Rough play is part of football. Some level of aggression is needed to perform well – especially at the all-time competitive level of the World Cup. But like with everything, there’s a limit. When aggressive play reaches its tipping point and red cards run wild, wins aren’t necessarily the result. And yet top-ranked Brazil has received the most red cards in World Cup history, according to Mail Online, while Australia is the ‘dirtiest,’ receiving four red cards over 10 matches.
You’ll see the weak relationship between red cards and wins in the SAS Visual Analytics correlation matrix below, based on 2010 World Cup data. (This is the same matrix referenced in Who says you have to be rich to win a football game?)
Quick tip: darker color = higher correlation. The World Cup data came from The Guardian and the GDP data came from the World Bank’s public site.
Are there any other relationships of interest to you? Dive into other commentary on SAS Visual Analytics World Cup-related graphs for ideas.