Why football should welcome AI into tactics and transfers

Esteban Granero: Former midfielder using artificial intelligence to help shape tactics, transfers and the future of football

Esteban Granero, a former midfielder who played for clubs like Real Madrid, QPR, Real Sociedad, and Espanyol, has embarked on a groundbreaking venture that utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to reshape the world of football. In 2016, Granero founded Olocip, an AI consultancy based in Madrid, Spain. Olocip specializes in the development and application of AI in football, and it has been at the forefront of this innovative approach long before AI gained mainstream attention.

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At its core, Olocip aims to revolutionize the use of data in football by leveraging AI technology. Granero recognized the abundance of data available in the sport but questioned how it could be harnessed more effectively. Olocip's mission is to move football analysis from a retrospective approach to a forward-thinking one, empowering clubs, coaches, and players to make better-informed decisions regarding tactics, transfers, and various other aspects of the game.

Olocip boasts a team of dedicated scientists who have spent years refining their AI-driven platform. Through sophisticated algorithms and data processing, the company provides its clients with analysis that goes beyond descriptive insights. Olocip's analysis is predictive and prescriptive, enabling stakeholders in the football industry to anticipate outcomes, identify patterns, and make proactive decisions.

Granero acknowledges that when Olocip began its work, the concept of AI in sports was relatively unexplored. However, as AI technology gained wider recognition and adoption, Olocip's early involvement has positioned the company as a trailblazer in the field. Granero sees the current surge of interest in AI as an advantage, as it allows Olocip to further develop and refine its AI-driven solutions to meet the evolving needs of the football industry.

While embracing AI in football raises concerns about the potential risks and reliance on technology, Granero views it as a transformative force akin to electricity. He believes that AI has the capacity to revolutionize not only football but also other industries. Granero envisions a future where AI becomes an integral part of decision-making processes, enabling football professionals to optimize their strategies, improve player performance, and shape the future of the sport.


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