Where Football Meets Mathematics

Math is all around us – at our works, homes and definitely in the sports and football predictions.

Frequently we find different connections between math and football, which are used by this game’s greatest specialists. Some of them are basics of the football predictions posted on this website.

The true football fans still remember the Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp and his masterpiece goals. Sports commentators describe him as a genius, who mastered the football game to perfection and possessing extremely accurate shot, but what is he saying about himself.

«When I played in Holland I always tried to hit the ball over the goalkeeper. People always questioned me about this. Why would I want to humiliate the goalkeeper or to demonstrate arrogance? But I always explain: When the goalkeeper leaves his post he makes the angle to it less but opens the space above it. What I do isn’t a show, it is mathematics.»

This advice came from the coach Louis Van Gaal, who teaches strategies for success in the match based on mathematical precision and order.

As his players state about him: Van Gaal isn’t one of those coaches who will repeat to them: «do this, do that». He will leave the technical part to them, but he is a master of the tactical part and knows what should everyone do in order for the whole system to work properly.

«I hope that I know well the basics of math in football and try to apply them» – Ottmar Hitzfeld as coach of Bayern Munich in 2007.

Ottmar hizfield

Ottmar Hitzfeld graduated as a math teacher and now he is the most successful German football coach at club level. He won twice the FIFA award for best coach in the world and is one of the only three coaches who won the Champions League with two different teams.(Ernst Happel and Jose Mourinho are the other two).

Unlike most Germans, Hitzfeld carried his football career as a player in Switzerland.There he quickly arose as a top striker in the country, helping Basel win the championships in 1972 and 1973. While playing for the Swiss team, Hitzfeld graduated and received his diploma as teacher of mathematics and physical education.

We believe that we have found the next evidence proving that football is mathematics.

Hitzfeld is recognized for his managerial capabilities – the ability to control units in the team to work as one and to develop and apply different tactics. The coach is taught of perfectionism and he sticks to all the details that would lead his team to success. For example, as a coach of the Switzerland national team he led the players to train in specially selected mountain resort where it is estimated that the height above sea level is most favorable to the players to adapt to the specific conditions of South Africa.

Thus, estimating all the factors, Hitzfeld is following his main coaching philosophy – «The next match is the most important match and we must do everything to win.»

Bearing in mind the mathematical education of Hitzfeld, his numerous successes in the football are definitely not accidental, after all this is a game which is often described by specialists as a game of strategies.

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