Germany beats Bosnia, Belgium

“Germany beats Bosnia to claim FIFA 2014 Slugfest title, Belgium wins bronze”

Yes. You read that right. Those were the results of our exploration of the physique of teams which participated at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Tall & Short Tales

Each team had a squad of 23 players. Each bar here represents a team, the height of the bar is the average height of players in the team and the width of the bar indicates the average weight. Lets start off by arranging the teams based on their average height.

Team heights

In the 2014 World Cup the Germans were the tallest with an average height of 1.86 m and also the heaviest weighing 79.35 kilos on average.

Mia Hamm the American World Cup Soccer champion said,

“If a team wants to intimidate you physically and you let them, they’ve won.”

It was not just their intimidating physique but also their superior skill and team work that helped the Germans win the World Cup. They were the perfect combination of ‘brain’ & ‘brawn’, demolishing anything that came their way.

Germany team height

The players from Chile were the shortest with an average height of 1.76 m.

Chile team height

And the players from Japan were the lightest weighing 71.43 kgs. Mexico was close at 71.65 kgs.

Japan team weight

European Domination

Amongst the tallest teams, the first 5 were all European! – Germany, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Croatia & England. Spain was the shortest and lightest of the European teams.

European team height

South America

The South American teams were at the bottom half, Brazil being the tallest of the lot with an average height of 1.82 m.

South American team height

North America

With the exception of the United States (1.83 m) the other North American teams – Costa Rica, Honduras & Mexico – were amongst the shortest.

North American team height

Africa & Asia

The African & Asian teams fill the rest of the gap. The Super Eagles (1.83m) were the tallest African team

African team height

while South Korea (1.84m) was the tallest Asian team.


A European Phenomenon?

Let’s arrange the teams by order of Average Weight and study the Europeans. Out of the 6 teams in the bottom half, with the exception of transcontinental Russia, 5 are Western European – Portugal, Italy, France, the Netherlands & Spain. Note: Teams are now ordered by Average Weight.


BMI Scores

Arranging the teams based on their average BMI scores we find that Cameroon has the highest mean BMI score of 23.67 and Russia and Japan the lowest at 22.58.

Team BMI

The Giants & Giant Killers

Lets now move on to the players themselves. Who were the tallest, shortest, heaviest & lightest players in the 2014 World Cup?

Fraser Forster, the English Goal Keeper was the tallest standing tall at an astonishing 2.01 m.

Fraser Forster

Edgar Salli, the Cameroon forward was the shortest player at 1.63 m.

Edgar Salli

Daniel Van Buyten, the Belgian defender was the heaviest weighing 96 kilos

Daniel Van Buyten

and the Brazilian midfielder Bernard Anicio Caldeira Duarte was the lightest weighing 57 kilos.

Bernard Anicio Caldeira Duarte

Tallest & Heaviest by Player Positions

In most teams it was either a goalkeeper or a defender who was the tallest or heaviest. But there were also exceptions. Notice that a forward was the tallest player in these teams – Chile (Mauricio Pinilla), France (Olivier Giroud), South Korea (Shin-Wook Kim) & Portugal (Hugo Miguel Pereira de Almeida ) – while a midfielder(Reza Haghighi) was the tallest player in the Iranian team.

Tallest player by position

Tallest player by position

The tallest players of France, South Korea & Portugal (all forwards) also happened to be the heaviest in their teams while a forward from Italy (Mario Balotelli ) and another from Chile(Jean Beausejour) were the heaviest in their respective teams.

Heaviest player by position

Heaviest player by position

Before we go, who do you think won the 2010 slugfest? Germany? Wrong! It was the Serbians! Gotcha!

Dear Brazil

Dear Brazil,

7 – 1.

Ouch! Did that hurt?

In case you are wondering what just happened, you’ve just been ‘Blitzkrieged’ .

‘Blitzkrieg’ is a German term which means ‘lightning war’; a war conducted with great speed and force. You may want to read a bit about this World War phenomenon of ours here, to really understand what happened on the 8th of July 2014.

You can take comfort in the fact that we haven’t done this for the first time. In fact, ‘Blitzkrieg’ to us is a habit …

Please see the  image below for our rich ‘blitzkrieg’ history.


We’ve been looking for a big one, and thanks for accepting the invitation.

With Love,
The German Football Team 2014
Finalists Smile

Visualising India’s budget history

As we await the Indian Government’s budget tomorrow, here are some visualisations we created to examine the history of our past budgets.

Working with The Economic Times, we created a view of how the budget breakup has changed by ministry over time.

Sectoral trends

The large pink region is the Economic Affairs ministry, which takes up the bulk of the spend. Though it has been growing in absolute terms, in relative terms, it has been shrinking in importance. You can see the break-up by plan and non-plan breakups at our ET Ministry-wise Budget Allocation page.

Sectoral trends - PlanSectoral trends - Non-plan

In absolute terms, through, the spend on every sector has been growing smoothly and steadily, barring a few kinks. Among these, the agricultural spending is notable. It spurted up in 2009 to Rs 77 cr, but no subsequent budget has spent as much on agriculture.

Sectoral trends - Total

One other change that has happened is the relative rationalisation of budgets between 2002 and 2014. While in 2002 (left), the budget was relatively more concentrated among a few departments such as Economic Affairs, Defence, etc, by 2014, this disparity has reduced marginally.

Sectoral breakup 2001-2002 Sectoral breakup 2013-2014

But how do markets react to the budget?

One way of capturing this information is to look at how the market capitalisation of companies has moved on the day of the budget. For example, on the day of the 2007 budget, every single sector’s market capitalisation fell, with the sole exception of Tobacco. The exact same thing happened on the day of the 2009 budget as well.

Market movement 2007 Market movement 2009

But on the day of the 2010 budget, there was a perfect reversal of the situation. Every sector except Tobacco improved, while Tobacco (in a rare turn of events), lost considerable value.

Market movement 2010

In fact, the Tobacco sector is primarily just a single company – ITC, and its fate often moves counter-cyclically on budget days. But budgets are generally good for ITC. In the last 11 budgets, ITC (and Tobacco) has grown except in 2010. On the other hand, the Media and Entertainment industry typically suffers setbacks on budget day. Barring 2010 and 2011, the market cap of this segment has shrunk on every single budget day in the last 11 years.

Market movement history

For more insights and to explore the history of the Indian Budgets, please visit our site on The Economic Times and on