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Exclusive: Why Spanish football club Sevilla want help from IT experts in Bengaluru

Sevilla are one of the first Spanish teams to adopt a data-driven approach to enhance on-field performance and boost their injury prevention system



José Castro Carmona, president, Sevilla FC, with Gaurav Manchanda, owner FC Bengaluru United. (Supplied photo)
José Castro Carmona, president, Sevilla FC, with Gaurav Manchanda, owner FC Bengaluru United. (Supplied photo)
by

Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Thu 23 Jun 2022, 9:00 PM

In an unprecedented move, a big European football club has turned to India to reap the benefits of modern technology.

As part of their five-year deal with FC Bengaluru United, Spanish club Sevilla FC are looking to tap into the finest IT brains in Bengaluru, the hub of information technology in India.

Despite being one of the first teams in Spain to adopt a data-driven approach to enhance on-field performance and boost their injury prevention system, Sevilla FC believe the partnership with FC Bengaluru United will optimise their sports performance.

“With Bengaluru being the hub of technology in India, this approach to technology that we have as a club can only improve. So it’s great to connect with the Indian technology powerhouse that is Bengaluru. We want to tap into the knowledge of the technology experts in India. We will be doing things like player-transfer valuation,” Jose Castro Carmona, President, Sevilla FC, told Khaleej Times.

Earlier this month, the two clubs launched the football Hackathon, a one-of-a-kind platform to use data for performance analysis, injury prevention and player scouting.

“Using data for player analysis, for scouting, for talent development and injury prevention, these are the issues faced by all clubs, whether it’s a young club like us or a club as big as Sevilla FC,” Gaurav Manchanda, owner FC Bengaluru United, told Khaleej Times.

“We are working to build a smart data analysis system. We have launched the data hackathon. This is the first time two football clubs coming together to launch a data hackathon. As part of the project, we already have 4,000 people registered for the hackathon. It is to solve certain issues and problems, such as injury prevention, player management and player scouting.”

Organic growth

Unlike Sevilla FC, a team steeped in history, FC Bengaluru United is a young club that was only founded in 2018.

But the I-League club’s desire to grow organically appealed to Sevilla FC — a team that were languishing in the Spanish second division only 22 years ago, before becoming one of the biggest names in football with six Europa League titles.

“We feel with FC Bengaluru United, we have a strong connection in values. We have strong similarities in history,” Carmona said.

“They are a very young club, but you know, 22 years ago, we were also in the second division. But in these 22 years at the highest level, we have won six Europa Leagues, we have won 10 titles, and made 20 final appearances.

“We are consistently in Champions League, we have achieved all these, thanks to a specific model. So we want to share our knowledge with FC Bengaluru United. We want to help them achieve their dreams.”

Having produced World Cup winners, Sevilla FC are also open to welcoming India’s top young talents to their famous youth academy.

“You know Sergio Ramos, Jesus Navas and Carlos Marchena are World Cup winners and all three of them started their football journey in our youth academy. So in future, yes, young talents from India could make it to our academy,” Carmona said.


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