The debate over football timewasting is a major one, and it has resurfaced in LaLiga Santander, with numbers indicating that the difference in ball-in-play time can be as much as 15 minutes.
About the Playing Time in Spain
According to the data, true playing time in Spain’s top division on the last matchday ranged from 45 minutes for Atletico Madrid vs Valencia at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano to 60 minutes for Real Madrid vs Elche at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Furthermore, only Serie A had a lower average ball-in-play time than LaLiga Santander among Europe’s top five leagues. In the most recent round of matches, Spain averaged 53.28 minutes of actual playing time, somewhat more than Italy’s 52.92 minutes.
The Premier League (55.33 minutes), Bundesliga (56.99 minutes), and Ligue 1 (58.20 minutes) follow in that order, implying that matches in France had around five minutes more real game time than those in Spain.
Other Ball in Play Time
The match between Paris Saint-Germain and Reims in Ligue 1 provided spectators the most actual game time, with the ball in play for 68 minutes and 23 seconds, a huge difference from the 39.5 minutes of ball-in-play time between Genoa and Udinese in Serie A.
We can observe how long it takes to play a relatively tiny amount of football by looking at the shortest game on matchday 22 in LaLiga Santander in terms of ball-in-play duration, Atleti versus Valencia. The ball was in play for slightly over 45 minutes, yet the time from kickoff and the referee’s final whistle was 105 minutes.
The Premier League match between Brentford and Wolves, which was disrupted by an unapproved drone flying above the stadium, was an even more extreme situation. With 72 minutes remaining in the first half, the game was still in progress!