World Cup Statistics

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Where is all the football gone? While it’s another four years now to wait for the next Football (Soccer) World Cup, there is plenty of statistics to look back at from this year’s tournament in Brazil. “World” cup of course only applied to a small number of countries from around the world, as only 32 nations have qualified for the event. And then, one after another leaves early, so that the number of matches adds to the representation of countries and regions from around the world in this global sports event that – in terms of television ratings – is only superseded by the Olympics. Here is how the world looks distorted according to the total number of matches played at the 2014 World Cup:

Map of all matches played in the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup in Brazil
(click for larger version)

And there is much more data that is counted during the event. The following map series looks into some of the statistics showing the distribution of goals, cards, fouls, tackles and much more of the action that went on during the four weeks in Brazil: Continue reading

Europe in Brazil

Much has been said about Europe’s low performance at this year’s Football (Soccer) World Cup in Brazil. Defending champion Spain and also Italy went out in the first round of the tournament. However, with not only Germany and the Netherlands, but also Belgium, France, Greece and Switzerland six teams from Europe made it into the knockout stage. Two of them are still left in the semi-finals. Overall on an global level this looks much less unsuccessful than it sounded in some of the media – only some of the balances have changed within the continent compared to the previous tournament. While waiting for the semi-finals, we now looked at how the European teams performed so far. Here is the new shape of European football as it looks prior to the semi-finals (with Germany and the Netherlands still having the chance to become even bigger in these four maps):

Map of Europe's performance at the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup in Brazil
(click for larger version)

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World Cup Bites

On the first match-free day of this year’s Football (Soccer) World Cup in Brazil, one incident dominates the headlines while all fans anticipate the knock-out stage. It’s Luis Suárez and his bite into his opponent Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder that keep making the headlines. Here comes the cartographic perspective on the topic: We made all efforts to analyse all available data on this year’s bite incidents (so far) at the World Cup and ended up with the following map representation of this highly complex data set. The map makes this data immediately accessible to the lay-person showing from which country players have been biting their opponents and which countries are the most affected by bite attacks of other teams. The evidence is hardly deniable – there is a highly unequal distribution emerging in these maps:

Map of bites made and received at the 2014 Football/Soccer World Cup in Brazil
(click for larger version)

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A Qatar Population Cartogram

High hopes of England have vanished on today’s draw of the forthcoming FIFA Football World Cup hosts, with Russia getting the event for 2018. More surprise was caused by Qatar which will be hosting the 2022 World Cup: With an area of 11,437 sq km and a population of approximately 1.7 million people, by far the smallest World Cup host in Fifa’s history.
In fact, Qatar is so small that we didn’t even bother to put up an individual map for Quatar in the Worldmapper World Population Atlas, but merged it with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (Russia has its own map though, despite beating England’s bid).
With its new fame, Quatar’s population shall now get its own population cartogram which gives space to all the people living there and removes all those sandy areas in the south and west. Here is the Qatar gridded population cartogram:

Map of global GDP growth 2010-2015
(click for larger map)

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Goal, Gol, Tor, But, Mål: Worldcup goal map

Red and yellow dominated the final match of the worldcup with a remarkable 14 cards in these colours shown in the 120 minutes, and red-yellow eventually also taking the trophy, just as Paul predicted. One goal was enough for Spain, demonstrating once again their efficiency: Spain scored 8 of the tournament’s 145 goals in their seven matches to the title. The following map shows, how the nations compare in terms of goals – from Germany’s 16 (with Thomas Müller taking the Golden Boot) to Algeria’s. The second maps in contrast shows all goals conceded, from North Korea’s unfortunate 12 to Portugal and Switzerland’s 1:

All 2010 Worldcup goals on a map(click map for a larger view)

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Worldcup Economics

The Football Worldcup is claimed to have a significant impact on the global economy, one of the reasons why so many countries are keen on hosting this event. Others are looking at the relationship between GDP and performance of teams at the Football Worldcup, which is well worth mapping. Here is a map that shows the participating countries of the 2010 Football Worldcup resized according to their Gross Domestic Product. In addition, all countries are coloured in different shadings of green – the darker green, the further the respective national team has proceeded in this year’s tournament. Obviously, economic wealth alone can’t buy success:

(click map for a larger view)

The previous map is of course missing out all other countries of the world. To complete the picture, the following map shows the same economic data (GDP), this time for the whole world, with the 32 nations participating in the 2010 Worldcup being coloured white, and those who missed out in black. The winners so far are marked with yellow stars (the number of stars indicating the numbers of trophys that a team has won at FIFA Worldcup tournaments):

(click map for a larger view)

Even if there may be links between economic wealth and success in football, this alone can hardly be the whole explanation for a team’s fortune. Interesting nevertheless to see, how the football world compares beyond the borders of the game.

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin D. Hennig. You are free use the material under Creative Commons conditions (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0); please contact me for further details. I also appreciate a message if you used my maps somewhere else. High resolution and customized maps are available on request.