Study involving Prof. Bruno Gonçalves, published in Science and Medicine in Football

Study involving Prof. Bruno Gonçalves, published in Science and Medicine in Football

Professor of University of Évora and researcher at the CHRC, Bruno Gonçalves was one of the authors of the paper “How spatial constraints afford successful and unsuccessful penetrative passes in elite association football”, published recently in Science and Medicine in Football.

The study goal was to study the spatial relation between teams (macro level) and groups of players (meso level) that provided successful passes in elite football.

The method went through selecting three home matches from a Premier League team and the goal was to measure the spatial relations between teams using spatial variables that captured the distances and angles between the defending and attacking players close to the ball.

Prof. Bruno Gonçalves explained the study:

“The study aimed to explore the coordination patterns between players and teams that support football progression passes. From these coordination patterns it’s possible to identify the space-temporal relation and, consequently, the information that supports the decisions of the players in this type of actions. This knowledge will have implications for the design of training tasks with the aim of enhancing those behaviors during the match. Once again, positional data were used to allow the referencing of players on the field, as well as the calculation of distances, angles between them and the occupied areas, width and depth of the teams. The results, due to the simplicity with which they were presented, will clearly allow a transfer of knowledge to the coach and to the training process.”

To read the full paper, you can access to it here:



Andreia Santos


Bruno Gonçalves