is regarded as the most popular sport in the world” (Hoffman 2002)1,
Internationale de Football Association 2(FIFA) World Cup in
Brazil in 2014 reached three point two billion views 3 which is
almost half the population of the world and according to FIFA estimations there
are currently 265 million active players 4 . The various factors
that affect a European international football team and their ability to qualify
for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia are difficult to pinpoint as football
like all sports heavily depends on the strength of character and other
intangible human instincts that are essentially immeasurable.
it is so difficult to try and boil down football to just statistics we have
gathered the statistics we felt were most pertinent to the modern game and
their effect of teams from Europe and their ability to qualify for the 2018
FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Their GDP per Capita
The size of their population
The number of the teams players playing
in the “Top 5 Leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France ” in
GDP per Capita
old cliche is that “Football is a gentleman’s game played by ruffians and rugby
is a ruffian’s game played by gentleman”5 however football is no
longer a gentleman’s game it is a rich ones. Now more than ever we see
eye-watering amounts of money being spent on players such as Neymar being sold
to Paris Saint Germain for two hundred and twenty two million euro 6. This trend is not just affecting football but
all areas of modern sport as Great Britain spent on average four point one
million pounds per medal at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games 7. This
spending can be done by countries that have established, highly developed
economies. However as Hoffman said in 2002 there is a “diminishing returns”
when it comes to investing in sport and parents from countries with higher GDPs
do not “prioritise” football for their children as there are more options for
them regardless of the better equipment and facilities available to them.
2. The Size of the Population
with a large population tend to be more successful in international sports
competitions than less populous nations.”(Linthorne 2006) 8 however
nations with smaller populations “can increase the likelihood of international
success through increasing the participation rate for the sport.”(Linthorne
2006) Iceland of course is the epitome of this with a population of just over
three hundred and thirty thousand it boasts over eight hundred UEFA B licence
coaches or higher (0.25% of the countries population) as well as over one
hundred and fifty indoor artificial pitches which allow football to be played
all year round 9. Both of these two factors combined means that even
small villages have access to excellent coaching and training facilities
allowing them to produce highly talented footballers.
3.The Number of the Teams Players Playing in
the “Top 5 Leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France ” in Europe
the FIFA World Cup is the biggest footballing event, the football is played to
the highest standard and at the highest level. The World Cup is the showcase of
football’s finest. The “top five leagues” are the leagues in the world that are
seen to have the best football teams and pedigree. These are the leagues that
week in and week out produce the highest quality of football on the planet.
Therefore having players in your squad that play in these “top five leagues”
increase your chances of qualifying for the World Cup.
FIFA World Cup qualification process is long and gruelling its is difficult to
pinpoint statistics that have an obvious impact on a team’s ability to qualify.
The three main statistics we have chosen in analyse in this literature review
are the ones that we feel have the most impact on a teams performance.
Bibliography and References