What drives a goalkeepers' decisions?
In soccer games, the goalkeeper's performance is an important factor to the success of the whole team. Despite the goalkeeper's importance, little attention has been paid to their performance in events and tracking data. Here, we developed a model to predict which movements would be most effective for shot-stopping and compare it to the real-life behavior of goalkeepers. This model evaluates the performance of goalkeepers based on their position and dive radius. We found that contrary to the movements that were considered most effective by our model, real-life goalkeepers' movements were more diverse. We further used our model to develop a tool to analyse goalkeepers' behavior in real-life soccer games. In addition, a simulator function allows team analysts or couches to identify situations that allow further improvement of the reaction of the goalkeeper.READ FULL TEXT