just 45.7%. The Primeira Liga is also the bottom ranked league with an average of 50.9%

“Europa League games are more fluid than the average observed at the level of the 35 competitions surveyed: 57.1% of effective time compared to 55.3%.” say the report authors.

“The highest percentage of minutes in which the ball was in play for clubs in national competitions was recorded for matches of the Swedish side GIF Sundsvall (63.7%). This is 18% more than for games of the Portuguese team Feirense.”

See the full report at

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