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Mexico busts tech-savvy Germans at World Cup

Mexico busts tech-savvy Germans at World Cup

Technology failed to save World Cup holders Germany from a shock defeat by Mexico at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Yesterday, Germany were left stunned after falling 1-0 to Mexico in a Group F encounter.

On Friday, German-based software giant SAP revealed it had introduced technology innovations to the SAP Sports One solution to help the German national football team play at peak performance during the World Cup.

SAP and the German Football Association (DFB) co-innovated the video cockpit and player dashboard to respond to the team's evolving need to analyse and share relevant match data efficiently, putting them in the best position to win.

However, the technology innovations failed to pay-off as Mexico saw off the much-fancied German side. Yesterday, Germany lost their opening match at the World Cup for only the second time, also losing to Algeria in 1982. However, they went on to reach the final that year.

According to SAP, the video cockpit is a content hub that merges copious amounts of the team's live-play videos with match and training information from a variety of sources.

It notes this enables the DFB match analysts and coaching team to quickly identify patterns and tendencies, and craft strategies to address opponents' potential weaknesses. Using the player dashboard, team coaches and analysts can provide players with easy access to personalised information and videos from their mobile devices in real-time, it explains.

The video cockpit and player dashboard represent the latest features of SAP Sports One, a solution that helps sports teams and organisations digitalise performance management by co-ordinating all administrative, training and team management, scouting and medical processes, the software company notes.

"We have an incredible amount of data at the German national team that we need to process and share in real-time with the trainer, the players and the analysts," says Oliver Bierhoff, general manager, German national football team.

"Artificial intelligence and machine learning play a significant role in football and are an essential part of data analytics. Our experts and the ones from SAP are working on these topics together. We aim to gain a competitive advantage by using the latest technology innovations and we're glad to work with SAP as the best partner for that."

SAP points out that the DFB was among the first to recognise the impact that data and real-time insights could have on football.

"The tactical aspects of soccer have become increasingly important in recent years," says Christofer Clemens, head of scouting and match analysis, German national football team.

"This means coaches, assistant coaches and match analysts are putting more effort into observing and analysing the various data sources of a game. It is a logical step to use technological innovations (especially from the fields of data analysis, artificial intelligence and machine learning) to simplify and accelerate certain processes. Using the new functionalities of the SAP Sports One solution (video cockpit and player dashboard) allows the match analysts to prepare the coaches and players even more efficiently. Additionally, the players receive tailor-made information packages for upcoming matches."

Looking ahead, SAP and DFB are already working on solutions to strengthen the development of the next generation of German players.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in match analysis have been identified as key priorities by SAP and DFB.

For example, they note, in the near future team officials will be able to identify more easily and quickly complex match scenes and opponent tendencies based on pattern detection and positioning data.

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