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Barclays' data scientist gets big new job at top football club

However exciting it is to work in data science in financial services, it doesn't really have the glamour of being a top data scientist for a football team associated with icons of masculinity like Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham.

We are excited, therefore, for Vitor Lopes, who escaped the relative anonymity of his job as a senior data scientist at Barclays in London, and has joined Spanish football club Real Madrid as 'director of applied research.'

Lopes declined to comment on what he will be doing in his new role, but it will presumably harness the data science and machine learning abilities highlighted on his LinkedIn profile. Further clues are offered by the contents of a football data analytics course on offer at the Real Madrid Graduate School. Like banks, it seems Real Madrid is in the process of a "digital transformation" based around data. But their data relates to biostatistics, injury prevention, training variables, and the historical analysis of football games. 

Lopes isn’t the only member of the team. It also includes head of data analytics Adrian Alonso and data scientist Edoardo Vivo, neither of whom came from banking. 

It's not unheard of for data scientists in financial services to be lured by data science in sports, though. In New York, data scientists for hedge fund Point72 have been working on analytics and technology for the Mets baseball team, which is also owned by Point72 founder Steve Cohen. 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor

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