How 1. FC Koln are turning to technology to break Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund dominance

17th October 2022

For more than 20 years, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have dominated German club football. But just how dominant are they? Since the turn of the millennium, only two other clubs – VfB Stuttgart and VfL Wolfsburg – have won the Bundesliga Meisterschale (the championship shield). So, you can say with confidence that both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have a competitive advantage.

But despite how insurmountable this advantage may seem, teams further down the Bundesliga table have recently been seeking ways to improve and overcome this. These teams, typically, have lower budgets than Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund so have to compete efficiently, finding new and novel advantages.

In this blog, we take you behind the scenes at 1. FC Köln to discover how they are using technology to break Bayern’s and Dortmund’s dominance. Last season, 1. FC Köln used both Catapult wearable and Pro Video solutions and since achieved 8th in the Bundesliga. As a result, the team once again competes in European competitions. 

The Catapult solutions the team use provide the Köln analysis team access to athlete performance data, event data, and video. Check out the video below, to go behind the scenes at 1. FC Köln.

→ To gain a competitive advantage for your football team, click here to speak to the team and arrange a free demo.

Pro Video improving 1. FC Köln’s performance analysis

The Catapult Pro video suite adopted by 1. FC Köln is used under the stewardship of Head of Performance Analysis Hannes Dold. Dold and his team of analysts have described the suite as intuitive, customisable, and efficient, giving the team an enhanced level of analysis.

“The combination of different datasets connected to video to get better insights is critical for us. We use MatchTracker [part of the Catapult Pro Video suite] all week long, it’s important for practice planning. MatchTracker is a big help to get insights about key data and information to plan practice accordingly,” said Dold.

Dold has been an advocate of the Pro Video suite for some time and through using the suite, Dold has improved analysis for 1. FC Köln since they can now see new, contextualised performance insights they did not see before.



Click here to learn more about the Pro Video suite.

Dold believes using the Pro Video suite best places 1. FC Köln to improve and achieve the advantages needed to compete with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

“The challenge we have is time (the most limiting factor) and the Pro Video suite is so much more efficient for us … you can collect a lot of information in a very short amount of time and can answer game-related questions so much faster than before,” said Dold.

Competitive advantage continued with athlete monitoring and live metrics

Having already achieved an advantage through using the Pro Video suite, 1. FC Köln have doubled down on technology by also using Catapult’s elite athlete monitoring solution, Vector. 

By using the technology, “we can measure performance, training load, and look at match data (to see the demands placed on a player),” said Head of Strength and Conditioning Coach, Max Weuthen.

“Based on that data you can start building your training schedule for the week … without data you don’t know at what intensity players need to train at to improve most effectively.”

By quickly understanding the benefits of using Vector, “we thought we needed to dive deeper into it and invest more … this is how we were able to find out what training drills have what kind of impact on our players,” said Weuthen.

The benefits of Vector were once again improved by the Catapult Product team when they recently delivered a real-time, live feature set. The Vector Live App allows for faster decision-making with real-time decisions from the sidelines.

“With the help of the Catapult product and its ongoing developments, we now have the chance to use live features via the iPad. It really helps a lot in our internal communication and we get the most insights from max velocity … but of course, distance, meters per second, accels and decels,” said Weuthen.

Vector Live App

“Live features are very important in our daily work since it allows us to give direct, instant feedback with data about a game, a certain drill or a counter press.”

Click here to learn more about Vector Live.

New contextualised insights with integrated data + video

Dold and Weuthen are at the forefront of performance analysis and conditioning, and together they were recently introduced to integrated data + video analysis. First impressions suggested a positive step towards 1. FC Köln efficiently breaking the dominance of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

“Since we use data in combination with video, we can cover more games to prepare more efficiently with less manpower and get more insights about our opponents and can adjust our own match plan,” said Dold.

“The combination of different datasets connected to video to get better insights is critical for us. But also, to be clear, it’s outstanding to be able to open a presentation in MatchTracker but also in Focus and work on it without opening different applications. It is a very streamlined workflow … it offers additional opportunities that you don’t even consider when you start building a workbook.”

To learn more about this integrated solution: