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.