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.
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!
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.
The North & South Americans are in the bottom half, Brazil being the tallest and the lightest in this group.
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?
Comparison by Player Positions
Let’s change the color of the bubbles based on player position.
Generally goal keepers are tall and weigh more than players in other positions,
followed by the defenders,
and the midfielders.
More such visualisations will appear on our FIFA worldcup page here in a few days.