A heat map showing Mesut Ozil’s touches in La Liga during his three seasons at Real Madrid.
“In modern football, the vast majority of top-class European clubs agree on the basic principles of attacking play. It’s extremely rare to see a half-decent side knock a long ball from defence, and it’s become increasingly uncommon to witness relentless crossing from wide. Instead, top-level football is about short passing, through-balls, and exploiting pockets of space either side of the opposition defence. There are certain qualities you unquestionably require to play this way: patient midfield passers to initiate the buildup, incisive creators capable of penetration and quick forwards who can sprint beyond defences.” ESPN – Michael Cox (Video)