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Football Analytics

 

Overview

Football (or soccer as known in the US) is the most popular sport in the world. Due to the wealthy tradition of the game, the widespread application of technological novelties is happening slowly. We intend to be in the forefront of the digital revolution of football building on our competences in big data, network science, and analytics. With this is mind; Telefonica R&D and FC Barcelona signed a collaboration agreement in 2011 to bring the synergy of football and technology to the next level.

 

 

 

Ongoing projects

Collaboration with FC Barcelona

We apply scientific methods to improve the performance of the club in different competitions.

 

Pass related movements of players

One of the reasons why football is such a dynamic game is that players move continuously to create opportunities to pass the ball and eventually create chances to shot on target. Despite its importance, little is known about the movements of the players quantitatively. Do players tend to do the same movements when they are involved in passes? Do different motions exist across players, teams, and positions? We address these questions from a quantitative viewpoint by creating a hands-on analysis of the players' movements related to passes. We presented our initial results at the

2014 OptaPro Analytics Forum.

Caption of the figure: The movement of a player before receiving a pass during a game.

 

Pass motifs

Is it possible to have and sustain a unique playing characteristic in the global soccer space? Does a unique, recognizable style exist in football nowadays? We take a data-driven, quantitative approach to answer this question by analyzing the passing strategies of the football teams throughout a season. Our initial findings show that FC Barcelona has a very distinguishable passing style.

Caption of the figure: FC Barcelona has a unique, quantified style in the Spanish first division.

 

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