Author: Rodolfo Carvalhal

The impossible jobs are the ones we dream on the most. Selecting a perfectly balanced group of 23 players who can accommodate all the different game situations that may arise. And often comes a tough decision between a young fella with loads of potential and a more experienced player whose physical standards are perhaps beyond their prime. This week, we’re here to tell you that, in most cases, potential is not the key. Experience pays off. This is not to say that sheer talent cannot propel a team to achieve fantastic results – we all know that is true. Bun…

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Due to smaller marketing income a difficult debt structure (among many other factors), Portuguese football desperately needs to sell. Every year. Instead of just giving up to the seductive side of expensive wonderkids, clubs have to be smart about purchasing. They cherry pick a few kids with stardom potential from a mix of sources – mainly South America and Portuguese speaking countries in Africa – and integrate them in their youth structure. Although times are changing, SL Benfica (alongside the other two football flagships in Portugal, Porto and Sporting Lisbon) have certainly mastered that business-driven approach in the past and…

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When you buy a ticket for a football match, what are you hoping for? An exciting 5-3 final score, a dull null or just your team’s victory? In this very light statistical analysis, we took a short look on how the top 5 European leagues compare in terms of goal average – and what do those numbers tell us exactly? We could be tempted to infer that higher score equals a more offensive approach, but the beautiful game has frequently proved us that might not necessarily be the case. Let’s dig in. Premier League: 2,68 goals per game From…

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From the ‘just another club’ level to beating Manchester United in a UEFA Cup Final. How did that happen? A couple of infographs may help us figure that out. We recreated Zenith’s road in the Russian Premier League since the first formal season of a nationwide football competition in Russia – between football and numbers, there are some pretty interesting insights to take. We know the word Zenit has nowadays an established dimension in world football, but it wasn’t always like that, was it? And how do they stand today, competing within a country whose football success comes mostly from…

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The arenas of tomorrow are here. It’s their physical core, a place that supporters are emotionally attached to. That means that switching stadiums is no ordinary process – it deeply influences the club’s financial situation, their long-term direction and their connection with the fans. On last weeks’ article, we dipped into the wonderful transitions that football flows through and the necessary evolutions that clubs must undergo in order to keep ‘riding the wave’. That includes infrastructure – stadiums, youth team complex, commercial establishments for ancillary revenue and many others. Today, we switch tendencies for upcoming challenges and add 5 new…

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A stadium is a football club’s true home. It’s their physical core, a place that supporters are emotionally attached to. That means that switching stadiums is no ordinary process – it deeply influences the club’s financial situation, their long-term direction and their connection with the fans. As the game steps into a new, detail-oriented generation that feeds off technology, stadiums are thoroughly designed to the smallest singularity. From the commercial complex within the arena to something as particular as surface heating, clubs want to provide their fans, players and staff with the best possible infrastructure – and from the architects…

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With the 21th edition of football’s largest event coming up, men and women of all ages are waking up the manager that lives crawled up inside each one of us. When it comes to the actual football quality on the field (instead of potential performance), how much of a positive influence is a player’s reputation and market value? With that question in mind, and with a little help from Transfermarkt and Statista, today we list the 10 countries with the highest aggregated market value among the players that will (probably) spend a month in Russia, showcasing their real value (which…

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A club’s main roster is the showroom of the institution itself. This means that the group of professional athletes incarnate a certain personality and share that with the fans. If there is no spark of chemistry between the players and the supporters, everyone’s position will be more fragile, from the most modest under-13 coach to the CEO. So when it comes to the squad’s strategy, what should the focus be? National players, foreigners who speak the same language? Do any cultural characteristics even matter? What impact do homegrown kids have on a club’s success? We could spread these issues throughout…

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To all our French folks out there who insist that France is a lot beyond Paris, you’re going to love this: today, we dissect a club whose existence is short when compared to most of Europe’s top teams – therefore, Les Gones (“The Kids”) sounds like the most fitting nickname of all. But the fact that the club was only established after World War II didn’t stop Olympique Lyonnais from making history in France. Although there were already several teams practicing football in the Lyon region since the late 19th century, internal disputes prevented the possibility of a fully professional…

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With a slightly different approach than usual, we wear the skin of a magical coach who can travel through time and bring back the greatest football symbols of a certain country, from the beginning of the 20th century to the ultra-modern times, creating a wonderful fusion that definitely leaves a strong top-notch football scent in the air. In today’s edition, the chosen nation is one that eats, drinks, breathes and pumps football blood through the veins of its inhabitants and emigrants. However, it never really conquered the top spot of international football. So, what would the best Portuguese lineup ever…

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