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A network approach to characterize the teammates interactions on football: A single match analysis

Clemente, F.M.C. ; Martins, F. ; Couceiro, M. Couceiro ; Mendes, R. ; Figueiredo, A.

Cuadernos de Psicologia del Deporte Vol. 14, Nº 3, pp. 141 - 148, December, 2014.

ISSN (print): 1578-8423
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Abstract: The aim of this case study was to apply a set of network metrics in order to characterize the teammates’ cooperation in a football team. These metrics were applied in three levels of analysis: i) micro (individual analysis);
ii) meso (players’ contribution for the team); and iii) macro (global inter- action of the team). One-single case study match was observed and from such procedure were analysed 131 attacking plays. Results from the macro analysis showed a moderate heterogeneity between teammates, thus sug- gesting the emergence of clusters within the team. The players with highest connections with their teammates were the right defender, central defender from the left side, defensive midfielder, right midfielder and the forward player. Finally, in the micro analysis was observed that right defender, cen- tral defender, right midfielder and the forward can be considered the cen- troid players during attacking plays, thus being the most prominent in the attacking building. In sum, the network metrics allowed to characterize the teammates’ interaction during the attacking plays, providing an important and different information that can be useful for the future of match analysis.
Keywords: Match Analysis; Football; Cooperation; Network; Metrics.