BARCELONA

Barcelona midfielders' major shooting deficiency compared to Real Madrid counterparts

The difference between Barcelona and Real Madrid’s midfielder shooting statistics is incredibly striking.

Barcelona midfielders' major shooting deficiency compared to Real Madrid counterparts
Franco Romano/SportPhoto24/D/AFP Franco Romano/SportPhoto24/D/AFP

Barcelona midfielders are not shooting enough and that is clear from the data available. Comparing the numbers to those of their title rivals shows that Real Madrid’s midfielder are miles ahead in the shooting department.

Anyone who watched the Clásico will remember the bombardment on Ter Stegen’s goal from outside the box, with Valverde, Casemiro, Kroos and Isco all shooting regularly from distance.

The difference between Barcelona and Real Madrid’s midfielder shooting stats is incredibly striking. Take a look at the figures for Barça’s midfielders: percentage of total shots taken by midfielders, 9.22%; average shots inside the box, 5.56; average shots outside the area, 3.67; average shots on target, 3.56; and average goals, 1.56.

And here are those same figures for Madrid’s midfielders: percentage of total shots taken by midfielders, 34.43%; average shots inside the box, 13.57; average shots outside the area, 20.86; average shots on target, 11.57; and average goals, 3.29.

Toni Kroos has taken 49 shots from outside the box this season.

Madrid midfielders shoot five times more from outside box

That means that Madrid midfielders shoot from outside the box more than five times as much as their Barça counterparts. Madrid’s midfield also have three times as many total shots, three times as many shots on target, and three times as many shots inside the box.

To compile the statistics, De Jong, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Arthur, Aleñá, Rafinha, Riqui Puig and Collado were counted as Barça’s midfielders; while for Madrid, the midfielders included were Casemiro, Kroos, Valverde, Modric, Isco, Lucas Vázquez and James.

The data is very significant. De Jong, for example, has taken one shot outside the area compared to the 49 taken by Kroos. The former has had a total of eight shots in 36 games, while the latter has fired 63 shots in 32 games. Five of Madrid’s midfielder have reached or exceeded 30 shots on goal: Kroos (63), Casemiro (52), Modric (32), Valverde (30) and Isco (30). Meanwhile, the midfielder with the highest shot count at Barcelona is Rakitic with 28.

Ivan Rakitic.

The fact that Barcelona’s midfielders are so far behind their Madrid counterparts when it comes to shooting can only come down to two explanations. One would simply be a lack of aptitude in that specific facet of the game. The other would be that they have been instructed by the coaching staff to look for other options instead of testing the opposing keeper.

What can be pondered from these stats is whether Barcelona’s players, out of an excessive respect for Messi, will always try to find the Argentine captain instead of taking a shot themselves. But what is clearly evident is the fact that Barcelona’s midfielders have a major deficiency in the shooting department.