Who Bends It Like Beckham?

The vision of Peter Schmeichel running up to meet David Beckham’s corner kick in the 1999 Champions League final is one of those iconic footballing images that will live long in the memory as will the actual corner itself. From the two corners in injury time, Manchester United scored the two goals to win the game. The lesson to be learnt from those, apart from not giving up until the whistle goes, is the importance of taking a good corner. Therefore it is a routine that many teams dedicate hours of training to.

As with most things in football, different leagues have different styles of play so we decided to see if the various leagues around the world had differing results when it came to the taking of corners. The time frame we focused on, due to the various start dates of the many leagues, was for the last 12 months.

First things first, we looked at which league has the highest number of corners per game. As can be seen in the table below, the highest number of corners per game takes place in the Brazilian Seria A with the Spanish and English leagues not far behind. It is interesting that the league with the joint lowest is another South American league – the Argentinean Primera División. We can thus see that geography has no impact on the table itself.

When it came to the goals being scored, we first looked at all goals scored directly from corners. Once we had this number, we widened our search to include all goals that were scored from a period of play that begun with a corner. The numbers presented regarding the goals scored direct from corners were a bit of a surprise with the little heralded Norwegian Elitesrien leading the table. At the other end of the spectrum we saw the Australian A-League who had less than half the number of goals scored direct from corners than that of the Norwegians.

When it comes to goals in general from plays originating with a corner, we saw that the league that produces, on average, the highest number of goals from corners is again the Norwegian Elitesrien with over 4% of the corners taken in Norway ending with a goal. This is in contrast with the Argentinian Primera División, where the number of corners is already lower, and only 2.42% of their corners land up with a goal being scored.

With the new Eliteserien kicking off this weekend, we can expect this trend to continue so fans of the various teams in Norway should sit up and take notice when their teams get a corner!

Pictures Courtesy of:
www.flickr.com/photos/50086693@N02/7205404440

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