Barcelona and Madrid lose half an hour per game

One of the controversies of this last day of the League has been the added time of the Classic. Barcelona protested when considering that the four minutes of discount were insufficient for the time that had been lost. But it is a very recurring complaint in all matches and one of the pending issues of the referees. Velasco Carballo, president of the Arbitration Committee, has indicated this on occasion. But do you really know how much effective playing time there is in a match? Well in LaLiga the average is 53 minutes per game. Namely, out of every 90 minutes that a game lasts, 37 are lost between preparing free kicks, throw-ins, goal kicks, protests, celebrations, changes …

Of the league, The teams that make the most of the match time to play are Barcelona, ​​with almost 60 minutes on average (59 minutes and 45 seconds), Real Madrid (57:52) and Villarreal (56:51). Atlético, leader of the First Division, is fourth with an average of 55 minutes and 44 seconds. Instead, The teams in which time is lost the most are Getafe (47:20), Granada (48:38) and Alavés (49:33). Almost half an entire game is stopped playing. Some statistics that are related to others. Since the teams that have more possession and less fouls commit (Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid, Cádiz, Villarreal …) are the ones that average the most actual playing time. Instead, those with less possession and more fouls on the opponent occupy the last places in effective play.

Real game time per game

Equipment Effective time (minutes)
Barcelona 59:45
Real Madrid 57:52
Villarreal 56:51
Atlético de Madrid 55:44
Huesca 55:00
Elche 54:56
Seville 54:14
Real Betis 53:57
Cadiz 53:14
Athletic club 52:42
I raised 52:24
Valencia CF 52:02
Celta Vigo 51:51
Osasuna 51:30
Real society 51:14
Eibar 50:04
Real Valladolid 49:52
Alaves 49:33
Granada CF 48:38
Getafe 47:20
Source: OPTA

Another proof of them are the games with the longest effective time: Osasuna-Real Madrid (66:56), Barcelona-Elche (66:40) and Sevilla-Elche (66.37). On the other hand, in the three games that were played the least, the azulones were present: Getafe-Granada (39:28), Valladolid-Getafe (38:09) and Eibar-Getafe (37:32).

One of the explanations that were given that there is less and less football and more stoppages was the presence of the VAR and its reviews, a fact that exacerbated it, but that the problem already came from before. The last two seasons without VAR were already reduced: in 16-17 an average of 54 minutes and 30 seconds was recorded and the following season, still without the technology, it dropped twelve seconds. Already With the advent of video refereeing, the time was further shortened to 53 minutes and 8 seconds. Last season it fell again to 51:59 and in this season the average has risen almost one point to 52:56.

Real time per game in the five major leagues

Competition 2020/21 2019/2020 2018/2019 2017/2018 2016/2017
The league 52:56 51:59 53:08 54:18 54:30
A series 57:00 55:24 55:17 56:53 56:54
Premier League 56:24 55:49 55:30 56:11 55:51
League 1 55:59 55:40 54:29 55:08 55:59
Bundesliga 56:35 55:31 56:02 56:00 56:01
Source: OPTA

LaLiga, moreover, is the one in which less is played of the great championships. In Serie A is where time is used the most (57 minutes), followed by the Bundesliga (56:35), Premier (56:24) and Ligue 1 (55:59). Unlike the Spanish league, all of them have increased their effective playing time compared to five seasons ago.

What wastes of time can be recovered?

Law 7 of the IFAB Football Rules stipulates what kind of actions that imply a loss of time can be recovered at the discretion of the referee. The braid may extend each lost playing period for the following reasons: substitutions, attention or withdrawal of injured players, deliberate loss of time, disciplinary sanctions, pauses for authorized medical reasons (rehydration breaks, which cannot exceed one minute maximum, or refreshment breaks, between 90 seconds and three minutes), delays caused by VAR checks and any other reason that includes significant delay in resuming the game such as goal celebrations.