Scouts: from the notebook to the tablet ~ It’s not football, it’s La Liga

"ANDhe job as a scout has changed so much that it even has another name: now they are called scouters”, points out the former soccer playe

“ANDhe job as a scout has changed so much that it even has another name: now they are called scouters”, points out the former soccer player and current coordinator of the Sevilla FC youth academy, Paul White. This evolution is well known to those who sit in front of him, Emilio of God, head of Scouting of the club: “We have gone from the notebook to the tablet”. They are the two protagonists of the last episode of LaLiga Yesterday and Today.

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The Seville club is famous for the transfer management of its sports director. “When I arrive at Sevilla I realize in the first minute that the home coaches who are dedicated to scouting have internalized what player profile is interesting for Sánchez-Pizjuán, that is, not only which winger is more skilled than another but what extreme like here ”, explains De Dios. “I believe that success lies in the continuity of the sports director. That essential. Monchi has defined those profiles”Blanco points out in relation to the work of Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo.

Another of the pillars on which his method is based is that of technology. “The Big Data department is growing in parallel not only with experts in data processing but also with soccer coaches to know what we are looking for. Everyone can have the data, but how we value the objective data of a pass is not the same as how a club that doesn’t play like us values ​​it”. The scouting department has detailed statistics on all the players they value to take to the club thanks to platforms such as Mediacoach, LaLiga’s video data analysis tool, and others of its own. “In the end, it is about mixing the subjective data of the scout and the objective data that all those tools provide you. like pictures.”

“What I like most about this, Emilio, is that technology is not being able to with us,” Blanco responds jokingly, but he is not without reason. A good example of how scouts can never be replaced by Artificial Intelligence is the way in which the former footballer discovered Jesus Navas: “It was a coincidence, We weren’t going for him We were going to sign a Los Palacios goalkeeper and I went that day to see him because the president wouldn’t let him come and try with us. Chatting with the president, I saw a little boy who played very well, very fast… I thought that maybe putting the two in would make it easier for the goalkeeper to come and I asked him if they could come and they did. He came to try out at the Ciudad Deportiva, we signed him and since then his evolution has been spectacular”.

How did scouts work before they could count on technological tools? At present, what does De Dios pay attention to when he sees a soccer player play live? Press play and find out on the podcast of LaLiga Yesterday and Today.