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Champions League: like it short (Ajax) or long (Liverpool)?

Issue number 267 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post analyses the exclusive data produced by our partners InStat by ranking Champions League teams according to the average length of the passes achieved in domestic league games so far this season. Past edition semi-finalists Ajax have the lowest figure (15.96 meters), ahead of Paris St-Germain (16.17) and Barcelona (16.56).

At the opposite end of the table are Czech champions Slavia Praha with an average length of 19.82 meters (+24% compared to Ajax). Title holder Liverpool has so far achieved the fourth longest passes among group stage participants: 19.45 meters on average. This figure is significantly higher than for their main Premier League rivals Manchester City (17.39).

The majority of high-profile teams are among those making the shortest passes. Apart from Liverpool, the only recent Champions League finalist with an average length of passes greater than 18 meters is Atlético Madrid. Diego Simeone’s team achieved the third lowest number of passes per game (379), while Lucien Favre’s Borussia Dortmund made the most (735).