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Who Are Soccer's Possession Kings?

Is it Barcelona or Bayern Munich?

Is Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich side the new Barcelona? Are they playing the tiki taka style even better than Barcelona, the originators of the possession soccer style? Are Guardiola’s Munich side the new possession kings of world football?

Well, if you watch this video below it certainly seems like it Bayern Munich are better at keeping the ball and pinging it in and around the opposing team.

As the announcer rightly says, "It's like they're playing with 13 players." And it's not like Bayern Munich is playing against some low level second division soccer club. No, Bayern Munich is playing against Manchester City, one of the best soccer clubs in the world, who won the English Premier League just a few years ago. Take a look at how many passes Bayern Munich string together - amazing how they hold on to the ball and then win it back so quickly when they do actually lose it.

 

Hopefully, what will happen in the coming months is we'll see Bayern Munich face off against Barcelona in the Champions League once again. Then we'll know who are the true masters of the tiki taka style of soccer. Then we’ll know who the true possession kings of world soccer are.

Last year, Bayern Munich beat Barcelona in the Chamions League with a total aggregate score of 7-0. Yes, Messi didn't even score in the two matches, believe it or not. And it wasn't just the scoreline that was embarrassing for Barcelona, it was the way the Bayern controlled the game and didn't concede possession time to Barca. Now, with Guardiola managing Munich, I’m sure he’s going to want to keep the soccer ball even more. But I'm sure Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and new signing, Neymar, won't let that happen again.

In the Bundesliga thus far, having played 12 matches, Bayern Munich are averaging 71% of the possession each game.

Opponent
Bayern Munich's Possession
Result
Borussia Monchengladbach
59%
Win: 3-1
Eintracht Frankfurt
70%
Win: 1-0
Nurnberg
81%
Win: 2-0
SC Freiburg

78%

Tie: 1-1

Hannover 96
67%
Win: 2-0
Schalke 04
69%
Win: 4-0
VfL Wolfsburg
71%
Win: 1-0
Bayer Leverkusen
78%
Tie: 1-1
Mainz
78%
Win: 4-1
Hertha Berlin
67%
Win: 3-2
TSG Hoffenheim
63%
Win: 2-1
FC Augsburg
72%
Win: 3-0
Dortumnd
63%
Win: 3-0
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
78%
Win: 2-0
Werder Bremen
74%
Win: 7-0
Hamburg SV
75%
Win: 3-1
Borussia Monchengladbach
64%
Win: 2-0
VfB Stuttgart
73%
Win: 2-1
Average per game
71%
 

In the La Liga thus far, having played 13 matches, Barcelona are averaging 67% of the possession each game.

Opponent
Barcelona's Possession
Result
Levante
78%
Win: 7-0
Malaga
74%
Win: 1-0
Valencia
64%
Win: 3-2
Sevilla
66%
Win: 3-2
Rayo Vallecano
54%
Win: 4-0
Real Sociedad
71%
Win: 4-1
Almeria
71%
Win: 2-0
Real Valladolid
73%
Win: 4-1
Osasuna
76%
Tie: 0-0
Real Madrid
55%
Win: 2-1
Celta Vigo
60%
Win: 3-0
Espanyol
74%
Win: 1-0
Real Betis
56%
Win: 4-1
Granada

58%

Win: 4-0
Athletic Bilbao
62%
Loss: 0-1
Villarreal
76%
Win: 2-1
Getafe
72%
Win: 5-2
Elche
64%
Win: 4-0
Atletico Madrid
69%
Tie: 0-0
Levante
74%
Tie: 1-1
Malaga
71%
Win: 3-0
Valencia
65%
Lost: 3-2
Average per game
67%
 


We'll keep these tables updated throughout the season to see whether Bayern Munich or Barceona are the true possession kings are in world football.

As far as wins and losses, both team are undeated but Bayern has two ties and Barcelona has one. Barcelona has also played one more game than Bayern. It's a long season, so we'll see who has the most wins but also the best possession per game average.

Bayern Munich had an amazing 81% of the posssession versus Nurnberg. I wonder if Bayern can top that number, say hit 90%...I could happen, especially if the team they're facing loses a man to a red card.

Barcelona had 78% of the possession in their first game versus Levante. So far, Barcelona haven't looked like Barcelona teams of the past, as they've now started to try to hit the long ball from time to time and counter attack what with Neymar out on the wings - he's incredibly fast.


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