The Italian Almanac

To be or not to be?

Italian News - October 22

AC Milan's scientific lab is to work with the prestigious Massachusetts Instutite of Technology (MIT) to try and cut down errors by coaches, players and doctors. MilanLab, which is at the forefront of scientific research on soccer and has launched innovative studies on what makes Brazilian soccer players so special, has signed a three-year accord with MIT and Milan's San Raffaele University and hospital.

The aim of the project, according to Milan health director Jean-Pierre Meerssman, is to "study the mental processes behind our judgements and decisions." "Recent cognitive research has in fact shown that the human mind, in conditions of risk and uncertainty, finds it hard to integrate different information and tries to find cognitive short-cuts to get round these problems." "That can lead to systematic mistakes." "This is why we chose San Raffaele and MIT as the best groups to help us create new algorithims to analyse in real time the position of players on the field and make similar judgements." He said San raffale and MIT were "the best possible partners to ensure the excellence of the project."

The MilanLab-MIT programme will help make it easier for players to make snap decisions on the field, coaches to frame their tactics, and doctors to make quick assessments of injuries, the lab's scientific chief Matteo Motterlini said.