Data visualisation from the 2011 Campions League

For the latest issue of the FT Weekend magazine, photographer Giles Revell created a series of images visualising data from the 2011 Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United

For the latest issue of the FT Weekend magazine, photographer Giles Revell created a series of images visualising data from the 2011 Champions League final between Barcelona and Manchester United

FT Weekend’s Mark Leeds commissioned the images to illustrate a piece by Simon Kuiper on the growing use of data analysis in football. Revell worked with CGI artist Matt Painter of Happy Finish (featured in our July issue) using data manipulation by Richard Crafts of Systems Accountants Ltd: BI Division to create the series, drawing on data from Prozone, the analytic software used by professional football clubs to assess their players’ performances.

The above sphere is part of a sequence recording every ‘event’ (every pass, tackle etc) in the final. It shows the moment when David Villa scored Barcelona’s third goal in the 69th minute.

The image on the right of this spread, the FT says, shows “activity (from both teams combined) during the second half of the Final. The large spikes are goals; the taller ridge represents touches; the shorter ridge represents passes.” Note the surge of activity preceding Villa’s goal shown by the large spike at the top of the form. .

The image shown at the top of this post “shows the geographic location on the pitch of all actions, such as passes, free kicks, dribbles and tackles, occurring during the Champions League Final. The left half of the image shows Manchester United’s activity; the right half shows Barcelona’s. The height of the spikes is determined by the number of actions that took place in individual locations on the pitch. The densely packed spikes on the right show that overall Barcelona’s activity was much more intensive than that of Manchester United”.

See all the images used, with full explanations plus animations, here

Here are some more images from the series that didn’t make the final article:

Giles Revell is represented by Stella Pye. See more images on her blog

While you’re at it, check out Revell’s stunning Chelsea Flower Show images for The Times’ Eureka magazine (two shown below)

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