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Title: Variations of Network Centralities Between Playing Positions in Favorable and Unfavorable Close and Unbalanced Scores During the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Authors: Clemente, Filipe Manuel 
Sarmento, Hugo 
Praça, Gibson Moreira
Nikolaidis, Pantelis Theodoros
Rosemann, Thomas
Knechtle, Beat
Keywords: graph theory; social network analysis; observational analysis; association football; performance analysis; notational analysis
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Project: FCT/MEC through national funds and when applicable co-funded by FEDER – PT2020 partnership agreement under the project UID/EEA/50008/2019 
Serial title, monograph or event: Frontiers in Psychology
Volume: 10
Abstract: The purpose of this study is twofold: (i) analyze the variations of network centralities between close (difference of goals equal to one) and unbalanced (difference of goals equal to or greater than two) scores; and (ii) compare the centrality levels between playing positions. The passing sequences that occurred during the 64 matches played by the 32 national teams that participated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup were analyzed and coded. The network centralities of degree prestige and degree centrality were calculated based on the weighted adjacency matrices built from the passing sequences. The results reveal that higher degree centralities of midfielders occurred in unfavorable (lost) unbalanced scores (p = 0.046; ES (effect size) = 0.472). Moreover, in favorable (won) matches the higher values of degree centrality of central defenders (p = 0.014; ES: 0.458) and defensive midfielders (p = 0.004; ES: 0.715) were also found in unbalanced scores. The comparisons between positions revealed that the highest and significant degree prestige levels were found in defensive midfielders in both close (12.10%) and unbalanced scores (10.95%). In conclusion, it is possible to observe that winning by an unbalanced score significantly increased the centrality levels of the wingers and forwards in comparison to close scores. Moreover, it was also found that independent of the final score or the unbalanced score level, the defensive midfielders were the most prominent or recruited players during the passing sequences.
ISSN: 1664-1078
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01802
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CIDAF - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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