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“Football is a simple game…”

Click the team names to focus on that side's passing network. Click a player's number to see their specific passes.

Opta Data: Bundesliga 2007/08

Select a match from the sample below:

This app visualises the passes network between players for a selection of games from the Bundesliga. The app is a investigation into ways of seeing patterns in the data.

The core data is a series of XML files that record the player passes during each match. The data includes information about whether or not the pass was successful in reaching another player of the same team.

For the first part of the app, the complete data files are loaded and examined to determine the team formations. Based on these standardised formations, each player is then assigned specific coordinates, based on their position.

The entire match data is then processed and the pass details are collated. This includes the target of the pass and if it was successful. The final stage is to go through each player on the team and map the passes to their team mates, with the number of passes shown through a stronger colour. (Unsuccessful passes are not currently counted).

The aim was to see the network for both team at the same time, to investigate the efect of the opposition. By clicking the team name, that chart of that team's data is enlarged, in order to view the network in more detail. In addition, clicking the player's shirt number displays their passes.

A special mention and thanks go to OptaPro for providing the detailed match data.

Football is a simple game made complicated by people who should know better. Bill Shankly