Soccer is a sport of creativity and artistry. Tactics and formations can be rigid on paper, when it gets to the field, the green grass is a canvas upon which sports’ greatest painters depict their frescos.
Like Luka Modric, for instance.
Luka Modric called game. pic.twitter.com/d5mD32eA1d— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 21, 2018
But while that stunner brought everyone to their feet, I’m most interested in what happens after the ball goes in the net.
If you’re unfamiliar with advanced soccer statistics, a popular one is the pass map. It’s pretty self explanatory, and shows where a players’ attempted passes are directed. Here’s how it explains why Uraguay struggled in its opener.
Good LORD #URU midfield is static pic.twitter.com/HSbHWZALst— Kyle Bonn (@the_bonnfire) June 20, 2018
But I’ll use it as a simple way to show that while soccer is the beautiful game, its celebrations lack the creative brilliance one would expect.
Through the first week of play, where the top goal scorers in the tournament go when they make the net bulge. Cristiano Ronaldo (green), Phillipe Coutinho (yellow), Harry Kane (red), and Denis Cheryshev (white).
Heat maps are another tool statisticians use to visually display info. They show where possession concentrates.
LIVE: Real-time heat map shows the ground @ANFPChile's Alexis Sanchez & @Socceroos' @Tim_Cahill have covered. #CHIAUS pic.twitter.com/QzMiVFqPGw— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) June 13, 2014
Using this information listed above, I’ve developed a heat map to plot out the results of goal scorers’ destinations. They are listed below:
And here’s a few other goals to drive home the point.
#MundialTelemundo En voz de @CopanAlvarez ¡Así fue el gol de #BEL! @dries_mertens14 nos regala este hermoso gol que abre el marcador, imposible de despejar para el portero de #PAN @JaimePenedo26 pic.twitter.com/3iz7jkf3FL— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 18, 2018
#MundialTelemundo En voz de @CopanAlvarez ¡Llegó el tercero de #BEL! Así marcó su doblete @RomeluLukaku9 para firmar una triste goleada sobre una debutante #PAN pic.twitter.com/sdj0w2z08r— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 18, 2018
Cool as you like!— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 18, 2018
Granqvist places the penalty to give Sweden a 1-0 lead over South Korea. pic.twitter.com/9qjZ9TQMCg
#MundialTelemundo ¡Alegría en #ARG! Anota @Ahmedmusa718 para el 1-0 de #NGA sobre #ISL en la voz de @ErasmoProvenza pic.twitter.com/T9TrnMgemr— Telemundo Deportes (@TelemundoSports) June 22, 2018
The World Cup has been quite unpredictable so far, but its goal celebrations are anything but.