One of the reasons why football is such a dynamic game is that players move continuously to create opportunities to pass the ball and eventually create chances to shot on target.
Despite its importance, little is known about the movements of the players quantitatively. Do players tend to do the same movements when they are involved in passes? Do different motions exist across players, teams, and positions?
We address these questions from a quantitative viewpoint by creating a hands-on analysis of the players’ movements related to passes. We presented our initial results at the 2014 OptaPro Analytics Forum.
We studied the behaviour and movements of players before and after receiving a pass, the kind of passes, an analysis on the network of passes and how to destroy the defense line of the opponent.
We published a paper describing these results.