The good folk at Balls.ie hosted a fantastic sports data discussion in Dublin recently, with Financial Times football writer Simon Kuper invited as the guest speaker.
The author of Football Against The Enemy and many other top football titles is regarded as one of the most influential thinkers on the beautiful game, and at this talk he revealed an amazing anecdote about Daley Blind’s role in helping Germany win the World Cup, unbeknownst to the player himself.
Kuper explains that the Germany team’s analysts identified Daley Blind’s ability to cut out a 1-2 as the perfect prototype, and they downloaded a practical clip of the Man United man doing just that.
They had the Germany players study Blind’s resolute following of the man, and not the ball, and applied it for their quarter final and semi-final preparation against France and Brazil last summer.
A Dutchman helping the Germans win the World Cup…we’re not sure he’ll be too pleased with himself.