In July, Footy Blog editor Richard Whittall – he’s back Monday, rejoice! – continued his series on the state of analytics with a post on miCoach – Adidas’ new tracking device that measures when a player is inactive/standing, jogging, running, hi-speed running and sprinting. The system provides a more in-depth look on how player’s utilize their energy and when – compared to the more vague “distance traveled” stat we currently see during Football broadcasts.
Last week Leo Messi wore the specialized Speed Cell shoes during Argentina’s 3-1 victory over Germany – a game controlled by the Argentinians after Germany was relegated to 10 men with an hour to play. Nonetheless, footy-boots.com has Messi’s data from the game (click on the image to enlarge):
Messi scored his lone goal of the match in the 52nd minute, which came during a “hi-speed run.” The summary stats provide the wow factor. Messi’s top speed was 30.71 km/h. However, for most the game the best player in the world spends his time positioning himself, waiting for a pass to spring him. Let’s compare these numbers to his teammate Dani Alves, who wore boots with the same technology during a 2-2 draw against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey in January of this year. Image once again via footy-boots.com:
An attacking right back in the mold of Dani Alves will run, a lot, over the course of a game. Alves has to compensate for his probing runs forward by getting back with equal haste as we can see from the chart above. And unlike Messi, Alves can’t afford to be idle for long stretches. It’s also worth remembering Messi’s stats were measured during a friendly compared to a cup game for Alves.
All in all this is a pretty darn cool thing Adidas has created. As Richard stated in July, the technology will be introduced full-time in the MLS next season. This is a tool for someone far smarter than I to utilize when analyzing where/when player’s can improve their energy usage.