The lost football –

More and more players, coaches and even referees claim that In Spanish football there is a problem with losing time. in first division only 54% of the minutes are disputed, being the league, among the big five, with less effective play. Yes, there is a optimistic fact: in the last two seasons less time is being lost.

It was Pellegrini, last August, who sounded the alarm about this situation: “The players cannot be allowed to take so long. The Spanish is the slowest league in Europe, it is something that favors a team that defends. We have to make an effort between players, coaches and referees so that the Spanish League is not this embarrassing. We have to take care of the show.” Despite the fact that LaLiga has improved the average effective time in these last two seasons (53 minutes and 21 seconds this season, compared to 51’59’ in 19-20)it is still behind the rest of the major leagues. The Bundesliga averages 54′ and 29′ of play; Series A, 54′ and 40′; the Premier League, 55′ and 07″, and Ligue 1, 56′ and 18″.


Effective playing time in LaLiga, according to data from Opta.

Real Madrid and Villarreal have starred in two of the three games in which the ball spent the longest time rolling. In the first leg, at the Bernabéu, 69% of the minutes were used, while in the second leg they were 67%. Getafe-Barcelona was the match with the most effective time (70%) last season. Three of these four teams are the ones that get the most out of each game and offer the most spectacle to the fans who buy their tickets. Real Madrid is the one that plays the most in Spain, taking advantage of an average of 60% of the minutes; Barcelona follows him in the relationship with 58%; and Villarreal ranks third with 57%. Interestingly, Getafe, which in recent years has always been in last place in this statistic, has climbed to 15th position among those who play the most. He gives the title of the team that has lost the most football minutes this season to Valencia (49%). The che play an average of 48 minutes per game. Which is equivalent to going to see only the first part and its added time. Valencia was the protagonist of the two matches with less effective time (against Getafe, 41 minutes; against Real Sociedad, 42). And it is that it is a style of play that is usually accompanied by being the one who commits the most fouls (641) and the one who sees the most yellow (123) and red (8) cards.

The referees, pointed out in part as guilty of allowing so little to be played, responded in the last appearance with data. They have given an order to increase the added time, which has grown by 32%: from the average of 5 minutes and 49 seconds of the 2020-21 season, to 7 minutes and 42 seconds of the latter. “We have committed ourselves and football appreciates it. It is nonsense, in a positive sense, the 32% increase in added time”, he stated. Undiano Mallenco. But not only did they boast of their contribution to try to put an end to this problem, they also put the spotlight on the players and clubs.

The Arbitration Committee showed a video in which the 20 First Division teams appeared with their players lying on the grass when they were in the last minutes of the game and winning by the minimum. “From the utmost respect to the clubs, these images are what they are. We do not say at all that the 20 teams were faking it. but it’s a problem of football in First and Second and that is being imitated. It is a problem of Spanish football. In these images there is a common denominator, the teams were winning and muscle injuries arose in the last minutes… When your team does it, it seems good to you and when the rival does it, it seems bad to you”.