Pic: Proof that Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan is just as good a passer as Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta 7 years ago

Pic: Proof that Kilkenny’s Richie Hogan is just as good a passer as Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta

Praise doesn’t come much higher than this.

Normally, any comparisons between hurling and soccer are met with something approaching outrage from the small ball community, but we think they’ll appreciate this little nugget from stats man Ray Boyne, who has worked with the Dublin footballers amongst other teams in the past.

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Ray is well worth a follow on Twitter for the GAA statistical analysis he provides on a regular basis, but he also likes to compare the performances of footballers and hurlers to athletes in other sports in areas such as the distance covered during a game, as he did earlier this year.

This evening, having earlier posted about the passing stats of Hurler of the Year elect Richie Hogan, he sought to weigh him up against a pass-master in another sport and he couldn’t have chosen much better than Andres Iniesta of Barcelona and Spain, one of the finest passers of the ball in the modern era.

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Both men average out at an impressive 91% passing average and while we’re sure that there’ll be a few question marks raised over the criteria behind those stats – the different nature of those sports, pressure applied by the opposition etc. – we’re pretty sure that Andres Iniesta will be chuffed to be mentioned in the same breath as a man who lit up the hurling championship during the summer.

You heard us.