| Written By Lloyd Webb Features

The Debate: Who Would You Want To Track?

Lunch, sport and weather are often hot topic debates throughout office culture, but here at PLAYR, our discourses always revert back to one single question: ‘Which footballer, past or present, would produce the best statistics with our technology?’

Lionel Messi, Paul Gascoigne and Neymar have regularly been popular answers, but with such discussions getting increasingly heated, we thought it was high time an expert put this to bed. Tony Strudwick, one of the brains behind our SmartCoach system and currently Wales’ Head of Performance, has been lucky enough to work with the best of the best throughout a career spanning over a decade. Often not short for things to say with his wealth of knowledge, this was a question the former Manchester United coach needed time to consider before settling on an answer.

“I think it would probably be a Ryan Giggs or a Cristiano Ronaldo, although a young Wayne Rooney was impressive as well – in his early years he was incredibly powerful,” Strudwick begins after a lengthy pause. “What you saw with Ronaldo was his high intensity output. It was an explosive output, he would sprint, score a goal and then recover –  it was just relentless. What Ryan Giggs did was be so efficient in his movement – his stride for stride – and he just blew away the Premier League with his sheer pace and power.

“At the end of his career, when he started to move from a wide position to a central position, he was still so quick that he got away from people in the middle of the park. I remember one game against Chelsea away in the cup, we went to extra time, and he was just unbelievable. He was about 37 or 38, but his performance level was just one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. Players can learn from Ryan Giggs’ discipline and professionalism. Doing whatever it takes to be the best in the world, and it’s the same with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“These are two players there that were and are world class. They are world-class players for a reason. World-class players evolve throughout time, world-class players are very good at absorbing information and seeking out ways to take their careers to the next level with innovation. Whether you want to call them innovators or scientists, it’s probably a bit of both really, the best players will do that.

“The knowledge is there for young people to tap into now and what they can learn from the likes of your Ronaldo’s and Giggs’ is how to take your game to another level with the discipline, work rate and dedication to be the best you can be. It is all about maximising individual performance. What PLAYR does is allow you to disseminate that  information and really educate more and more people about the benefits of sports science, specific training, relevant training and associate training. PLAYR allows you to tap into that knowledge base.”

Considering Catapult Sports, the leader in elite sports analytics and creator of PLAYR, supplies over 1800 professional sides across the world with such technology, it’s no surprise players have become reliant on performance data to train, play and improve. Putting that analysis in the hands of every player for the first time, PLAYR promises to give you a total understanding of your game.