data journalism, data visualization, infographic, journalism

5 great (and offbeat) World Cup 2018 visualizations

The World Cup 2018 has been running for a week in Russia now, and several data visualizations have been released to guide the user through the teams and showcase the winner.

From all publications, I’ve selected 5 that have an add-on to the conventional graphics from a competition where the same rules, process and data applies every four years.

1. Real-time predictions · FiveThirtyEight


As they did for the 2014 World Cup, FiveThirtyEight has published their predictions for this World Cup Russia.

This elaborated visualization shows the likelihood of each team to win, tie or lose all matches, as well as to finish first or second in their group, advancing the knockout stage chances.

The first table shows in detail the information of all teams, applying filters by group, team rating, chances to finish on a particular position inside the group, or the probability to make rounds, semifinals, finals and become the winner:

1st place

Data filtered by chances of finishing first in the group


Data filtered by chances of winning the World Cup

The last tabs allows the reader to select the first and second of each group and make predictions on the next stages, mapping the semifinals and final based on the team that has a higher probability to win:


2. The most expensive squad · The Telegraph

This graphic aims to predict the winner of the World Cup based on the quality of the team: the squad’s value.

They have compared all teams and their player’s worth in the transfer market. Each graph ranks positions all team members of the team, highlighting the most valuable one and how this compares from others on the tournament from the most cheapest player to the most expensive one:

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 21.05.46

Argentina ranks # 7 but Leo Mess results on the most expensive player along with Neymar

At the end, all this information comes together on a unique comparison that allows, at a glance, to compare the teams’ worth and the most valuable players:

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 21.10.53.png

3. A Guide to the World Cup · El Mundo Deportivo 


This Spanish newspaper has published  a complete online data visualization that gathers historical data from each team, comparing these to the other squads on the same group.

Ferran Morales has spent several months gathering the data and researching on compelling infographics to showcase (probably) known information in a different way:

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 21.33.57Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 21.34.21

Here you can read the process of preparing this visualization and the meaning of each component (in Spanish).

4. Foreign born players by team · National Geographic

Just because a team represents a country doesn’t mean all its players were born there. And the National Geographic has done a great job on showing this data on from the 32 World Cup teams on this infographic:

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 21.55.39

And as an example, Diego Costa, who was born in Brazil, is playing with Spain and has scored three goals out of four to date.

5. The World’s World Cup trends · Google News Initiative, Polygraph, Alberto Cairo, and Camilo Moreno Kuratomi (1).gif

This collaborative initiative allows people to see what other countries are searching (and cheering) for. Filtering the data by date, readers can see the most searched team, match and player on each country, amongst other features.

United States, for instance, shows an interest on knowing all matches, players and information from Mexico, while Leo Messi is the most searched player on most of countries:

Screen Shot 2018-06-24 at 21.51.57

Do you have more examples? Let me know in the comments or at @mcrosasb



One thought on “5 great (and offbeat) World Cup 2018 visualizations

  1. Pingback: Los 100 mejores artículos sobre periodismo de 2018 -

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