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Algorithm Ranks World's Top Soccer Talent


Soccer players as nodes on a network

Amaral / PLoS

These days, in pretty much every sport, there is no hiding from statistics. Coaches, team owners, fantasy leaguers, and fans are tracking and analyzing a player's every move, fitness level, and more.

And now, thanks to a chemical and biological engineer at Northwestern University who is also a self-proclaimed football fanatic, we can compare our number-crunching with a much-touted new algorithm.

Professor Luís Amaral's rating system, unveiled Wednesday in the online journal PLoS ONE, was first put to the test after the 2008 European Cup, when it ranked the 20 best footballers who played--a list that lines up pretty well with general analysis. (Sergio Ramos and Xavi Hernandez, both of Spain, tied for first.)

Soon we should be able to see if the model's best-rated players for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa are lining up with the real-time results.

From CNET
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