Uruguay and the World Cup [Finalist]

Tools used in this project
Uruguay and the World Cup [Finalist]

About this project


The requirements for this challenge was to tell a nations story in relation to their history at World Cups as well as their qualification and chances at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

I chose Uruguay, a relatively tiny country, but with a rich history, unprecedented early success and a distinctive footballing philosophy.

It is important when you approach a challenge like this that you chose a subject that is both an interesting one, and maybe not the most obvious one. It definitely helps to make your work a little easier and will give something that will hopefully enlighten, entertain or educate the end user.

Concept and Execution

The concept was to show how Uruguay, as one of the smallest countries to compete in the World Cup, should be considered, pound for pound the greatest footballing nation on earth. This is linked to their interesting footballing philosophy of Garra Charrua, or "fighting beyond your last breat."

History Points at Uruguay

To define long term success, I developed a point system which awarded points based on the stage reached by a country at each World Cup since 1930. This went from 1 point for a team that exited at the first group stage, to a maximum of 35 points for winning.

I then used two scatter charts, one to show total cumulative points vs population, and a second to factor in population, and look at points per million population. The first chart shows the grouping of those countries that have won the world cup before. They all have significant points and have populations in excess of 50-60 million people. Uruguay were the odd country out, having a population of only 3.5million. The second chart then emphasises the outlier that is Uruguay.


The second part of the report looked at the W-L-D performance for the qualification campaign, and compared it to more recent campaigns to maybe give a potential indication over how they might perform at 2022.

This Year

Finally, in looking at how they might perform, I created another normalised points system based on ranking, scoring prowess, age distribution and number of caps. I applied this to the games to work out progression through the competition, predicting Uruguay would likley only reach the round of 16, with Brazil winning oerall.

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