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Nota de Prensa

MON 08.07.2024 | Nota de Prensa

LALIGA becomes the epicentre for big data in football during July

LALIGA, together with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, organised one of the most important football analysis events in Spain, held on July 4th and 5th in Madrid.

Nota de Prensa

MON 08.07.2024

LALIGA, together with the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, hosted one of the most important football analysis events of the year at its headquarters in Madrid: Football Analytics 2024, signalled a milestone in the convergence of professional football and advanced technology. The event took place in two venues: LALIGA's headquarters in Madrid and UPM's Faculty of Agronomists. As the main event, LALIGA's technology provider, Sportian, delivered an intensive training session that provided in-depth knowledge of Mediacoach Sandbox, a new advanced analytics environment that allows clubs to work with raw data in a secure databricks workspace, which also integrates the advanced metrics of the Beyond Stats project with Microsoft, such as one-twos or drives over the defensive line.

This event not only served as a platform for the launch of Mediacoach Sandbox, a revolutionary tool in advanced raw data analytics, but also emphasised the commitment of LALIGA and its partners in promoting innovation and competitiveness within the European football industry.

Among the keynote speakers were representatives from leading football clubs such as Athletic Club and Sevilla FC, who shared their experiences and strategies in the use of data analytics to optimise sporting performance. Additionally, two of the most prominent international researchers in the field of football, Carlos Lago and Julen Castellanos, presented innovations and trends that are redefining tactical, technical and physical analysis of the beautiful game.

LALIGA also had the support of Sportian, Globant's sports tech company, which is also owned by the organisation, to familiarise clubs with the more technical details about Sandbox, Mediacoach's advanced analytics environment using raw data, a new feature that responds to a long-standing demand from LALIGA EA SPORTS and HYPERMOTION clubs.

As such, clubs will be able to use ready-made competition data as a basis for in-depth match preparation, but also to generate their own metrics with the raw data or to integrate automation processes based on the needs of their coaching staff using artificial intelligence. The raw data includes information on both individual and collective positioning that is calculated for each match frame, with variables such as angles of movement, team area (called Convex Hull) and distances travelled, enabling the analysis and comparison of teams in the different phases of the game, among other things. This marks a new era for data analytics professionals at clubs and will help to further increase the level of competitiveness on the pitch.

Training in the new Sandbox advanced analytics environment addresses a long-standing demand from LALIGA clubs, which in turn is a source of pride, because it shows how clubs are embracing technology and innovation in sport in order to increase their competitive edge. This has resulted in the recruitment of professionals and the creation of increasingly specialised data processing and analysis positions, which require more sophisticated information from LALIGA. Therefore, LALIGA has been working to create a specialised area within the Mediacoach platform where users can access large amounts of raw tracking and eventing data and have more flexibility in adapting it to their needs. Let's not forget that Mediacoach collects more than 3.5 million raw pieces of data from every match,” stated Roberto López, Coordinator of LALIGA's Sports Research Department.

Ricardo Resta, Director of Mediacoach at LALIGA, emphasised: Spain and LALIGA are global leaders in football data analytics. In Spain, the level of R+D and advances in this area, supported by prestigious universities and organisations such as LALIGA, has led to a greater general knowledge of players' physical condition and tactical analysis, which in turn has allowed the development of many new performance indicators and related practical applications. This translates into increased competitiveness on the field, tactical sophistication and improved team performance, which on an individual level can also prevent fatigue and even the number of injuries to their players. Additionally, the data is also being used for player scouting and academic sports research, where we have joint scientific publications that have been internationally recognised”.

Data analytics: LALIGA's differentiating factor 

Mediacoach is the competition's secret weapon for maintaining a high level of quality and competitiveness. LALIGA is the only major European football competition with a tool created in-house, specific to the competition and with uniform scope for all clubs, as all 42 have access to the tool and reports.

On a technical level, it collects a huge amount of data that is produced in real time during each match. This is thanks to the three tactical cameras and up to 16 different high-resolution fixed perimeter cameras for optical tracking that are installed in each LALIGA EA SPORTS and LALIGA HYPERMOTION stadium. The cameras track players, referees, and the ball across the pitch, recording each player's position with pinpoint accuracy at an astonishing speed of 25 times per second which generates more than 3,500,000 pieces of data per match, and translates to around 2,000 metrics per player.

Data is revolutionising the football industry, with clubs using it for both match preparation and post-match analysis. Furthermore, in the context of economic control rules, this data helps clubs to identify key players within the competition, allowing them operate more intelligently in the transfer market.

Mediacoach makes LALIGA more competitive; it's a democratising factor, as all teams have access to the data and can use it to help equalise the economic imbalance between clubs: more efficient and cost-effective transfers, use of data in training, and for match preparation... Plus, LALIGA provides clubs with a team of analysts and instructors who support the work of the technical staff and prepare weekly reports for each club.

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