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Team Play in Football: How Science Supports F. C. Barcelona’s Training Strategy

Author(s): Philippe Chassy

Journal: Psychology
ISSN 2152-7180

Volume: 04;
Issue: 09;
Start page: 7;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Passing | Expertise | Football | Team Play | Self-Organisation

The paper applies the theory of self-organising systems to sport. The central hypothesis is that team play, implemented as passing in football, is the central factor generating performance. Data from the 2013 European Champions League were used to show that passing speed and precision predict domination (possession), shooting opportunities and performance. By using principal component analysis, the article offers a formula to estimate the team play of any team considering its passing speed, passing precision and ability to score. The compound measure accounts for about 42% of the variance in performance. The impact of this research on the training of football players is discussed.
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