There are a variety of reasons why MLS differs from top European soccer leagues. Culture, tactics, skill, speed, salaries and a business-like approach to playing soccer results in the beautiful game being played on (and in) a perfect pitch. In Europe especially, possession is an important asset. Subsequently, the skill and intelligence to translate continuously fluid ball movement into dangerous attacks in bursts of offensive virtuosity is simply spectacular.
Many players in leagues all around the world at various levels struggle with passing to their teammates with an unrestricted number of touches. It seems simple enough, but there is far too much evidence of the contrary at the professional level. Mastering the fundamentals of passing, shooting, running/conditioning, positioning and familiarity are the overarching keys of great soccer players and teams. It’s only after these elements are achieved that sustained creativity can be implemented.
Bayern Munich expertly demonstrates in the video below one reason why they are the best German club with the best players, but also why they are truly one of the best soccer teams in the world. In a close game, one touch can literally make all the difference.
“Pep’s Boys” in Munich have been known to finish a game with 60-70+% of possession. It’s become the status quo. In January of this year, Bayern Munich had the highest average percentage of possession in Europe at 71.1% (101 Great Goals online). Second was Barcelona, Pep Guardiola’s former squad.
If your opponents don’t have the ball, it’s usually pretty difficult for them to score…