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Men's, women's soccer: Physical or technical ?

When the sports performance of elite men and women soccer players is compared using absolute criteria, the differences are significant. This is one of the conclusions of the study by the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, conducted in collaboration with other universities in Europe. Over a hundred soccer players of both genders were monitored during UEFA Champions League matches to conduct this research. Apart from this conclusion, one of the practical applications of the study in the short term could lead to adapting the physical and technical preparation to the needs of each gender. Another to be applied in the long term could be the possibility of adapting soccer to the physical capacity of women, as in other sports.



Tactical analysis in football has rarely been conducted using a mathematical model with numerical data (although tactical analysis through objective data has been used much more times).

The research paper published in the journal of Insight - Sports Science established principles for tactical analysis in team sports using numerical data, through a mathematical model based on the location of the players and the ball.

In this research, a competitive match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima (home) and Ehime FC (away) in the third round of the Japanese Emperor’s Cup of 2011 was filmed and used for the match analysis. Observations were made by a team of analysts and were extracted from official match records. The main procedure in the research flow was to establish a mathematical offence/defence model based on tactical concepts in football, which was applied for the location of players, and which in turn was quantified from video images in order to categorise a team’s tactical performance (in relation to attacking or defending). Furthermore, the authors focused on attacking categories and identified different types of passes during a specific period, as well as comparing these findings with an actual match video. The results obtained from the numerical data derived from applying the offence/defence model led to the same overview as the tactical analysis conducted by a team of analysts. In addition, the results when categorising types of passes (as extracted through the mathematical model) again mirrored those retrieved from an actual match video.

This leads to the conclusion that the offence/defence model could provide relevant insight into types of attacks. The data revealed that football tactical analysis can be successfully performed using a numerical model, which might possibly realize automatic tactical analysis of football games without a match analyst.

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