As a Peruvian, I thought I knew a bit about the South American passion for football. But seeing it first hand was something else. I’ve just returned from an epic trip around South and Central America, introducing clubs to PlayerMaker’s groundbreaking technology. Five weeks, five countries, and 19 clubs in total. There were many highlights, but if I had to pick one, it would be meeting Vanderlei Luxemburgo, the most successful coach in Brazilian Serie A history (ex Brazil and Real Madrid, now at Vasco da Gama). He’s got a reputation for being tight-lipped but when I showed him the PlayerMaker System he got pretty excited about all the ways you could use the data.
The most impressive thing I saw? Brazilian technique up close. Brazilians are just on another level because they play futsal when they’re 8 or 9 and play in reduced spaces. They’re famous for their ability to take players on — just think of Neymar or Willian. But I discovered that this doesn’t just happen by accident. At Fluminense I watched the U17s spend 30 minutes practising 1 on 1s, and similar sessions at other clubs. This is a Brazilian stamp. It was really cool to see it with my own eyes, and awesome to see that close control being done with our sensors.
After meeting some of the most important clubs in the continent, I’ve come to realize how far South American clubs have come in terms of methodological work and the detail they put into practice. PlayerMaker brings a lot of value to teams from a technical and tactical perspective and this translated into an amazing reception at each of the clubs we visited. Every door we knocked on was opened with a smile and an invitation to return. The understanding and appreciation for PlayerMaker by the clubs gives me hope that I will be back on that side of the world very soon.
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