Mexico–the ghosts of the round of 16

Until the 87th minute of their Round of 16 game against the Netherlands, Mexico looked like they had finally laid to rest ‘the Ghosts of the Round of 16’, but Wesley Sneijder’s 88th minute equalizer and Klaas Jan Huntelaar’s injury-time match-winning penalty meant that it was deja vu time again!


Mexico’s loss to the Netherlands is their 6th successive ‘Round of 16’ defeat. Argentina has denied them twice in successive world cups (2006 and 2010).

At this rate, it looks like Mexico will have to bid for the 2026 World Cup if they’d like to get their ‘Round of 16’ history straightened out. They last won a ‘Round of 16’ match in 1986 when the World Cup was held in Mexico!

FIFA physique

Jogo Bonito

Apart from the Olympics, if there is one sport which brings the world together, that has to be the beautiful game – football.

The FIFA world cup is a spectacle to behold, as the world audience gets to witness some of the finest footballing talent in the world.

The tournament is also a cultural cauldron bringing together players of different shapes and sizes.

FIFA 2010 – Physique of players

At Gramener, we set to explore just that using player-wise data from the 2010 FIFA World cup held at South Africa. So let’s find out who were the tallest, shortest , heaviest and lightest in FIFA 2010.

The Giants & Giant Killers

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. If each team were arranged to stand according to the average height of players in the team the Serbian giants would stand tall and well-built, the players from Chile would be the shortest and the North Koreans the lightest.

Teams ordered by average height

Serbia’s forward Nikolai Zigic was the tallest player at FIFA 2010 standing tall at 2.02 m while England’s midfielder Aaron Lennon was the shortest at 1.65 m. Marcus Hahneman the American goalkeeper was the heaviest weighing a hundred kilos and the French forward Mathieu Valbeuna was the lightest among the lot weighing 58 kilos!

The Giants and the Giant Killers

Europe vs North & South America

The Europeans on an average are the tallest of the lot, clustered together in the top half and the middle but none in the bottom half.

Europe vs North and South America

The North & South Americans are in the bottom half, Brazil being the tallest and the lightest in this group.

North and South America

North vs South Korea

Let’s plot this data on a scatterplot where the ‘x’ axis is ‘weight’ (kg), the ‘y’ axis is ‘height’ (m) and each bubble a player and the color of the bubble is the country the player represents.

Here’s something very interesting when we filter by country. The South Koreans are ahead of the North Koreans by a couple of centimetres and kilos. Now why’s that?

North vs South Korea

Comparison by Player Positions

Let’s change the color of the bubbles based on player position.

Physique by player positions

Generally goal keepers are tall and weigh more than players in other positions,

Goalkeeper Physique

followed by the defenders,

Defender physique

the forwards,

Forwards physique

and the midfielders.

Midfielder physique

More such visualisations will appear on our FIFA worldcup page here in a few days.

Update on the FIFA Design Hackathon

Ten people converged at Gramener’s Bangalore office to scrape, analyse and visualise football world cup data.

The objectives were two-fold: to create something useful (no matter how small) in any shape or form; and to learn from the process.

We began at 12:00noon…

FIFA Design Hackathon 1

… did a quick checkpoint at 4:15pm to see where we were…

FIFA Design Hackathon 3

… and wrapped up by 6:00pm.FIFA Design Hackathon 2

(Photos courtesy Rasagy Sharma).

Updates were provided on the #fwchack (Football World Cup Hackathon) hashtag. Here’s a summary of what we’ve managed to come up with:

  1. A dataset with match results and goal timings for every final stage match since 1930
  2. A visualisation of football world cup appearances by country from 1930 – 2014
  3. Tournament by tournament data of fouls by players in CSV, JSON and YAML
  4. A visualisation on how nations have performed in the FIFA World Cup
  5. Sketches for a social media dashboard and a world cup statistics dashboard
  6. A countdown for the FIFA world cup with facts

The list is incomplete. We’ll hopefully be adding in a few more items shortly – including a live Twitter analyser and a visualisation of the fouls data.

This hackathon was just to get the momentum rolling. Now that at least some of the data and design ideas are out, hopefully we’ll see many more data visualisations in this space.