We’re at it again. We can’t seem to keep our hands off of FIFA World Cup data. This time, a striking similarity surfaced within the German football teams from the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil: both hold nearly the same average player age. With the 2015 semifinals upon us, Germany is receiving a great deal of attention as it hopes to become the first nation to hold men’s and women’s FIFA World Cup titles at the same time. And if age is a determining factor for the overall outcome of the game, Germany might have an advantage by fielding a younger team.
Germany’s overall age for the men’s FIFA World Cup team, 25.73, is approximately the same as the women’s team, 25.13. Germany’s rival, the United States, displays a similar pattern between the average ages of men’s and women’s teams. However, unlike Germany, the US team comprises older, more experienced players and it is the oldest of any World Cup team. Further, there's a correlation between age and the number of international caps/games played. On average, the US women's team boasts 106 games per player versus Germany's 56 games per player - see the SAS Visual Analytics report below for details.
With this in mind, we wondered if average team age correlates with ranking. As shown in the SAS Visual Analytics report below, the United States, Japan, Canada, France, and England support this theory. Yet Germany, who ranks number one with 2,168 points, counters it with a younger team compared to its opponents. Because Germany does not follow the trend of playing older players, could this unique approach help account for their football success? We will have to see how youth takes on experience in the Germany versus United States match tonight.
Regardless of 2015 tournament outcome, does a young German team point to a successful, more mature team in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
FIFA Women's World Cup team average age and points/ranking:
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International caps/games and points:
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This article was co-written by SAS' Meredith Bailey.