Italy's players ran most distance during group phase of Euro 2016
The Italian team of Antonio Conte ran more distance during the group phase than any team in Euro 2016. Check out the data on all 24 teams.
As is customary these days, Uefa provide us with all sorts of statistics in which to analyse and compare teams. Clearly on their own they do not give a complete picture but can certainly help draw some characteristics about how teams play, or indeed how they have been forced to play. Here we look at the distance that each team covered across their three group games and Spain's opponents in the last 16, Italy, top the table.
The running men
Italy have been rejuvinated in this competition. Conte has them playing with desire and strength and although many commentators - including most from their own country - didn't give them much of a prayer coming into the Euros, they are now being given the dark horse tag due to this return to solidness that has formed part of the Italian teams' DNA for so many successful decades.
In their first game against the much more fancied Belgium the Azzurri ran just short of 120 km, a full five kilometres more than the next best team, Ukraine. This physical effort seems to be being used. to great effect it must be said, to compensate for other elements lacking in their game. In total, the Italian lads ran 337.20 km across three games, a table topping average of 112.4 km. It should be noted that in their third game, a dead-rubber from their perspective against Ireland, their intensity in this regard dropped considerably.
More ball, less running
Spain, on the other hand, sit around the middle of the table on this metric, and this is unlikely to be of much surprise to those who watch the team play. By keeping the ball - and their ability in this regard is unmatched internationally - they are able to conserve energy to use for quick closing down of opposition players at key moments. They dominated possession in their three group games but must be wary of the complacency that this can breed, as seen to a degree against Croatia which proved to be so costly.
Distance (km) covered in the group stage of Euro 2016
|Position||Team||Game 1||Game 2||Game 3||Total||Average|
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