Crunching the Numbers of the Past World Cups: A Hopeful Trend

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Beyond the laughter and tears, this past world cup continued a hopeful trend in international soccer.

In the 2002 South Korea/Japan games, of the 64 total matches, only 53% (34/64) of the matches were won by the higher ranked team, with 25% (16/64) of the games ending in an upset.

In the 2006 Germany World Cup, 52% (33/64) of the games were one by the favorites, with 31% (20/34) of the games were upsets.

In the 2010 South Africa games, 59% (38/64) of games were won by the higher-ranked nation, while 20% (13/64) of matches were upsets.

In the 2014 Brazil games, 69% (44/64) of games were won by the higher-ranked nation, while 17% (11/64) resulted in upsets.

In this recent 2018 Russia World Cup, only 53% (34/64) were won by the nation with the higher FIFA ranking, while a whopping 33% (21/64) of the matches resulted in upsets.

In the past five World Cups, the “favorites” of each matchup had only a 57% chance of winning. The inferior team won 25% of their games.

Furthermore, 92% (147/160) of the squads involved in the last 5 Cups obtained at least one point in the group stage.

These numbers sketch the unpredictable nature of the World Cup. To make the World Cup even more entertaining, lower ranked teams have improved drastically, thus decreasing the gap between the weaker sides and the European/South American powerhouses. I’m really excited about what the World Cup will hold in the future.




Citations:

FIFA.com. “2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan ™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/koreajapan2002/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2006 FIFA World Cup Germany ™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/germany2006/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/southafrica2010/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/brazil2014/matches/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ – Matches.” FIFA.com. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/matches/.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-15 May 2002.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=97/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-17 May 2006.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=144/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-26 May 2010.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=191/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-05 June 2014.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/rank=239/index.html.

 

FIFA.com. “Men’s Ranking-07 June 2018.” The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking – Ranking Table. Accessed July 16, 2018. https://www.fifa.com/fifa-world-ranking/ranking-table/men/index.html.
Featured image from: Sky Sports. “World Cup Fixtures: The Full Schedule for Russia 2018.” Sky Sports. July 15, 2018. Accessed July 16, 2018. http://www.skysports.com/football/news/12098/11154890/world-cup-fixtures-the-full-schedule-for-russia-2018.

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