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19th Jun 2024

Incredible stat that fans are hailing as the return to proper football

Harry Warner

Arda Guler

We are so back

Everyone loves a goal from outside the box, whether that be a pile driver, caressed curler or a screaming volley and Euro 2024 is not failing to deliver.

Yesterday’s breath-taking match between Turkey and Georgia saw the continuation of a trend that is delighting spectators and inciting the return to what fans are calling ‘proper football’.

Mert Muldur gave Turkey the lead with a ridiculous volley followed by Arda Guler’s 26 metre curled drive to give the Turks all three points.

This latest helping of eye-catching screamers took the total tally of goals scored from outside the box to 11 in just 12 games, almost guaranteeing one long-range strike per match.

With 34 goals scored across the first round of matches, this means 32.4% of goals have been bagged from outside the box.

With only 19 goals scored from outside the box in the entirety of Euro 2020 (13.4% of all goals), this tournament has seen almost a 2.5x increase in long-range hits.

Meanwhile in the 2022 Qatar World Cup it took 17 matches for the first strike from outside the box to find the back of the net.

Fans across social media have reacted to the positive trend in players with traction-engine-powered feet with many suggesting a return to ‘real football’ and blaming Pep Guardiola for a lack of long-range goals.

One user wrote on X: “Football without Pep is just beautiful

Another user said: “The beautiful game is back!”

Finally one user wrote: “What a stat. The whole tournament is just who can score the best goal challenge.”

It’s not just long-range hits that have seen an increase in stock with own goals also consistently appearing throughout with three scored in the opening round of matches.

This means 25% of matches have included an own goal.

It’s still early days, but stats show that players are not even taking more shots with a higher percentage of long-range hits in every single Euros since 1980, bar in 2016 where 37.3% of shots were outside the box.

This ultimately means the players at this tournament either have got their eye, or are getting luckier than normal. Regardless it’s all to the enjoyment of the fans.

So far, everyone is loving it, with matches averaging just under three goals a game, shock upsets, screamers, own goals and plenty of talking points, Euro 2024 is shaping up to be one for the ages.