The War Rankings
The science house MrPredictions disclosed a series of studies during the World Cup. Among them, the digital ranking map of the 32 selections classified for the Cup, and the digital engagement map of the main soccer players, which have obtained a good repercussion in national and international media.
These works are part of the laboratory for predictive studies activities called P2eLab performed by experts from the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, USA).
The study about the impact of the Digital Engagement Ranking (DR) and FIFA’s Technical Ranking (FR) in each of the 64 matches held in the 2018 World Cup is detailed below. In addition, the study presents the result accumulated comparing both rankings and the accumulated considering only the DR of each game.
The digital engagement ranking considers the number of subscriptions of social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. The FR is another parameter considered to provide a comparison with DR.
Data considered for the analysis:
- digital ranking map of the 32 selections classified for the Cup
- the updated digital engagement ranking of the 16 selections classified for the second round;
- Fifa technical ranking of all world selections (parameter to provide comparison with DR).
Elements considered for scoring:
- if any of the rankings advanced hit the winning team (previously appointed as best ranked);
- in cases where both rankings were correct, the one in which the winning team was best placed prevails;
Cases discarded for scoring:
a) games ended in a draw (8 games);
b) games in which selection have the same FR and DR (Uruguay and Sweden - 7 games)
c) games in which the winning team had lower FR and lower DR than the losing team (Example: Republic Korea vs. Germany, and Argentina vs. Croatia)
Group Phase -The Group Phase had 48 matches. In direct comparison between FR and DR the result was favorable to DR in six of the eight groups. The DR hit 100% of the games. FR was the winning in Group B and Group G. The Group Phase had a favorable result for DR in 18 vs 10.
Considering only the DR the result was 27 points. It is worth noting that 27 games were considered for scoring. The other 21 games entered in discard criteria (a, b, c).
Round of 16 - This phase had 08 games and the DR hit the result in 06. Between both ranking the result is favorable to DR in 04 matches. The FR was the winner in the match between Belgium (3rd) and Japan (61st).
The round of 16 had a favorable score of 4-1 for DR. Considering only the DR the result was 06 points. Two games did not score due to criteria b and c.
It is important to emphasize that 12 selections listed among the 16 best placed in DR qualified for the second round. Germany (5th), Peru (10th), Poland (13th) and Costa Rica (15th) were eliminated in the Group Phase by selections best placed in DR.
Croatia and Sweden are not included in top 16 either DR or FR. Japan and Russia does not appear in the top 16 in FR, but they are in DR list. Denmark and Switzerland are in FR list.
The following table shows a FR and a DR of the selections qualified for the second round.
The complete list with the 32 selections rankings (FR and DR) qualified for the cup can be visualized here.
Quarter-finals - Among the eight teams qualified for the quarter-finals Brazil is the best placed in RF (2nd) and in RD (1st).
However, it was not able to pass through Belgium 3rd in FR and 11th in DR. France corresponded to its best placed in both rankings in relation to Uruguay and won the game. The same happened to England best placed in DR (3rd) won Sweden the 24th in both rankings.
Russia’s classification deserves to be highlighted since it appears only in the 70th position in FR, but is in 16th in DR. Croatia is best placed in FR (20th) and eliminated Russia. The quarter-finals ended with both rankings tied in 2-2.
Semi-finals - In the semi-finals the result was favorable to DR in the game which France beat Belgium. Comparing both rankings the point goes to DR. In the comparison only between the DR of each selection beats France (4th) against Belgium (11th).
In Croatia vs England the lowest ranked in both ranking was the winner of the match. This case it is not considered for the score (criteria c). At the semi-finals the result was 1-0 favorable to DR.
Third place - The match for third place between Belgium and England the result was favorable to FR, since Belgium is third placed. England is in 4th position in DR. So, the result was 1-0 favorable to FR.
Final - France was the champion team of the World Cup in 2018 beating Croatia by 4 x 2. France is best placed in FR (7th) in relation to Croatia (12th). France (4th) also beats Croatia (17th) in DR. The best ranked selection in both rankings ended up winning.
In comparison between both rankings France is best placed in DR. Considering only the DR, France also surpasses Croatia.
The final result was favorable to DR in 1-0.
The DR hit the most important game: the Cup final.
In summary the analysis of all the Cup phases contemplates a favorable result to the DR of 26 points against 14 to FR.
If we only evaluate the DR after the 64 games, it reaches 37 points. This corresponds to a 57.81% success rate. The FR reached a 21.87% rate.
The following table presents a summary with the results of each one of the phases. For detailed table about all the games click here.