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Former Member
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We are “House of Titans” and are sworn to sports and entertainment, especially to football.

This year was a emotional year for all the football fans around the world, in particular for Germany. And it was a successful year for the german football team, who did a great final with Argentina.

We as contributers to the Data Geek challenge want to show if there are criterias to become the football world champion. Therefore we took a look at different aspects like height, age, cap and combinations of it.

To get a better picture, we focused on the quarter finalists, who were:

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Columbia
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands

The data set was provided by and can be found here:

Note: The metrics per country may seem high, because they are accumuluated for 23 players in total. But because every country had 23 players a division by 23 was not necessary.

exploration of height by country

Players are able to score goals by header, even if the kind of sport is called “foot”ball. The height is an significant factor for heading. Tall players have better chances to score goals in the offense or prevent goals in the defense.

During the World Cup the german defender Mats Hummels scored two goals by header. There was no country, which scored more than two goals in total. The german defense had to concede only one goal in 7 matches per header. The low value of goals against the german team was an important fact to be successful. The height of the german defenders was very helpful to have a stable defense.

exploration of caps by country

Experience is an important attribute for football players. Well experienced players can handle certain situations much better than inexperienced players.

The german players have been the most experienced players compared to the other quarter finalists, because the sum of all caps played by the entire squad was the highest. Even the most of the younger players have played numerous caps and tournaments, which is a big advantage.

The experience attribute had a big influence for winning the World Cup in Brazil.

exploration of age and caps in relation by country

The age and the caps may play a important role for football players. We wanted to show the relation between these two attributes by a bubble chart.

SAP lumira - age and caps in relation by country.PNG

As you can see, Germany stands seperated from all the others with low in age and high in caps. Maybe this shows a differentiation compared to the other quarter finalists. If we would put the football teams into categories, we would use a portfolio matrix like this:

portfolio matrix



old and inexperienced

(4. poor dogs)

old and experienced

(3. cash cows)

young and inexperienced

(1. questionmark)

young and experienced

(2. stars)

For the portfolio matrix it’s a usual flow for a product, that a questionmark may become a star. When the star matures it changes to a cash cow and will be a poor dog in the end of it’s lifecycle.

As a result Germany can be seen as a star, which had now cash cows as direct competitors. So the chances for winning the World Cup were pretty high.

Even if all countries of the football World Cup are taken into consideration, Germany is still quite separated from all the others being quite experienced and still young.

SAP lumira - age and caps in relation by all countries.PNG


After all this are just findings based on one World Cup. To prove more evidence for the findings, we would continue with data from previous World Cups to re-check them. Also we could take more aspects into consideration to even strengthen our exploration.

All in all we love football and we love data. We are all excited for the next football World Cup in Russia in 2018. Maybe this time we can forsee who becomes the next football world champion.

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