kunkello's notebook

Dinge, die mir durch den Kopf gehen…

Captain Number-Crunch (part 3)

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This is starting to be fun. Well, for me at least. While in the first article I mainly looked at things from a club and league perspective, yesterday I have tried to display what kind of “continental migration” is going on for the players participating in this World Cup. Now, for the third part of this series of analysis I focused on the European national teams and the leagues from those countries, and it was one of those moments where a simple table and the numbers it contained suddenly made a whole lot of sense. The table I am speaking of is this one:

What you see in this table is the European countries represented in this World Cup with their ranking in the UEFA team coefficient ranking (based on league’s performance in the European cup competitions). The 2nd data column shows how many different leagues (based on countries, not actually different leagues, ie. first and second division count as one) are represented in each national team. Next columns show in how many different national teams the leagues from each country are represented in and the last one how many “home” players (playing in the country’s own leagues) are represented in each national team.

The data plays out perfectly and I separated this into three categories. First, you have the “importers”, countries that have a lot of players from different leagues, but few of their top players play outside of their own league. The three only countries in the World Cup that recruit their national team exclusively from their home leagues can be found here: England, Italy and Germany (Ballack-less), in addition to that you have Spain with a trio of players earning their hefty paychecks in the Premier League.

The second group is the “importers-exporters”, countries/leagues that attract plenty of foreign talent and whose top players also venture out to play in one of the top leagues. I was surprised to see France so clearly in this group, as the league has clearly established itself as a top league in Europe, giving Italy and Germany a run for their money (quite literally). Still, less than half their top players play at home (=exporter) and there is players from 15 different national teams in this World Cup represented in the French leagues (=importer).

The last group is the “exporters”, countries/leagues, where almost all of the top players venture out to play in other leagues, and the three examples in this World Cup are Slovakia, Serbia and Slovenia. For each of these national teams, only two players still play at home. Two countries, Switzerland and Denmark, are borderline cases in terms of the “importer” criteria, as they only have 4 and 3 national teams represented in their respective leagues.

What was also striking, but probably not surprising, was that how clear the separation of the three groups correlates with the UEFA ranking. I say not surprising because of course top players tend to move to better leagues and leave the home leagues in a weaker position, but nevertheless, I wouldn’t have expected the result so clear.

So that’s it for today. For me this was the most interesting part of the series so far. As always, I hope some of the stuff I am discovering you also find interesting. Feel free to drop a comment if you are interested in any specific way to dissect league/team/nationality data of the World Cup players.


Written by Dierk

June 9, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Posted in English, Football and me

Tagged with , ,

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