Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game” as Want to Read:
Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  454 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published May 31st 2016 by Bloomsbury Sigma (first published May 5th 2016)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Soccermatics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Soccermatics

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  454 ratings  ·  34 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Soccermatics: Mathematical Adventures in the Beautiful Game
Brian Clegg
May 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I need to be honest up front - my first reaction on seeing this book was 'Let someone else review it.' I have zero interest in football, and don't understand why anyone cares about such a dull activity. But then it struck me that what better test could a book have than being tried out by someone without an interest in the theme, and I'm glad I stuck with it, because I really enjoyed it despite myself.

This is because David Sumpter may be using soccer as a hook for mathematical explora
Allen Adams
Jun 02, 2016 rated it really liked it

One of the things that first drew me into sports fandom was the prevalence of numbers. Professional sports count a lot of things; as a kid with a proclivity for math and a lot of time on his hands, it’s no surprise that I would embrace that side of things.

It was baseball at first – and baseball remains my first love – but my fascination with these numbers slowly grew to encompass other professional sports. The explosion in advanced metrics in more recent times has only fuele
Rahul Mohan
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply brilliant !!
Helena R-D
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm the opposite of many of the other reviewers: I love football and I'm like lukewarm on mathematics. I liked the way he explained things and it was a clever idea.
Stephen McGovern
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating book that takes a really novel approach to football.
Margaret Sankey
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This is good popular science, leveraging the author's (and a large section of the public's) interest in soccer (also an activity which generates a huge number of statistics) to offer examples of mathematical modeling, from the patterns of players replicated in food-seeking slime mold to the application of "Moneyball" metrics to soccer clubs. Although I have almost no interest in soccer, this is a useful way to provide vivid illustrations and connect what seem like esoteric calculations to everyd ...more
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book! I only have a mild interest in football and little understanding of mathematics and statistics, yet found this book fascinating. I'd recommend this to any football fan to widen their understanding of the game, but in the same token I would recommend the book to anyone who dislikes football too; reading this book helped me realise how intrinsic mathematics is to football.
Christoforos Nikolaou
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Overall very interesting for both the game's "aficionado" and the mathematically-oriented geek (I consider myself a lot of the first and a bit of the second). It strikes a perfect balance between football and math and manages to explain hard-to-grasp concepts from passing patterns and pressing strategies to how bookmaker odds are defined.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: football
I really like football. I've studied Maths to a reasonable level. I really liked The Mixer, Soccernomics and Inverting The Pyramid. In theory, this ticks all the boxes, and was very promising based on the concepts. Yet despite some reasonable insights, it felt like the idea of Maths in football came first, and it was up to Sumpter to put try and find some ways to 'explain' football, rather than an enthusiastic blogger who was able to use more resources in putting together a book. There were also some rather basic issues ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Once again I dive into one of my current obsessions, soccer. But this time I temper it with something I dislike a great deal, math. Math and I have had a long history of never understanding each other and constantly looking for ways to avoid figuring out our differences. But in pursuit of my new love, I decided to team up with my nemesis to win over the heart and mind of the beautiful game.

(That sounded better in my head) Mr. Sumpter does a terrific job of showing how mathematics app
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, football
Soccermatics: Mathematic Adventures in the Beautiful Game (2016) by David Sumpter is a fine read that looks at how math can be used to explain and improve football. Sumpter is a professor of Applied Math in Sweden who does quite a lot of research helping football teams. 

The book looks are how graphs can be used to look at team passing. There is a very well named chapter 'How Slime Mould Built Barcelona'. There is a section on betting markets and strategies that can be used with them.
Miguel Angel  García Rojas Covarrubias
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sourya Dey
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sport
Picked up this book because I am a fan of soccer who is also interested in the math behind the game, having written an article on scoring goals myself. Unfortunately, the writing style of this book didn't engage me at all. Sumpter touches on a number of topics - from team performances to player movement to betting - however, this book feels like a collection of the 'Results' sections of many research papers instead of a literary work.
Erik Surewaard
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about ‘sports analytics’. Not a novel like Moneyball, but a book more focused on the method side. Clearly something for a math geek like myself;)

I must say that I really liked reading this book. First of all, it is well written. Content wise, you will get an idea on such things like soccer KPI’s, visualizations, prediction models, ...

I learnt quite some interesting ideas and concepts from this book. It also triggered me to read some other content and even p
Dec 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: put-away
Als data analist en voetballer wekt het onderwerp zeker mijn interesse, maar wat ik erover heb gelezen kan mij niet overtuigen. Dit boek vormt daarop geen uitzondering.Dat ploegen die veel en snel overspelen vaker winnen, bij voorbeeld, is niet echt een eye opener. De causaliteit ontbreekt steeds volledig.De analyses lijken mij vooral nuttig voor voetbalsimulaties en minder voor de praktijk. Voor voetbalgames als Football Manager en PES dus.Verder is het vooral de koe in de kont kijken en daarvo ...more
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the perfect marriage of football and math, if you like both this subjects you will throughly enjoy the book. If, you like me, think math & football are beauty this is what you are looking for. It is well written and it touches on how math's footprint is all over footballing tactics even when perhaps not even the people devising this tactics have realized it.
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book, favorites
The book opened a completely new field of appreciation of footbal and mathematics to me. The revolition that has happen to footbal scouting and tactics in last ~10 years was completely unknown to me until I read about it in Soccermatics. I suspect next Champions League match viewing will be a different experience for me.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Incoherent structure, irrelevant mixing of several concepts from maths to football to biology to social behaviour to even career counseling. Telling signs that it's author's first book. He improved significantly with his second book 'Outnumbered', which is a must read. This work though, can definitely be skipped by people who are either interested in maths or football or even just in books.
Jiri Krula
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Úžasná kniha, základní vhled do aplikace matematické analýzy a datové analytiky v současném fotbale. Vřele doporučuji!
Ghassan Samaha
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I claim games are benefiting tremendously not just from MaAtH but from physics, as well as Artificial Intelligence.
Fabio Diglio
Debido a mi pasión para el fútbol y los números, tenía muchas expectativas sobre ese libro, circunstancia que probablemente influye sobre mi reseña.

Lo he encontrado bastante aburrido y repetitivo.
Juan Camilo
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy buen libro. Si eres una persona que practica un deporte o lideres un equipo de trabajo, este texto puede ser de mucha utilidad.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mp1, sports
This was a very very boring book. I would recommend it to only die-hard mathematicians.
John Kaye
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Sometimes a good read, but it would have been better to have a smoother progression through the tiopics: a bit gadfly!
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Một cuốn sách thú vị cho những người học Toán mê bóng đá.

Chương thú vị nhất có lẽ là phần liên quan đến cá độ. Tuy nhiên, cũng như những mô hình phân tích trong những chương trước đó, đừng nghĩ đọc xong là bạn có thể kiếm tiền ngay lập tức, vì mọi thứ đơn giản thay đổi theo thời gian. Đặc biệt trong những lĩnh vực nhạy cảm như cá độ thể thao.

Tác giả mang đến một cái nhìn mới mẻ về môn thể thao vua. Còn thưởng thức như thế nào thì hoàn toàn là do bạn, những người đam mê bó
Brandon Anderson
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting especially if you're somewhat of an intermediate on soccer or math or both. Sumpter really knows his stuff and has a great way of creating models that simplify the math enough to make his ideas accessible. The book is divided into playing, coaching, and watching soccer. I found the playing part to be most interesting as he dove into the geometry of the game. The section on playing for the win versus going for ties was also fascinating and borne out well in the math.

Henrik Warne
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book is divided into three sections on playing, coaching and watching soccer. For each part, there are several chapters where mathematical analysis is applied to the topic.

The part on playing starts off with modelling the distribution of goals in a game, and continues with simulating league results. There are also chapters on passing networks in different teams (like Barcelona), ranking individual players and teams, and an analysis of Zlatan’s bicycle kick goal against England. ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book! Recommend for anyone interested in football and statistics.

I really like how the book was set out in that the detailed maths was left in the appendix.
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decisamente molto interessante e ben fatto, questo libro mostra precisamente la direzione che il calcio sta prendendo in quest'ultimo decennio. Molti i capitoli interessanti, e in particolare, per gli scommettitori, gli ultimi.
Non fatevi scoraggiare dalla parola "matematica" del titolo.
Tre stelle e mezza.
Theo Puech
Sep 04, 2016 rated it liked it
It was good but a bit boring at times
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Numbers Game: Why Everything You Know About Soccer Is Wrong
  • Soccernomics
  • The Mixer: The Story of Premier League Tactics, from Route One to False Nines
  • Das Reboot: How German Football Reinvented Itself and Conquered the World
  • My Turn: The Autobiography
  • Zonal Marking: The Making of Modern European Football
  • Up Pohnpei: A Quest to Reclaim the Soul of Football by Leading the World's Ultimate Underdogs to Glory
  • Invincible: Inside Arsenal's Unbeaten 2003-2004 Season
  • Infinite Powers: How Calculus Reveals the Secrets of the Universe
  • The Football Ramble
  • The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women who Changed Soccer
  • The Anatomy of England: A History in Ten Matches
  • How to Watch Soccer
  • The Football Man: People & Passions in Soccer
  • The Club: How the English Premier League Became the Wildest, Richest, Most Disruptive Force in Sports
  • All Played Out
  • The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets
  • Pep Confidential: The Inside Story of Pep Guardiola's First Season at Bayern Munich
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
“When we see new ways of displaying data, we should be careful not to confuse presentation with substance” 1 likes
More quotes…