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This Football Club Is Absolutely Cashing In On Data Science


Portugal’s top football club uses science and technology to develop superhuman athletes - then sells them for millions in profit.

Over 100 players train at S.L Benfica's Caixa Futebol Campus, which has two artificial fields and an indoor test lab. This is where nearly every aspect of the player’s lives are tracked using GPS sensors - from how much they eat and sleep, running speed and distance, recovery time, heart rate, mental health and much more.

Using Microsoft Azure, the club then combines predictive analytics with Benfica’s expert data scientists along with the experience of the coaches, to give each player a tailored training program.

Athletes are shown their strengths and weaknesses that allow them to focus on personalised skills at training as well as significantly reducing their risk of injury. Players have full access to their own data, which they can compare to team or position averages and track their development.



Benfica is taking full advantage of this information and is making big money by cleverly training and nurturing players. They buy young talent at a low price tag, and using their advanced technology and data science they improve players health and performance then sell them for 10 to 20 times the original fee.

Some examples include 17-year-old Jan Oblak who was picked up in 2010 for $AU2.5 million dollars, then sold to Atletico Madrid for $AU24 million dollars in 2014. And David Luiz, who joined Benfica in 2007 for $2.5 million dollars and four years later was sold to Chelsea for $AU38 million dollars. Additionally, Benfica picked up Nemanja Matic in the trade who then returned to Chelsea for another $AU38 million dollars.

According to ArstechnicaUk, Benfica has earned more than $500 million dollars from player transfers over the last six years.

Genius!

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