“Any ideas on the most completed passes ever recorded in a football match?” asks Charlie Welton. Despite locking all our finest boffins into rooms tasked with watching every football match of the last 120 years to add up every pass, we could not get the answer. Instead we fired up the Stat-Signal and Opta mercifully saved us decades of work to review Europe’s top five leagues since 2006-07. Where better to start than at a Barcelona game, as ball-hogging has become a pastime for the Catalonians in the past two decades. Their short-passing heroics has brought them many wins, trophies and kudos, peaking at 988 completed passes in May 2011 against Levante. Inexplicably, they were only able to secure a 1-1 draw. Manchester City collectively tippy-tapped the ball around 942 times in their 5-0 pummelling of Swansea in April 2018. It was not their most successful day of passing, which happened just one month prior when they played Basel off the park in the Champions League in a 2-1 home defeat to the Swiss side, wasting 979 passes in the process. Luckily for City, they had hammered them in the first leg. The only side to pass the 1,000 mark… Read full this story
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