It seems that the entire world is gearing up for FIFA 2014. There are scientists performing tests on the official FIFA World Cup ball, the Brazuca, economists analyzing the possible benefits and blows to the economy of Brazil as a result of the World Cup and now a team of researchers at the RMIT University, Melbourne are using advanced techniques to predict what factors will give individual players a better chance of scoring.
Data has been compiled over 20 years (1991-2011) to determine a way to predict which player will perform the best on the field. A few factors have emerged that almost guarantee a goal. Being left footed is apparently the most important factor.
Other factors include age, obviously. The younger a player is the better chance he has of maintaining his stamina and finesse on the field. And carefully time substitutions also play a huge role in the outcome of a game. According the compiled data, most players on the field reach their physical peak near the second half of a game; a substitution at that point in the game may win or lose the game.
Lionel Messi, the star of today in football is one of the favourites this year at the World Cup and the odds seem to be in his favour, however, the RMIT University team research seems to be leaning more in the favour of young Daniel Sturridge, the 24 year old from England. He is both left footed and younger than Mr. Messi so there’s a whole lot of pressure on him to be the underdog who triumphs.
All of these statistics and research obviously never factor in unpredictability or chance, that one crucial moment where adrenaline bridges the gap between failure and success and that’s what makes or breaks the game.