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Lobanovskiy- Inventer of Football

Total Football was invented in the Netherlands they say. By Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff back in the days. They led Ajax to 3 European Cups, and the Dutch national team to the World Cup finals of 1974.  Michels and Cruyff were the inventors. Real football fans know better. Some  2500 kilometres to the East, in cold and grey Ukraine lived football lover  Valeriy Lobanovskiy who already practised this new footbal style since 1969.  He  loved the game so much he started to analyze it in detail, and beyond. As his career coincided with the rise of the computer in the 1970s, our dear Valeriy cleverly made use of this trend and implemented it into the pitch. The computer was  ideal for him to analyze his players and their playing style.  The data helped him to analyze  if they carried out the playing style he had created in his mind! From the computer to the pitch, through Lobanovskiy´s head!

Computers don´t Laugh

Lobanovskiy almost never laughed, just as computers do not show emotions. Yet he was called the Father of Things, the Father of Analytics, the man of data/driven football. He tracked every movement methamatically, rated it and then tried to influence. He taped the game, divided the pitch into 9 quadrants and could analyze the performance of each player in intensivity, activity, error rate, effectivity and realisation.  Each player was given a rating in game performance. What is common now was done by Lobanovskiy years before. But not much people noticed.

Humble Lobanovskyi

As Lobanovskiy was so humble and modest, not like Michels and Cruyff, he did not shout out he was the inventer of how the modern game should be played. In the USSR in those days you were taught to stay unnoticed. `Yes, we have won the league, but so what? Sometimes we played badly. We just got more points than other teams who played worse than us. I can’t accept your praise as there are no grounds for it.` And so he stayed unnoticed for a long time. Only later he got the recognition he deserved. Lobanovskiy was always ahead of his time.

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