Technical and physical analysis of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil: Winners vs. losers

Michael C. Rumpf, Joao R. Silva, Maxime Hertzog, Abdulaziz Farooq, George Nassis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the technical and physical performance parameters that distinguish between teams winning and losing matches in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil. METHODS: Data were derived from the FIFA website and from live-statistics provided during each game of the world cup. Twelve physical (such as total distance covered in meters (TD), TD in distinct locomotor categories: low-intensity running (LIR; <11 km/h), moderate-intensity running (MIR; 11 to 14 km/h) and high-intensity-running (HIR; >14 km/h)) and 21 technical parameters (total passes, short-, medium- and longdistance passes, total pass completion rate, dangerous attacks, attacking attempts, delivery in penalty area, ball possession, goals, goals from set-pieces, goals per shot on goal, defending saves, shots, shots on goal, shot accuracy, set-pieces, crosses, corners, clearances, yellow cards) were analyzed. Forty-two games in which a winner and consequently a loser were presented after 90 minutes of game time were investigated with independent t-tests. A binary-logistic regression was utilized to investigate whether the significant variables predicted success of the winning teams. RESULTS: The winning teams scored significantly (P<0.05) greater amount of goals, goals per set-pieces, goals per shots on goals, shots on goal and shot accuracy and received significantly lower yellow cards. The binary-logistic regression utilized showed that shot accuracy was the best predictor for success. The physical parameters did not differ between teams winning and losing a match. CONCLUSIONS: Technical performance related to goal scoring parameters play a decisive role in World Cup games. Furthermore, scoring efficacy from open-play as well as from set-pieces are crucial to win matches in a World Cup tournament. At this level, physical performance was not the factor to discriminate between winners and losers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1338-1343
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Athletic performance
  • Running
  • Soccer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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