In modern football, there are only two ways for a mid to lower-side club to break into the top ranks. The first is a large investment from a new owner, examples of which are the impressive Manchester City, Paris Saint Germain, and recently Newcastle United. The other way, which is obviously more difficult, is to plan smartly by signing top young talents and making a system that helps the clubs rise through the ranks over the years. Real Sociedad are a perfect example of that.
Ever since the 2019-20 season, the Erreala have been on a steady rise and are currently third in the La Liga table. Their rise is not a one-season wonder but has been built carefully over the years, brick by brick, giving them a solid foundation. This has now paid rich dividends, with Real Sociedad among the top-performing teams in Europe.
What has made their rise even more spectacular is the lack of any star players in the team. Instead, their style is based on teamwork and defensive stability, which gives them a solid platform to build their season on.
Real Sociedad stats and playing style
Real Sociedad’s rise this season has been impressive, but the stats behind this tell an even more exciting story. In the current season, Sociedad have scored only 290 goals from 30 matches which is quite abysmal by their standards, and yet they find themselves in the third spot. Their goal difference is also only a +9, which doesn’t scream a top-tier team.
However, despite that, Sociedad are four points above fourth-placed Atletico Madrid. So what explains their rise? First of all, even after scoring so few goals, the team has managed to win close encounters, with seven of their fixtures won by a single goal difference.
This has been possible because of their impressive defence, which has helped close out several matches. And just because they scored fewer goals doesn’t mean they play negative football. In fact, Socieadas ranks among the top teams when it comes to Buildup Disruption Percentage (BDP) and Gegenpressing Intensity (GPI), two metrics which determine how attacking a team plays.
This is because they always try to ensure that the ball does;t come towards their goals, and…