The football it is considered a highly complex sport in which 22 players interact simultaneously in a common space. The ball keeper interacts with his teammates through passing actions, establishing a unique communication between them during the offensive phase of the game.
In this context, researchers from the Faculty of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) have analyzed the action of the pass according to the trajectory of the receiver of the ball and the space to receive it, depending on the success at the end of the play. The results are published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The most effective way to receive the ball to finish the play effectively is to receive it in a diagonal run away from the passer, because the player receives it as far away from his direct defender
The authors used video recordings of 20 matches from LaLiga 2018- 2019 in which the Real Madrid and Barcelona (days 29 or 38), examined 10,128 passes and they established various categories based on context, time, and analysis of the passes. With all the data, a statistic analysis.
The results showed that the main performance indicators (being valued as effective, neutral or ineffective) at the end of the play were the effectiveness of the pass itself, the trajectory of the receiver and the area of the field from where it was made, in addition to the space to receive the ball. .
Pass and trajectory
Refering to receipt of the pass was described in approach when the receiver gains positional superiority by approaching the ball keeper, in separation when the receiver moves away from the passer gaining positional advantage, and positional when he receives at the height of the most direct opponent.
According to the receiver path was described in four ways: on the run diagonal, vertical Y perpendicular, or in static, if the player was not in the race.
Receiving the ball on approach and in separation increased the probability of success by 5% and 7% respectively, and a diagonal run increased the probability by 7%
“We concluded that receiving the ball in approach and in separation increased the probability of success by 5% and 7%, respectively, and a diagonal run increased the probability by 7%,” the researchers note, highlighting: “The Combined analysis of these variables would improve team performance”.
The most effective way to receive the ball to end the play effectively is to receive it in a diagonal run in separation, because the player receives it as far away from his direct defender, looking for a free or useful space, and closer to the goal, thereby obtaining a greater advantage of scoring a goal.
Influence of the field area
According to the field area from where the pass is given, the researchers have found the areas where the probability of successfully finishing the play increases. They go from 11 to 20 in the scheme they have developed.
In addition, the central pre-offensive zone (zone 8) is the one that has the greatest impact on the number of passes, followed by the central pre-offensive zone (13) and the pre-offensive zone on its right side (11). Reaching the offensive zone is almost 50% more likely to finish the play effectively, according to the data.
Division of the field in zones to analyze where the probability of finishing the play successfully is greater. / UPM
These results provide new variables to be taken into account by coaches to improve the performance of the players
Advantage of playing at home
Another interesting result was that, in the rival field, the number of passes decreased by 2%, while when it was played at home, a difference of 13% was found in favor of the number of passes by the home team with an effective finish.
In short, according to the UPM researcher Antonio Cordon: “The analysis of the receiver of the ball shows its importance in the completion of the play and in the tactics of a team. This provides new variables for coaches and analysts to take into account when improving performance. “
A. Cordón-Carmona et al. “What Is the Relevance in the Passing Action between the Passer and the Receiver in Soccer? Study of Elite Soccer in La Liga ”. IJERPH, 2020.
Rights: Creative Commons.