Football analytics is a multi-million pound business used by every elite club in the world.
But, thanks to the three men behind Metrica Sports, a company that has provided a cutting edge service to teams in countries like England, Spain, Portugal and Brazil over the last seven years, now everyone can tap into the detailed information that managers and coaches are using to exert more tactical control of their players during games.
And the ‘Play’ tool, which usually costs clubs six-figure fees to access, is absolutely FREE.
Ruben Saavedra, a Barcelona-born neuroscientist by trade, is one of the brains behind a plan to revolutionise the way players, coaches and fans at every level of football can improve their understanding of the beautiful game.
Saavedra explained: “I sometimes see football described as a pyramid – but I think a better way of looking at it is to compare it to an iceberg.
“Above the surface of the water are the elite clubs, players and coaches, like Barcelona, Lionel Messi and Ronald Koeman at the club I support.
“But the biggest part of the iceberg is below the surface, out of sight, and are the clubs, players and coaches at the smaller clubs – and also the fans.
“They would love to use technology in the same way that millions of recreational runners and cyclists use apps and GPS systems to monitor and improve their performances.
“The problem was that it was always too expensive to purchase – until now.
“At Metrica we have spent the last seven years working with the top clubs because, I’ll be honest, that’s where the money is.
“But now we want to democratise football by offering everyone the same tool that is used by elite professionals.
“After all, football is a game that belongs to the whole world.”
Client confidentiality prevents Saavedra talking specifically about individual clubs and players.
But Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are widely recognised as the two best players in the world.
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And it’s no secret that Barcelona and the Portuguese national team both tap into Metrica.
The Spanish national team, Brazilian giants Santos and Seattle Sounders in the MLS are also believed to be onboard.
It’s just over a week since the company launched its free service – and almost 3,000 new users from five continents have already signed up.
It is something that will appeal to amateur as well as professional players who are intent on improving their tactical knowledge and maximising their performance levels by creating their own clips, visualisations and playlists of every aspect of the game, from pressing the opposition to defending corners.
There’s even a facility to upload your own game footage filmed on a mobile phone so that any Sunday League manager could try to emulate the tactics of Pep Guardiola.
Saavedra said: “Football is no longer a game of chaos. In fact, the top coaches view it in the same way a Grand Master would look at a chess match.
“They basically arm their players with a playbook, with certain set moves to be made in different scenarios during the game.
“Fans want to know what’s happening and why.
“That’s the reason TV companies pay former players to do technical analysis on games is because they know that’s what fans want.
“But how many times do you hear ex-players telling people that their opinion doesn’t count because they haven’t played the game at a high level?
“The tool we provide gives everyone the chance to educate themselves tactically because they can now analyse games like Guardiola or (Jurgen) Klopp or (Jose) Mourinho.
“Footballers get this kind of specialist feedback as soon as they join an academy as a kid.
“What we want is to get to a stage where former players won’t be able to say ”you don’t know because you don’t understand.’”
You can download and access ‘Play’ by Metrica Sports at https://j.mp/39f2o16