The football fever has gripped every nation around the world with the likes of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar being the main talking points in every household. While the 2022 FIFA world cup is reaching its climax with the stage set for a much-anticipated final between two nations, data science within the sport of football is creating revolutions on and off the pitch.
From tracking player performance to assisting the referee in making crucial decisions, data analytics and artificial intelligence have become the star players in this FIFA world cup. Football teams are prioritising data analytics to play the sport the smart way. According to the BBC, data experts are the best signings in a football team.
After witnessing some of the greatest football upsets during this FIFA world cup, such as Saudi Arabia beating Argentina and Japan beating Germany, it’s time to investigate the impact of data science and machine learning on football matches and results.
The impact of data science on football
Before the advancement of data science and machine learning technology, football teams used to assign people to note down the statistics of a game such as the number of goals scored, assists and possession. This could only be of little help when it comes to assessing individual players and devising strategies and tactics to beat the opposition.
With data analytics and artificial intelligence making their way into the game of football, it has become easy to derive complex data like the number of passes, interceptions, fouls and offsides. Coaches often depend on data techniques to create tactics that will help their team succeed. Advanced technology helps derive patterns that make a huge impact on team tactics and the development of innovative strategies.
What is more exciting is how data algorithms can predict injuries and give that player some rest when needed. For example, during training sessions, players wear a tracking device under their shirt which tracks their heart rate, speed and distance covered. This data will indicate a player’s workload and using the patterns derived from machine learning technologies, you can work out how to manage their workload to avoid potential injury.
Such is the impact of data science and machine learning on football that it has become an essential aspect of the game.
How is Big Data transforming the FIFA World Cup?
The FIFA world cup 2022 is leveraging data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence in innovative ways to give a surreal experience to millions of viewers around the world. The participating teams are also making maximum use of these modern techniques and data to enhance their chances of winning the tournament.
The FIFA Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology and cutting-edge camera systems that use AI are helping on-field referees make decisions during the game. There are 12 cameras in each stadium which use this semi-automated technology to give precise results. Up to 29 specific points can be calculated 50 times a second per player to make offside calls. The use of this technology was most evident in the Saudi Arabia v Argentina match where three narrow offside decisions were made.
FIFA has created the FIFA Player App which provides players with their performance data after each match. This combines tracking data with event data collected by a team of data analysts and shows the players how well they performed in a game. The analytics team has also incorporated several algorithms and models that will provide innovative ways to analyse each game in detail.
Johannes Holzmüller, FIFA director of Football Technology and Innovation, said that FIFA is making good use of innovative technologies and data to improve the overall football experience.
As mentioned, data and technology has been used in the 2022 FIFA World Cup to accurately track performance and assist the on-field referee decisions. As well as this, it has been used to pick out the best-performing players and even predict the outcome of each match.
Data science is now a major part of all the world’s biggest sporting events and has proven its impact in football leagues and competitions around the world as well as throughout this world cup.
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At UE, we follow an integrated approach to learning where theoretical and practical lessons are incorporated into the curriculum to prepare you for the competitive job market. You also have the option to choose elective modules relevant to the business world such as UX/UI design, game design or digital media communication.