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World Cup 2014 Players

World Cup is back! So is a huge roster of players plying their trade in various countries. Here is one another look at the huge list, the data-science way.

Europe, Europe, Europe!!!

Lets begin with the where all the players play, Europe ? South America ? The answer as expected is not baffling at all, but rather well known.

A whopping 78.1% of the Worldcup players play in Europe!

Lets dig a little deeper, to see which countries do earn.

In top 10 employing countries, European nations check-in the top 8 positions. Mexico does well competing with Netherlands / Holland with 20 players each.

A further drill-down into the clubs and the rich clubs don’t disappoint.

Considering Real Madrid as the richest is still 5th in the order. We’ll analyze that in a moment.

So if we remove the EU out of the picture, how do other leagues do?

Mexico the fierce competitor to Netherlands tops it, The fairly money-laden MLS can’t cut it.

Patriotic Pride

We saw 123 players play in England, subtract 22 players from England and we have close to 101 non-English players playing in England. You’re sure they’ll cross each other in the group stages.

Group H topping with 19 wage earners in England. Belgium (11), South Korea (5) and Algeria (3). This means half of the Belgian players work in England.

Who is that 1 player in the English squad who plays outside England ? He is Frasen Forster, Goalkeeper. Plays for Celtic in Scotland.

Take a look at Russia, its the only team whose all 23 players play in their country, England follows with 22 then Italy with 20.

You wonder how the picture stands looking at the bottom end of the graph.

No marks for pointing out the poor and new nations at the bottom. But shame on Argentina, one of the world cup contenders having a meagre 2 players. Those being Fernando Gago (midfielder, Boca Juniors) and Agustin Orion (goalkeeper, Boca Juniors)

The clubs owe a lot to the nation where they run their business.

Bayern and Barcelona having 7 of their country players. Chelsea, England having the most of foreign World cup players, 13. 4 of which are from Brazil.

Positional Sense

Wonder what could be the most popular formation ? The stats show it could well be 4-4-2. Check the total positional players in World Cup.

Taking a look at continents and positions, there are NO African and Australian forwards playing in their own continent.


Head to head vs Goal Difference

Russia was knocked off the Euro 2012 by Greece by their achievement of scoring more goals than Greece.

Their sin – they lost to Greece. I wonder if the strategy to give heads-up to a team only ’cause their one-on-one record is better than a goal difference is a good one!

So when it ended, stats were ..

  Russia Greece
Points 4 4
Goals For 5 3
Goals Against 3 3
Goal Diff 2 0
Yellow Cards 6 9
Red Cards 0 1

I wonder why other statistics too were ignored? Is head-to-head a better criteria to move a team up?