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Home » Sport » Football

Mathematical model helps predict ’ ‘goal-scoring

A statistical model can rank footballers according to their best goal-scoring potentials as researchers have found after analyzing football league players over nine seasons from 2000 to 2009.

Researchers from the faculties of Economic and Business Sciences at the Universities of Granada and Jaén have analyzed the performance of football players over nine seasons with the aim to create a mathematical model based on Bayesian statistics to evaluate their goal-scoring potential.

The researchers explained that whether a player scores or not depends on easily quantifiable extrinsic factors, such as the number of minutes or matches played, the position on the pitch and the team quality, but there are some other factors as well.

According to one of the researchers, Professor José María Pérez Sánchez said that individual characteristics of the players also make them different from the rest of the players.

Pérez Sánchez also said that she finds it remarkable that the strikers do not rank very highly in terms of overall performance, adding that apart from Messi, who ranks sixth, the rest rank below the 15th place.

The study gives an in-depth analysis of the careers of several emblematic football players to assess their goal-scoring performance over the nine seasons such as that of Messi.

The researchers have claimed Messi's development as interesting although they said that his performance is high in early seasons and his productivity has decreased significantly thereafter.
The model can quantify an additional individual factor that influences the qualities of each footballer as a goal-scorer, using which the researchers have been able to rank Spanish league players.

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