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LaLiga employs Microsoft Azure’s AI for goal probability graphics

The technology is able to calculate in 30 seconds how likely a player was to score a goal

LaLiga is using artificial intelligence and machine learning from Microsoft Azure to create new goal probability graphics on its broadcast feed from this weekend.

According to LaLiga, the technology is able to calculate in 30 seconds how likely a player was to score a goal.

The development is part of the Beyond Stats project and has been built based on an in-house model from the football analysts at LaLiga’s Mediacoach, who worked along with the Business Intelligence and Analytics team of LaLiga Tech, the technological subsidiary of the organisation.

The Mediacoach platform is capable of capturing almost 3.5 million positioning data points per match, which translates into some 2,000 metrics per player and helps to create the statistics

The aim is to help fans understand first hand just how good a goalscoring chance actually was. According to LaLiga, the information can bring fans even closer to the action and help explain how efficient the players are in their finishing. It can also contribute to an analysis of the season long performance of a team or player.

“Thanks to the  strength of Microsoft Azure, we are managing to improve the experience for our fans by incorporating this model that calculates the probability of a goal being scored,” said LaLiga Tech general director Miguel Ángel Leal.

“The algorithms we’ve developed are based on artificial intelligence and require a very high computing power in order to work through a very large number of data points and offer these stats almost in real time. Fans increasingly want a more personalised experience and quality information that helps them to interpret and enjoy the  game, something we are working on through the Beyond Stats project, both on the website and with the ‘Powered by Microsoft’ graphics shown in broadcasts,” he added.

“The work being carried out by our team of data scientists at LaLiga Tech, as part of our alliance with Microsoft, makes it possible to present innovations that are pioneering in the industry, such as this sophisticated Goal Probability model.”