Data Analysis

SciSkill Index insights of the World Cup 2018 selections

12/06/18 | SciSports

We dived into the SciSkill Index to have a look at the 735 players who will feature at the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Which players might surprise us because of their good shape in the last six months? Which potential stars will be present on the highest stage of world football? After reading this article you can say that you are ready and fully prepared to watch the World Cup 2018 in Russia.

The SciSkill Index
The SciSkill estimates a football player’s current ability. Although represented as a single number, the SciSkill Index encompasses three components, which are combined in a clever way to enable fair and meaningful comparisons between players playing in different positions. The offensive skill measures a player’s contributions to a team’s offensive performances, whereas the defensive skill measures a player’s contributions to a team’s defensive performances. Furthermore, the resistance factor represents the strength of the opposition a player typically faces.

Who will suprise us?
We are able to determine the potential ability of players by comparing their SciSkill evolution to the evolutions of all other players who have already reached their peak abilities. The following players, aged below 22, have the highest potential score:

Which youngsters are in good shape?
In most cases youngsters still have to grow to a high SciSkill score by performing well at their clubs. If they do so, they will increase their SciSkill score rapidly. By looking at the difference in SciSkill score between now and six months ago, we are able to spot young players in the growth of their career. The following players, SciSkill above 50 and aged below 22, have most increased in terms of SciSkill in the last six months:

Who else are in good shape?
Besides the youngsters there are of course also players who reach their potential in a later stage of their career or found the right form just in time for the World Cup. Below is the list of players aged 28 and older with the highest SciSkill development in last six months:

Which players are in Russia because of their reputation?
Of course there will be some names present in Russia who personally had a disappointing season. Maybe they are able to recover from that during the World Cup to finish the football season in a good way. Below the top five of players, aged 28 and older, ranked on negative SciSkill development in the last six months.

Fun facts
Most represented clubs at World Cup 2018: Manchester City and Real Madrid (both 15 players), followed by Barcelona (14 players).

Most represented competition at World Cup 2018: 1. Premier League (105 players), 2. La Liga (77 players), 3. Bundesliga (63 players), 4. Serie A (58 players) and 5. Ligue 1 (47 players).

During the coming period we will publish more interesting articles about the World Cup 2018 in Russia. Follow us on social media or check the website for updates.