Blame it on the Footy – Part One

In Sports on June 10, 2010 by datanamics Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

Part one : Meet the players

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last six months, you probably already know all about the main event. Not the much expected electoral reforms or the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, that is. Much more seriously, the 19th FIFA World Cup is upon us. Since its first edition held in 1930, the sports event has always captured the vivid attention of people the world over. All racial, national or religious consideration aside, the ruthless football fever seems to spare no one. During four weeks, 32 teams will compete fiercely to snatch the much desired 18 carat golden trophy.

As often, data visualization turns out to be a relevant tool to analyze the issue.

Pitch-black : Data takes to the stadium

One of Europe’s finest sports source, Spanish newspaper Marca first came up with an interesting platform. In a word, the visualization offers a thorough overview of players from different teams and compares their respective statistics.

When it comes to football, Brazil’s reputation is arguably stronger that Wayne Rooney’s Scouse accent. In this respect, it is no wonder that Sao Paulo-based newspaper “Estadao” offers this fascinating relational visualization. No need to read Portuguese fluently, the graph as such is completely self-speaking.

Among others, several interesting pieces of information can be underlined :

  • England’s Premier League is by far the greatest provider of international players (117 out of 736 or 16%), ahead of the German and Italian top football leagues (11% each). 
  • Three national teams (England, Italy and Germany) are entirely made up of players taking the field in within national borders.
  • Most African players selected for the World Cup (with Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Nigeria) usually play for non-African teams

Finally, our friends from have also been diagnosed with the football fever. Martin Oberhäuser, the man with a plan, has created a beautiful playing schedule linking the calendar with the group listings and the hosting stadiums. The ultimate tool for every data-friendly football addict.

If, despite these amazing visualization tools, the incoming World Cup still leaves you cold and unconcerned, then you might be immune to the football flu. In this case, don’t you blame it on the sunshine (or lack thereof), good times, footy.


Coming up next. Football forecast and data : a stormy relationship


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