RIO DE JANEIRO: TSG may sound like some new high-speed French train but is, in fact, the technical study group pulled together by FIFA at every World Cup since 1966 in England.

The TSG monitors matches at international tournaments and identifies the latest footballing trends – as it will in Brazil in the imminent World Cup.

“Our main goal is continual improvement of the game,” explains Jean-Paul Brigger, head of FIFA’s technical division and himself a former Swiss international who scored four goals in 35 appearances for his country. Brigger, a Swiss championship and five-time Swiss Cup winner, was named player of the season in 1992 with FC Sion, and coach of the year in 1995.

Gerard HOULLIER (France)
As manager of Liverpool he won the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001 as well as two French titles with Lyon. He was coach of the French national team between 1992 and 1993 and was the assistant of Aimé Jacquet at the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

Raul ARIAS (Mexico) 
As a player, he won the 1982/83 league title with Puebla. Arias was capped twice for Mexico, playing against Canada and Martinique.

Gabriel CALDERON (Argentina)
Calderón played with Argentina at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and in the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. He managed Caen, Lausanne Sports and several teams in Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, Oman, Al Ittihad, Al Hilal and Baniyas.

Ricki HERBERT (New Zealand) 
The former New Zealand star and head coach of the national team represented his country at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and coached the New Zealand national team at the 2010 World Cup.

Abdel M. HUSSEIN (Sudan) 
Known as ‘Shatta’, Hussein won the Egyptian league championship and Egyptian Cup over ten times with Al Ahly as a player, as well as the African Champions League. He coached all age groups at Al Ahly from 1983 until 2003 including the first team between 1992 and 1995.

KWOK Ka Ming (Hong Kong)
Kwok Ka Ming played for the Hong Kong team 96 times. After hanging up his boots in 1979, Kwok oversaw Hong Kong’s youth teams before going on to take over the senior side in 1982 at the age of 33.

Ioan LUPESCU (Romania)
Lupescu played for various clubs in Romania, Germany, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. He made 74 appearances for the Romanian squad, scoring six goals. He also featured at the FIFA World Cup 1990 in Italy and in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the USA, reaching the quarter-finals. He also participated at UEFA EURO 1996 in England, and EURO 2000.

Melendez Sotos was for many years the coordinator of Albacete’s youth system after which he joined the technical staff of the youth ranks of the Spanish team. He has won numerous international competitions with both the U-17 and U-19 teams.

Tsuneyasu MIYAMOTO (Japan)
Miyamoto played at the 1997 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2000 Olympic Football Tournament. As a centre back, he served as captain for Japan at the 2002 World Cup. He then continued to captain his country throughout the 2004 AFC Asian Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Sunday OLISEH (Nigeria)
Oliseh played for well known clubs such as Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Juventus as well as amassing 63 caps for Nigeria. He played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Cups of 1994 and 1998 and won the Olympic gold medal in 1996.

Mixu PAATELAINEN (Finland)
Paatelainen is a former Finnish international football player and the current manager of the Finnish national team. He scored 18 goals in 70 appearances for the Finnish national team, which makes him Finland’s 13th most capped player and fifth top goalscorer.

Jaime RODRIGUEZ (El Salvador) 
Rodriguez played professionally for clubs in El Salvador, Mexico and Germany as well as spells in Japan and Finland. Rodríguez represented his country in 15 FIFA World Cup qualification matches and played in all three of his country’s matches at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain.

Theodore WHITMORE (Jamaica)
Whitmore played more than 100 official international caps and scored 24 goals for the Jamaican national team. With the Reggae Boyz he ws a key member of the team that reached the World Cup in 1998. He coached the Jamaica national team on a couple of occasions and qualified the team for the penultimate round of qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The TSG comprises experts with extensive past experience at the highest level of international football, generally as national coaches or players. Their role is by no means confined to observing individual matches and training sessions at a tournament, as they also consult national coaches to discuss certain aspects of team preparation and training, for example, and to ascertain each team’s expectations of the tournament at hand. The information TSG members gather is then evaluated in a series of in-depth discussions involving a wide-ranging exchange of views. Later, this is summarised in the official tactical and technical analysis of the tournament.

The analysis and the information gained is collated into a report for distribution to FIFA member associations as a tool for education and training. Video material to illustrate the report and provide practical assistance for the practice ground is supplied on DVD. The materials are intended to support, encourage and inspire daily training, specifically aiming at raising the general level of play and promoting player development.