Ricardo Lalandato, one of the most famous figures in the field of data analysis and football, assures Chilean football is on track for the future.
Ten years ago, the idea that football teams could be based on statistics was dismissed by many as nonsense.Today, it is a reality that there are more and more believers, and one of the harbingers is that he Ricardo Lalandato .
Current Latin America Business Manager stat bomb is a company that collects and analyzes sports data from around the world, got into this field almost by accident, and is currently one of the most popular names to talk about on the subject.
But what seems transcendent today for many clubs in our country and around the world came as options from the mathematical models bettors use to generate profits.
This is how Lalandato came to work with a group of players in 2007. Matthew Benham, owner of Brentford, England not knowing that in a decade’s time, it could change how football is understood from off the field.
“It was a far cry from what I had learned (journalism and social communication). I was immersed in subjects, mathematical models and gathering information. Helpful,” commented Ricardo BioBio Chile .
But the communicator, while fully immersed in the topic of statistics, thought about how to bring these numbers to what was happening on the ground. , finally persuaded the leader.
“You can apply it to scouting reinforcements and looking for players across borders. It defines how you think about football in a more strategic way, analyzing results and making decisions. I learned everything, Matthew is an intelligent person with a completely different point of view, ”said Lalandato.
It was in 2012 that Ricardo quit his job at the gambling group and became an analyst for the “bees” group, also under the direction of Matthew Benham.
At the time, the club was listed in League One (English Third Division) and emerged as one of the first clubs to form a team and discuss long-term goals based on a database.
“I remember meeting with one of the great Spanish teams at the time. saw us No one had our tools, no one took them into consideration.
And Brentford started winning. For the 2013-2014 season, he was promoted to the second division, his first adventure in the championship in 21 years, where he finished fifth and contested the Premier League for his league place in the playoffs.
But it wasn’t all easy.Disagreement with technician Mark Warburton Failed to consider the long-term plan of the leader and its statistics, ended with the coach fired and a shake-up within the “bees”.
It didn’t take long for fan criticism to emerge. Were the numbers handled by leadership important enough to be worth sacrificing coaches who achieved unexpected results?
“We were confident that the plan would work. Brentford were building their way to the Premier League. Yes, there were criticisms, but the leadership always trusted us. Standings are the biggest deceiver in football,” Lalandato said.
In 2020 they reached the final for promotion but lost to Fulham. A year later, in the finals for the second consecutive year, They have achieved a long-awaited return to the English football elite after 74 years .
“The club was moving forward, maybe not by much, but it was moving forward. Every step he takes, he becomes more calm. The structure is very solid, but Brentford are already looking to secure three seasons in the Premier League,” commented Ricardo Lalandato.
Latin America and Chile
There are already many teams that are committed to working on the data, based on the success of ‘The Bees’ and other European clubs.
Latin America hasn’t been left behind, but there’s still a lot to do in those parts for StatsBomb’s business director.
For Lalandato, there is a great desire to do something, human capital and an interest in learning (Atletico Mineiro, Racing de Avellaneda, Arianza Lima, etc. are already StatsBomb clients). To go one step further and approach the level of European football that today’s data provides.
“Instead of holding the data as answers, you have to know how to make sense of them We focus on data for data’s sake. In Europe, clubs look at data and look for other data to complement it. We are just getting started and we have clubs ahead of us. We have intentions, but we still have a long way to go,” Lalandato said.
To illustrate the above, Ricciardo recalls the case of a Czech footballer who revolutionized the world a few years ago after being classified as the ‘best assist in the world’ for surpassing Xavi Hernández in passes. I got
“He didn’t play in La Liga, he didn’t play in the Champions League. It turns out his passes didn’t take risks. They were all sideways or behind. Latin America has not established a culture of understanding that not all data is the same and data will contribute rather than change something.
And what about chili? Several national clubs approached his StatsBomb, according to Lalandato, They are already working with a national championship team and another team in a lower category. .
“They have very clear prospects of working long-term. But we found that we didn’t have the resources to use those tools. the communicator said.
“Today it is almost impossible to compete economically with Brazil or Argentina, but important things can be achieved. In the long run there will be payments and things will be put in order.But you have to understand that data is a tool, not an answer,” emphasized Lalandato.
“Football data is here”
Ricardo Lalandato is convinced that data and statistics are already part of the football way of life and that the next step is to strengthen the issue from the national team’s point of view.
“Despite the fact that the job of a selector is very different from that of a coach, I am very convinced. We already have national teams who are our clients.Chile ahead reconnaissance Among players, Ben Bretton is a clear example,” said the communicator.
Regardless of the above, and how prevalent the subject is now, Lalandato maintains that it is not about revolutionizing football or completely changing what is being played today.
“Football has an accidental flavor, the most dangerous and emotional. The train has already left and I am sure all clubs will be on the wagon. It’s about putting it in the right place,” concluded Lalandato.