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The mathematics in the football strategy “tiki-taka”

Johan Cruyff The football tactics "tiki-taka" is a kind of strategy in which numerous short passes are completed by the team, a great space of the terrain is being covered and the ball possession is very high. La liga is known to be the mother place of this strategy. We can clearly see that FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team apply this tactics and have mastered it to perfection. The father of this play style in football is considered to be Johan Cruyff, who applied it mainly as a coach of Barcelona.

The usage of some great knowledge in the field of geometry by coaches like Luis Aragonés, Louis van Gaal, Frank Rijkaard, Vicente del Bosque and Josep Guardiola, helped the development of this remarkable football play style. This is a pure evidence that the application of mathematics in football can have great results. Nowadays, the FC Barcelona`s and the Spanish national team`s trophies are a proof of the efficiency of the “tiki-taka”. Undoubtedly, watching such football is overwhelming for the audience. Of course, there are some other teams that apply the tiki-taka. Villarreal CF also manages this tactics, mainly under the coaching of Manuel Pellegrini and Juan Carlos Garrido.

Above all the “tiki-taka” is a systems approach to football founded upon team unity and a comprehensive understanding in the geometry of space on a football field. The football players try to form triangles all around the pitch and with a lot of passes to maintain the ball possession. Then it is quite difficult for the opponent to obtain the ball and organize their game.

The football coach Jed C.Davies, who is also author of “the tiki-taka handbook”, thinks that that tiki-taka football is "among other things, a conceptual revolution based on the idea that the size of any football field is flexible and can be altered by the team playing on it. In possession, the formation should intend on creating space and therefore making the pitch as big as possible". Pep Guardiola is famous with his saying that "You win the ball back when there are thirty metres to their goal not eighty."

Nevertheless, this play style it often attacked by critics. Jose Mourinho and some other football specialists, criticized the Spanish national football team for using sterile techniques, such as having no strikers and only midfielders at Euro 2012. The main statement by the critics was that such a play style is quite unpleasant to watch and results in less scored goals. However, all the critics were silenced after the Euro 2012 final, when La Furia Roja won with the astonishing 4:0 over Italy.

The application of the laws of mathematics, not only in football, but in all aspects of our lives brings great advantages. The forebet team tries to apply the math and the rules of the mathematical statistics in forming football predictions in order to ease our visitor in the creation of smart football predictions.

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