Soccer Is Life: Possession In Football/Soccer Is Useless As A Measure For Dominance

In the aftermath of the Champions League clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid (1-2) the discussions are heated. Reporters, fans and otherwise acknowledged experts debate who deserved the win. One word that comes repeatedly to the surface is “possession”. Here is the explanation of possession in football/soccer:

Possession means two things:

  1. Not knowing where to go or what to do with the ball
  2. Patience, waiting for an opportunity

This is what possession means, not more, not less. By now, everyone who is watching the European and International competitions on a regular basis should have gotten the message. You can control a game without the ball. As a matter of fact, it is very often easier to control without the ball, rather then with the ball. Besides of thousands of others, the most prominent example for this are last year’s CL games between Chelsea and Barca.

Hopefully the possession discussion as a measurement of who dominated a game makes its way out of football/soccer.