Toni Modric1, Sime Versic1,2, Mario Jelicic1

1Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Split, Split, Croatia
2HNK Hajduk Split, Split, Croatia

Monitoring Technical Performance in the UEFA Champions League: Differences Between Successful and Unsuccessful Teams

Monten. J. Sports Sci. Med. 2022, 11(2), 3-11 | DOI: 10.26773/mjssm.220901


This study attempted to identify associations between the TP (technical performance) of top-elite football (soccer) players according achievement of their teams and match outcome in UEFA Champions League (UCL). TP were evaluated by position specific InStat index which was calculated on the basis of a unique set of key parameters for each playing position. The participants (n = 179) were professional football players from teams that competed in the group stage of UCL in the 2020/21 season. Players were classified according to playing positions, and all data were obtained from 20 matches. Team achievement was defined by three criteria: (i) qualifying of the team from the group stage into the knockout stage of UCL, (ii) the final ranking of the team in the group, and (iii) total group points earned at the end of the group phase of UCL. The results indicated a higher InStat index when teams (i) won matches, (ii) qualified into the knockout stage, (iii) achieved a higher position on the table, and (iv) earned more group points. These findings confirmed that the InStat index is valid discriminator of TP between successful and unsuccessful teams.


soccer, success, technical abilities, match outcome

View full article
(PDF – 321KB)


Aquino, R., Carling, C., Palucci Vieira, L., Martins, G., Jabor, G., Machado, J., & Puggina, E. (2018). Influence of situational variables, team formation, and playing position on match running performance and social network analysis in brazilian professional soccer players. J Strength Cond Res.

Asian Clemente, J. A., Requena, B., Jukic, I., Nayler, J., Hernández, A. S., & Carling, C. (2019). Is physical performance a differentiating element between more or less successful football teams? Sports, 7 (10), 216.

Butterworth, A., O’Donoghue, P., & Cropley, B. (2013). Performance profiling in sports coaching: A review. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13(3), 572-593.

Carling, C. (2013). Interpreting physical performance in professional soccer match-play: should we be more pragmatic in our approach? Sports medicine, 43(8), 655-663.

Castellano, J., Casamichana, D., & Lago, C. (2012). The use of match statistics that discriminate between successful and unsuccessful soccer teams. Journal of Human Kinetics, 31, 137-147.

De Albuquerque Freire, L., Brito, M. A., Muñoz, P. M., Pérez, D. I. V., Kohler, H. C., Aedo-Muñoz, E. A., . . . Znazen, H. (2022). Match Running Performance of Brazilian Professional Soccer Players according to Tournament Types. Montenegrin Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 11(1), 53-58.

Ferguson, C. J. (2016). An effect size primer: A guide for clinicians and researchers.

Hoppe, M., Slomka, M., Baumgart, C., Weber, H., & Freiwald, J. (2015). Match running performance and success across a season in German Bundesliga soccer teams. International journal of sports medicine, 36(07), 563-566.

Huck, S. W. (2011). Reading Statistics and Research: Pearson Education.

Konefał, M., Chmura, P., Zacharko, M., Chmura, J., Rokita, A., & Andrzejewski, M. (2018). Match outcome vs match status and frequency of selected technical activities of soccer players during UEFA Euro 2016. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 18(4), 568-581.

Konefał, M., Chmura, P., Zając, T., Chmura, J., Kowalczuk, E., & Andrzejewski, M. (2019a). Evolution of technical activity in various playing positions, in relation to match outcomes in professional soccer. Biology of sport, 36(2), 181.

Konefał, M., Chmura, P., Zając, T., Chmura, J., Kowalczuk, E., & Andrzejewski, M. (2019b). A new approach to the analysis of pitch-positions in professional soccer. Journal of Human Kinetics, 66, 143.

Lago-Peñas, C., & Lago-Ballesteros, J. (2011). Game location and team quality effects on performance profiles in professional soccer. Journal of sports science & medicine, 10 (3), 465.

Lago-Peñas, C., Lago-Ballesteros, J., Dellal, A., & Gómez, M. (2010). Game-related statistics that discriminated winning, drawing and losing teams from the Spanish soccer league. Journal of sports science & medicine, 9(2), 288.

Lago-Peñas, C., Lago-Ballesteros, J., & Rey, E. (2011). Differences in performance indicators between winning and losing teams in the UEFA Champions League. Journal of Human Kinetics, 27, 135-146.

Lepschy, H., Wäsche, H., & Woll, A. (2018). How to be successful in football: a systematic review. The Open Sports Sciences Journal, 11 (1).

Liu, H., Gómez, M.-A., Gonçalves, B., & Sampaio, J. (2016). Technical performance and match-to-match variation in elite football teams. Journal of sports sciences, 34(6), 509-518.

Liu, H., Yi, Q., Giménez, J.-V., Gómez, M.-A., & Lago-Peñas, C. (2015). Performance profiles of football teams in the UEFA Champions League considering situational efficiency. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 15(1), 371-390.

Memmert, D., Lemmink, K. A., & Sampaio, J. (2017). Current approaches to tactical performance analyses in soccer using position data. Sports medicine, 47(1), 1-10.

Modric, T., Versic, S., & Sekulic, D. (2020). Aerobic fitness and game performance indicators in professional football players; playing position specifics and associations. Heliyon, 6(11), e05427.

Modric, T., Versic, S., & Sekulic, D. (2021). Relations of the Weekly External Training Load Indicators and Running Performances in Professional Soccer Matches. Sport Mont, 19(1), 31-37.

Modric, T., Versic, S., Sekulic, D., & Liposek, S. (2019). Analysis of the Association between Running Performance and Game Performance Indicators in Professional Soccer Players. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(20), 4032.

Pappalardo, L., & Cintia, P. (2018). Quantifying the relation between performance and success in soccer. Advances in Complex Systems, 21(03n04), 1750014.

Rampinini, E., Impellizzeri, F. M., Castagna, C., Coutts, A. J., & Wisløff, U. (2009). Technical performance during soccer matches of the Italian Serie A league: Effect of fatigue and competitive level. Journal of science and medicine in sport, 12(1), 227-233.

Ribeiro, J., Silva, P., Duarte, R., Davids, K., & Garganta, J. (2017). Team sports performance analysed through the lens of social network theory: implications for research and practice. Sports medicine, 47(9), 1689-1696.

Sarmento, H., Clemente, F. M., Araújo, D., Davids, K., McRobert, A., & Figueiredo, A. (2018). What performance analysts need to know about research trends in association football (2012–2016): A systematic review. Sports medicine, 48(4), 799-836.

Travassos, B., Davids, K., Araújo, D., & Esteves, T. P. (2013). Performance analysis in team sports: Advances from an Ecological Dynamics approach. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 13(1), 83-95.

Yi, Q., Jia, H., Liu, H., & Gómez, M. Á. (2018). Technical demands of different playing positions in the UEFA Champions League. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 18(6), 926-937.

Zhou, C., Zhang, S., Lorenzo Calvo, A., & Cui, Y. (2018). Chinese soccer association super league, 2012–2017: key performance indicators in balance games. International Journal of Performance Analysis in Sport, 18(4), 645-656.