The History of NUPEF

History, Objectives, Partnerships and Projections

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The Centre of Research and Studies in Soccer (NUPEF) was idealized by Dr. Israel Teoldo da Costa and began its activities in August, 2010.The purpose of the Centre is to develop cutting-edge research in Soccer, and through its results, contribute to the development of more intelligent and creative players for the game. Furthermore, the Centre aims to develop qualified human resources able to work in several areas in Soccer. Since the beginning of its activities, the Centre has already developed many professional training activities, as well welcomed students from more than 20 states from Brazil and other countries (United States, Canada, Paraguay, Spain and Colombia). Even though being in an early stage, the Centre has a solid purpose and of national and international interest. Attracting people from both professional and academic communities shows that the Centre has a solid purpose that draws national and international attention.

NUPEF’s facilities comprise three laboratories: Laboratory of Cognition and Action for Sports; Laboratory of Sports Psychology and Laboratory of Match Analysis. The Laboratory of Cognition and Action for Sports has received support from the Office of State of Minas Gerais for Sports and Youth, through the State Law for Incentive to Sports, and has one of the most modern investigation devices in the field of decision making, the Mobile Eye Tracking. The Laboratory of Sports Psychology has received support from the Dean’s Office of the Universidade Federal de Viçosa and is in the final stages of implementation. Among the available devices is the Mental Test and Training System (MTTS), which allows the assessment and training of some cognitive processes of the athletes. The Laboratory of Match Analysis features the system of tracking and monitoring players’ movements (GPSPORTS), the System of Tactical Assessment in Soccer (TACTICUP and FUT-SAT), as well as match analysis systems. These systems are used to conduct studies, which help coaches to improve training sessions and maximize players’ development, both at the academy and professional levels.

Currently, the Centre has been conducting scientific studies on the importance of cognition on tactical and sports performance of players and teams. Our projects have been developed with the support of national and international soccer funding organizations, as well as of several clubs from Brazil and abroad.

Between 2014 and 2015, NUPEF’s coordinator performed his postdoctoral research in London, at the Brunel University London, with the support of Professor Mark Williams, at which time they studied the impact of the tactical and cognitive components on the performance and development of soccer players. Through this postdoctoral project, more qualified studies in Soccer have been developed and more scientific contributions, always seeking that the contributions from science can reach the practical area and soccer clubs’ daily routines, to support the development of more intelligent and creative players for the game (training and competition).

On the academic-scientific scene, the Centre has already established international partnerships with the Soccer Office from The Faculty of Sports of the University of Porto, coordinated by Dr. Júlio Garganta; with the Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance from Brunel University London, coordinated by Dr. Mark Williams; with the University of Castilla-La Mancha, through Prof. Dr. Sixto Gonzáles-Víllora; with the Department of Performance Psychology from the Psychology Institute of the University of Köln in Germany, through Prof. Dr. Markus Raab;, with the Faculty of Sport Science and Physical Education from University of Coimbra, through Dr. António Figueiredo; and, more recently, we have started a cooperation with Dr. Dieter Hackfort, Head of Department for Sport Science from the University of Munich, in Germany.

Within the national scene, NUPEF established scientific exchanges with the Laboratory of Cognition and Action for Sports from UFMG, coordinated by Professor Dr. Pablo Greco; with the Laboratory of Sport Psychology from UFMG, coordinated by Dr. Varley Teoldo da Costa; and with the Laboratory of Studies in Sport Pedagogy from UNICAMP, coordinated by Dr. Alcides José Scaglia; with the Group of Studies in Soccer from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, coordinated by Dr. Marcelo Matta; with the Group of Studies in Sports from the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, coordinated by Dr. José Cícero de Moraes; with the Human Development Laboratory, from Universidade Federal do Amazonas, through Prof. João Claudio Machado; and the School of Physical Education from the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, with Prof. Vilde Menezes.

Furthermore, the Centre has taken part in soccer-related development activities by the Brazilian Soccer Confederation – CBF, CONMEBOL and FIFA, besides educational events in top-level clubs in Brazil, such as Botafogo de Futebol e Regatas, Fluminense Football Club, Grêmio Football Porto Alegrense, São Paulo Futebol Club, Sport Club Internacional, among others.

In addition to the Master’s and PhD programs, (, and the Post-Graduation Course in Soccer (, NUPEF has developed other impactful projects in the national scene, aimed at the development of highly qualified human resources for Soccer. Among these projects the Soccer Experience ( and the UFV Soccer Academy ( stand out. The expectation for the coming years is that the Centre will continue to improve these projects of development of human resources and increase its professional and academic-scientific partnerships with the organizations of promotion and investigation in Soccer.


Be a reference to develop human resources and knowledge for Soccer.


Continue to be a national and international reference in the development of human resources and knowledge for Soccer.



Stimulate the search for new information and our capacity to share information, knowledge, and experience.


Develop behaviours that allows us to track our activities towards innovation and produce knowledge that has a positive impact in the development of human resources.


Work together creating interdependent relationships and collective productions that will generate social impact.

Social Responsibility

Generate social impact thru the development of knowledge and human resources.


Act with transparency and honesty always based on ethics and human rights.


Act with commitment, creativity, and dedication.

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