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Leonidas Papadakis | Maximising Sports Performance

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

Personal belief, all the years of my professional engagement, is the individual evaluation, the individual improvement and their adaptation / application in the group operation. After all, my motto is "winning is a team effort of well-trained individuals".

Thus, individual monitoring and analysis of player statistics can provide a powerful weapon in the battle for improvement. By comparing these 2 big events on an individual level and aiming at specific parameters, the coaches can draw quite useful conclusions in terms of their coaching / tactical approach and decision making.

Maximising Sports Performance »

Do algorithms confirm the level?

Looking at the INDEX algorithm (a player's InStat index is calculated in each match based on the quantitative+qualitative characteristics of his actions that are specific to each position) of the Euro players we see 1st Maguire (England 377), 2nd Spinazzola (Italy 367) & 3rd Insigne (Italy 366).

In the Copa America 1st Messi (Argentina 380), 2nd Neymar (Brazil 374) & 3rd Militao (Brazil 336). But what should impress the coaches?

The third of the Euro is 30 points higher, an element that should make us think more. Making a deeper analysis of the average of the first 10 Euro (361.1) & Copa (335.7) creates a gap of 25.4 points. Increasing the average to the top 20, in Euro (351.9) & Copa (322) the gap increases to 29.9 points.

Here we see that European footballers performed much better than Latin Americans (perhaps demonstrating the difference in quality characteristics?). The only oasis is Messi & Neymar where Latin American football uses as the only representatives to close the gap with their European teammates.

If such an analysis continues to emerge then Latin American officials should be deeply concerned about how they can create equal or superior players over Europeans…

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

How necessary is the player in the attack for his team?

A player's contribution to a goal can involve the randomness of the moment. But a repeated coincidence ceases to be a coincidence.

In the parameter playing in scoring attacks in Euro, instas platform gives us 1st Kane (England contribution to 9 goals - 82%) 2nd Lukaku (Belgium contribution to 7 goals - 77%). But if we look low in the list of INSTAT Pogba, Ronaldo & Benzema had a greater contribution to the goals of their teams with 85%!

On the opposite bank in the Copa Messi 1st (Argentina contribution to 12 goals - 100%) & Neymar 2nd (Brazil contribution to 10 goals 83%). Likewise in the Copa where Cavani & Vargas had their own contribution with Messi with the incredible 100%. That is, they participated in all the goals scored by their teams.

So, if you are scouting an opponent will you see the list order or analyze in more depth who are really the key players for their teams?

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

Do you correctly interpret the tables with the Mental / Technical characteristics of your footballers?

And we come to one of the most important parameters, in my opinion, in terms of the technical and mental skills of a player (Offenive function). We refer to the "key" passes, i.e the passes to a teammate who is in goal position (one-on-one situation, empty goal, etc.) and a pass to a teammate who "cuts" the entire defensive line of the opponent's team (3 and more players) in the attack phase.

In Euro we see 1st in the list Insigne (Italy 25 attempts/10 succesfull 40% with average per 90 '4.2 / 1.70) and 2nd Pedri (Spain 18/12 67% with average per 90' 2.4 / 1.60). But what do you consider most important? Because if you look very low in the list (8th) you will find De Bruyne (Belgium 15/10 67% with an average of 90' 4.6 / 3.1) where he has the largest number per game of all with 3.1 key passes!

In the Copa we see 1st in the list Messi (Argentina 22/14 64% with average per 90' 2.9 / 1.80) and 2nd Neymar (Brazil 17/12 71% with average per 90' 2.6 / 1.80). While even in the Copa America, Romero A. is almost last (18th) in the list of the top 20 players of analysis (Paraguay 5/5 100% with an average of 90' 2.7 / 2.7) although he did not play enough?

Did his coach paid close attention to this parameter? He took the maximal benefit, of his player, for the team with such an efficiency in the ability he has?

As I have repeatedly expressed through my articles, forums, etc. The numbers are unquestionable and they are just waiting for you to take advantage of them. Targeting must be specific, deep knowledge and even deeper analysis.

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

Who are your most effective players?

The Challenges parameter hides several pitfalls if we want to characterize footballers as good in personal duels. Usually in matches, key players in defense and attack are involved in most duels, making it more difficult for them to catch high percentages of successful actions. However, when we want to select footballers for a specific function, we must definitely read the specific parameter correctly and not as it is presented to us.

In the Euro, while we see them ranked based on their total number, but maybe we should see their effectiveness first.

As coaches, in order to form a picture of ability, we should be seriously interested in how effective they are and not only their total number, once the players are involved in a duel.

Here Stones the central defender of England shows as the best with 74% efficiency, while he is 14th in the list! Similarly in the Copa America Colombia's central defender Yerri Mina catches 76%!

In the offensive duels in the Euro, the Russian Dzyuba is the most effective with 52%, although 3rd with Ronaldo catching a percentage of 50% while he is 17th!

On the opposite bank, Messi, although in third place in the Copa with 57%, is the king of attacking duels with Marulanda (9th) & Espinola (20th) at 53%!

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

Analyze properly to choose the most suitable!

Our in-depth analysis will end with 2 main individual parameters where each coach should look after the games.

If you saw in the match statistics that a player of the opposing team loses the ball several times and especially in his own half, how would you deal with him? Would you ask for presses or traps to drive the ball there? Or even if you want to apply a strict profile of your team with build up attacks who are the weaker links?

-You should also make a more careful analysis from the list given to you by the platform because Alioski of (N. Macedonia left defender & midfielder) lost the ball 3.7 times per 90 minutes in his own half and Lainer (Austria right defender & midfielder) 2.4 while their list ranks 18th and 19th respectively!

In the Copa America, Venezuela's Casseres (defensive midfielder and right-back) lost the ball in his own half 2.3 times in the 90th minute & Cuadrado (right midfielder & defender) 2.8.

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

In the end, I analyze a parameter of defensive function that refers, more in my opinion, to the mental characteristics of a footballer. The interceptions where with the correct positioning, prediction, timing, energy, etc. the player manages to intervene and stop the course of the ball.

Players with a high ability index in this parameter are also very useful tools in the overall defensive function of a team and coaches should pay special attention to the analysis of this data by choosing good in defendesive duties.

While the Italians Di lorenzo & Jorginho are high on the list with total interceptions, the Swedish Danielsson, although 5th on the list, has the highest number per game (10). Similarly in the Copa, Colombian Carvallo is 18th but with the higher average per game (8).

9.Europeans vs Latin Footballers?

Maximising Sports Performance »

In conclusion, the numbers given to us after the games should not be a short and light reading but should be treated as gold waiting to be discovered. A deeper analysis in relation to real football knowledge can lead coaches to greater exploitation of their players and an overall increase in the dynamics of their teams.

It can also “read” the opponent, individually and as a whole function, more substantially in terms of its strengths and weaknesses. However, it can also lead the teams' scouting departments to minimize mistakes and increase the chances of including the right players in their teams.

Many say that in football the numbers do not tell the truth…

And I answer them "the correct analysis of specific performance numbers can lead you to the solution".

Papadakis Leonidas MSc

Soccer Performance Specialist