How a soccer team can score more goals thanks to Artificial Intelligence

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Seen now, the movie of Rocky IV It is a product of its time in the form of an aesthetic and sonically eighties film with a clear element of the Cold War between the USA and the USSR, which in the 1980s was at its peak. But it is also the highest grossing installment of the saga and a pioneer in one thing: in showing what technology could contribute to sports training.

What in 1987 seemed a futuristic Russian laboratory in which Ivan Drago trained with machines and sensors that measured every parameter and aspect, today it seems to a point retro given the size of some machines.

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AI and Machine Learning for football

In sports such as American Football or the NBA, teams spend high budgets on computer analysis equipment with which they review every detail of their own matches and those of their rivals, both to improve their technique and to get ahead of the enemy on the field of play. play. What if we applied the same to football?

That’s what Jesus Vicente Giménez, professor of the MBA and of the Master in Sports Management and researcher has carried out, together with professors from the University of Castilla la Mancha and the European University of Madrid, an investigation that shows how most of the goals scored during the 2018 FIFA World Cup were the result of elaborate attacks and not counterattacks.

Lean on Technology

The importance of this VIU study (International University of Valencia) is that helps coaches understand what the goal pattern is like, the area of ​​the field where the goal is scored and the number of players involved “ assures Giménez, who continues explaining that thanks to this they can, on the one hand, “Perform tasks in training to minimize the effectiveness of the opponent’s goal” and on the other, “Pay more attention to the practice of other types of strategies during your workouts, like integrating tasks with short possession goals, playing fast and shooting at target in order to produce more scoring opportunities.

To do this, they analyzed all the goals scored during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, by applying the latest Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning techniques, able to detect game patterns that lead to goals. Among the main conclusions, it stands out that “The scoring efficiency of the teams that competed in the World Cup it depended not so much on the time of possession, but on the type of possession “. That is, the division of the shooter’s launch zone and the number of players involved in an attack.

Include AI in training

The research supports its conclusions that soccer coaches “dThey should broaden their perspectives and include research learnings when planning their trainings. like ours and that are necessary to understand, for example and in our case, how goals are achieved “ Giménez highlights, reiterating that digitization and the emergence of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in sport is already a fact.

“Nowadays, sports and specifically soccer are no longer conceived without the use of technologies that allow perfecting the game model during training and competition.”

What do you think of this? Should soccer coaches in Spain be guided by computer analysis and artificial intelligence, or should they continue to draw on experience and leave digital help out of training sessions?

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