Selecting the best team from the players in the 2018 FIFA World Cup using performance analysis

Karadağ T., Parim C., Çene E.

INTERNATIONAL SPORTS STUDIES, vol.42, no.1, pp.15-32, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.30819/iss.42-1.03
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.15-32
  • Keywords: football, player performance, team selection, TOPSIS, World Cup, GAME-RELATED STATISTICS, FOOTBALL PLAYERS, SOCCER PLAYERS, ELITE SOCCER
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This study aims to determine the best player in each position from among the footballers who played in the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Player statistics for those who played over 200 minutes were obtained from the FIFA official and websites. Selected performance variables were then calculated per 100 minutes and the results were normalised. Kruskal Wallis H and Bonferroni Tests were used to determine the weights of the variables before the analysis. As the variables will have different values according to the players' positions, the weights for each position were calculated separately. Finally, the performances of the players on the basis of the variables used were ranked for each position using the TOPSIS method. A second analysis was undertaken including only those players whose ages were under 28 and goalkeepers whose ages were under 32. The purpose of this analysis was to identify players with potential that had been largely unrecognised up until the tournament. It was found that both the teams selected in this way were dominated by players from European clubs. Ninety-two percent of the top sixty players in the analysis were playing in European leagues with 85% playing in Spain, England, Italy, Germany, France or Russia.