One of the most underrated skills on a football pitch is a player’s aerial abilities. Being good and effective in the air has its own perks and comes in very handy in tense situations.
From an attacking point of view, it is not necessary for a player to be good in the air. The great Lionel Messi hasn’t been that effective aerially in his career, yet has managed to be devastating for most oppositions.
Players with tall and strong physiques provide a different kind of advantage, especially in the opposition box. Their heading abilities not only help in defending but come of great use during set-pieces and dealing with lofted crosses.
Last season, clubs found the back of the net with some stunning headers from their players. Here, we take a look at the clubs who scored the most number of headers in the 2021-22 season.
Note: Europe’s top five leagues are considered
Barcelona had a rather disappointing start to the 2021-22 campaign, having lost Lionel Messi to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer transfer window. It only got worse for the Catalan club as they struggled on the pitch without the Argentine.
After a poor first half, the Spanish giants eventually recovered and finished second in La Liga, 13 points adrift of champions Real Madrid. In the process, Barcelona scored 68 goals in their 38 matches.
Despite not being the tallest of the sides, the Catalan club managed to score 16 goals through headers. Their tally of 16 is the highest in La Liga, with Sevilla scoring the second-most headers (11) in the league.
Luuk De Jong and Ronald Araujo were the major contributors, scoring four and three headers respectively.
Having bounced between the first and second tier of German football frequently, Freiburg have managed to stay in the top division since 2016. It is impressive how they have gone about their football in the past few seasons.
They had a season to remember in the 2021-22 campaign, qualifying for the UEFA Europa League and ending up as runners-up in the DFB-Pokal. Finishing sixth in the Bundesliga last season was a commendable achievement and there are certainly a lot of positives to take for Freiburg.
Their league run saw them score 58 goals in 34 matches. Out of them, 16 came through headers, accounting 27.58% of their total goals. Defender Philipp Leinhart and forward Jeong Woo-Yeong led the way with three header goals each to their name.
Liverpool were unlucky to have lost the Premier League after finishing just one point below champions Manchester City last season. Nonetheless, it was a fantastic campaign for the Reds, showcasing their ruthless and attacking approach on the pitch.
Jurgen Klopp’s side hardly found it difficult to find the back of the net and when they did there was little that could stop them. Liverpool ended the 2021-22 season with 94 goals, averaging 2.47 goals per game.
With some amazing crosses supplied in the box, the Reds managed to score 16 goals through headers in the Premier League. Despite not being the tallest, Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane were both able to score four and three headers respectively last season.
Rennes struggled with consistency last season, which is one of the major reasons why they finished three points short of a place in the UEFA Champions League. The French club registered 66 points in Ligue 1, finishing fourth and qualifying for the UEFA Europa League.
Rennes were very impressive in attack, scoring 82 goals in the 2021-22 campaign was the second-most number of goals in the league.
Out of their 82 goals, 18 of them came through headers. Forward Martin Terrier scored four headers while fellow attackers Gaetan Laborde and Serhou Guirassy scored three headers each last season.
1. Inter Milan
Serie A saw an exciting finish to the 2021-22 campaign, with both the Milan clubs going head-to-head for the title until the last day of the season. Eventually, it was AC Milan who triumphed over their local rivals to clinch the Scudetto after 11 years.
That being said, Inter Milan could be proud of their efforts last season. The Italian giants managed to score 84 goals in Serie A, the most by any team in the league.
With plenty of amazing attacking options at their disposal, it was hardly surprising to see Inter lead the goal-scoring charts. The club also lead the race around Europe’s top five leagues, having scored 19 goals through headers, the most by any club. Their clinical forwards Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez scored four headers each last season.