Jun 15 2021
Episode 7: The Penalty Doctor - Ignacio Palacios-Huerta
With a major international tournament underway, it seemed the perfect time to delve deep into a topic that will feature heavily in the coming weeks. To many, penalty kicks are merely a lottery. To Ignacio Palacios-Huerta, such a theory is foolhardy. And he has the years of research to prove it. A highly-regarded professor at the London School of Economics, Palacios-Huerta is also a penalty oracle and an academic revolutionary. Having studiously devoted years of his life to crunching the data, he has found many patterns to spot kicks and how both the taker and goalkeeper react to such a high-pressured situation. He discusses his work with elite clubs and national teams (an infamous 2008 Champions League final and the 2010 World Cup final), why Manchester United's ignorance regarding penalty strategy cost them dearly in the Europa League decider against Villarreal and his incredible analytical find ahead of the recent Championship play-off between Brentford and Swansea City at Wembley. In a thoroughly fascinating conversation, he takes Niko on a journey from Russell Crowe to predicted behaviours via game theory and Nobel Prize winners. You won't watch a penalty kick the same way ever again! The Last Line, in association with Evangelista Sports, is hosted by Niko Giantsopoulos and produced by York United Football Club of the Canadian Premier League.