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Mar 22 17 5:53 PM

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Sky Sports have for once done something that's actually relevant and interesting to this forum, releasing a study showing the all-time goal difference standings of FIFA-recognised nations.

Presumably taking into account every recognised* A-international match, the top 3 are:

1) Brazil (+1,232)
2) England (+1,167)
3) South Korea (+1,018)

Other notable takeaways from this include Luxembourg in last place with -1,133, Bermuda being the only nation to have a historical goal difference of 0, and Tahiti having the world's best goals-per-game ratio (3). Although aside from Bermuda, not too much that's very surprising when you consider factors such as how long a national team's been going for (Luxembourg) or their more frequent level of opposition (Tahiti).
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#1 [url]

Mar 22 17 10:15 PM

How have these scores been build up? The score behind Luxembourg should include allmatches played by Luxembourg against other nation's B-teams. I am very sure in this ranking some matches are count for only one side that played a certain match and not forboth sides. As I wanted a list with matches that only count for both (or none; but certainly not for only one) that played a match I have started this topic once.

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#2 [url]

Mar 22 17 10:40 PM

The article says they've used 11v11.com data, so that makes it a little better than FIFA.com, but including many errors and omissions, particularly for African countries, but also then including some non-FIFA matches.

I would assume they've just copy/pasted the data from each country page, e.g. http://www.11v11.com/teams/luxembourg/
Although perhaps the overall table was also provided directly by 11v11.

Obviously it really depends on how many matches were played by each country (with huge variance) and how evenly distributed the fixtures were (again...), which is also the major impediment to any sensible international ranking system.

As FM said, there is a whole category of match which is counted by only one of the teams involved. For example, all the England Amateur vs Germany matches. This means the head-to-head records don't agree:
http://www.11v11.com/teams/germany/tab/opposingTeams/opposition/England/
http://www.11v11.com/teams/england/tab/opposingTeams/opposition/Germany/

Since the Sky article seems to have been produced in order to comment on England vs Germany, perhaps they should have looked into that.

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#3 [url]

Mar 22 17 10:55 PM

Those Amateur matches are presumably the reason why England actually tops the Elo ratings goal difference table, with +1394, ahead of Brazil's +1189, Germany's +983 and South Korea's +847. I'm also curious as to why on the Elo list Bermuda does not have a neutral goal difference, but Montenegro does. Not that curious to investigate that matter myself right now but still curious...

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#4 [url]

Mar 23 17 12:06 AM

Kaizeler wrote:
Not that curious to investigate that matter myself right now but still curious...
Hmm, like when I am hungry but too lazy to cook and/or go to the shops smiley: laugh

In such cases the correct thing to do is speculate wildly, preferably giving several different options to cover all eventualities.

My guess would be in Bermuda's case, some disagreement on Olympic/Panam Games matches inclusions, and for Montenegro possibly some inclusion/exclusion of pre-FIFA matches.  Though it wouldn't surprise me if it turns out to be Steve McClaren's fault in some way.

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#5 [url]

Mar 23 17 10:31 AM

Kaizeler wrote:
Those Amateur matches are presumably the reason why England actually tops the Elo ratings goal difference table, with +1394, ahead of Brazil's +1189, Germany's +983 and South Korea's +847.

One day these amateur matches will be deleted, included, deleted, etc in Elo ratings. I remember this has happened with the Russia 0-11 England (am) match in 1911. A few months ago suddenly all matches played by England amateurs were included, as well as the 1910 and 1920 matches against South-Africa. The 12-11-1958 match Holland 9-3 South Africa i.e. is deleted.

Also remarkable: Ireland. Suddenly no matches between 1920 and 1926, Northern Ireland's first match has been removed from 1923 to 1921.

Elo ratings is including countries like Greenland and Tibet but not Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man or Aland Isles.

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#6 [url]

Mar 23 17 7:39 PM

France have recovered well, considering that in their first 10 international matches the goal difference was -40 (10 goals scored and 50 goals conceded)!

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#7 [url]

Mar 23 17 10:31 PM

I would like to see the table replaced with a simple "average score".

For example, England's average score is approximately 2-1.

Someone with more curiosity/hunger than me can complete the table. Hopefully some crude rounding will smooth out any variable bugs of the nature discussed above.

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#9 [url]

Mar 25 17 12:38 AM

nfm24 wrote:
I would like to see the table replaced with a simple "average score".

Because I got bored, and because my records can't be that much worse than or that far off from the previous lists, le voilà....

I only wanted to consider matches which are official[clarification needed] for both sides, so I've tried to get rid of all that A-vs-B or A-vs-CHAN-masquerading-as-A stuff. This does result in the rather pleasant conclusion[OCD pills needed] of the Goal Difference column adding up to zero.

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#10 [url]

Mar 26 17 3:57 AM

Well done, I pronounce you this month's winner of the Sir Mark A. Cruickshank Root Vegetable Award for Creative Dithering in International Sport Databases.

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#12 [url]

Mar 26 17 6:39 PM

Although it appears to be a Belgian award, I think we can easily nominate the national teams of Belarus, ROI and Scotland as the main contenders.

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#13 [url]

Mar 27 17 7:10 PM

Great job indeed, Kaizeler!
I have just a couple of questions about Brazil. How did you consider the matches played by the Brazilian national team at the 1996 and at the 2003 Gold Cup? Although it was a tournament for "A" teams, Brazil competed with a restricted side and CBF has recently deleted them from the official list. So did you count them anyhow?
And the ones played over the Superclásico de las Américas in 2011 and in 2012 versus Argentina? They are officially recognized by FIFA, but it was a restrictive tournament and both teams didn't field their strongest sides. So how did you count them?

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#14 [url]

Mar 27 17 8:25 PM

My philosophy is to try to reflect as close as possible what happens on the pitch, and not what the associations recognize. So I really shouldn't have considered any of those matches (fixed now, so a few games disappear from the table). I classify them as "Brazil Olympic" and "Brazil CHAN" now. (I can see I'm going to have a very fun day when I try to validate the matches of a team like Indonesia or something...)

Normally, when I check the details of matches, I am in agreement with RSSSFBrasil. With some exceptions, of course - for example, in the same year of 1996 I count the friendly against Poland as "Brazil Olympic", because it was essentially the same squad that would travel to Atlanta, right down to the squad numbers.

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#15 [url]

Mar 27 17 11:57 PM

Kaizeler wrote:
I'm going to have a very fun day when I try to validate the matches of a team like Indonesia or something...

If you can do it in one day then you certainly deserve an award. 

"Brazil CHAN" is indeed an interesting label...  Only Brazilians based in Africa would qualify?

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#17 [url]

Mar 28 17 2:54 PM

Let's try to stay on point then. smiley: smokin

How about an all-time CONMEBOL league table? Bolivia's record is particularly interesting, in terms of the home/away discrepancy.
image




nfm24 wrote:
"Brazil CHAN" is indeed an interesting label...  Only Brazilians based in Africa would qualify?
Well, surely Championnat Américaine des Nations would fit the acronym. smiley: tongue Or maybe players Currently Habiting in their Allegiance's Nation...

Last Edited By: Kaizeler Mar 28 17 2:57 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#19 [url]

Mar 30 17 9:54 AM

A meaningful but surprising data is the global "average of goals against" of Uruguay (1.27), that is worse than the ones of Brazil (0.93) and of Argentina (1.06). Surprising because the Uruguayan defensive and tactical abilities have always been considered superior to the ones of their traditional rivals.

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#20 [url]

Apr 10 17 11:32 PM

Isn't it also the cliché that the typical international football fan associates Brazil with attacking flair due particularly to the 1970 and 1982 eras (regardless of some of the the dull counter-attack Dunga-tastic teams which have worn the yellow shirt more recently), so they overlook the solid defence platform. Brazil were always innovative in defensive tactics (e.g. Zagallo).

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