World Cup 2010 in Numbers – The Statistics

South Africa 2010 in numbers

As the dust settles on an unforgettable and historic FIFA World Cup™, reflects on some of the key statistics to have emerged over the past month.


volunteers, the oldest of whom was 80 years old, played a huge role in the success of Africa’s first-ever FIFA World Cup.


passes were attempted by Xavi during the tournament, 104 more than his nearest challenger, Bastian Schweinsteiger. Xavi also delivered the second-highest number of crosses with 42, with only Diego Forlan (50) attempting more.


fouls were committed at South Africa 2010, down significantly on Germany 2006’s tally of 346. A consequence of this was that dismissals were also greatly reduced, with just 17 red cards compared to 26 four years ago.


goals were scored at South Africa 2010, the lowest of any FIFA World Cup since the tournament switched to a 64-game format. Indeed, the current edition continues a downward trend in this respect since the first 64-game finals were held 12 years ago, with France 1998’s total of 171 goals dwindling to 161 at Korea/Japan 2002 and then to 147 at Germany 2006.


minutes was the time at which Andres Iniesta struck against the Netherlands, making his dramatic winner the latest-ever winning goal in a FIFA World Cup Final.


years and 330 days old, David James was the most senior player of this FIFA World Cup. Holding the dual title of oldest outfield player and oldest goalscorer was Mexico’s Cuauhtemoc Blanco (37-156). Christian Eriksen was South Africa 2010’s youngest player at 18 years and 120 days old.


solo runs established Spain’s Sergio Ramos as the tournament’s most prolific dribbler, ahead of more likely candidates such as Lukas Podolski (27), Andres Iniesta (26), David Villa and Lionel Messi (both 25).


goals at Green Point Stadium made the Cape Town arena the highest-scoring of South Africa’s ten venues. Johannesburg’s Soccer City ranked second with 20.


players were used by Germany during the tournament – the most of any team. Slovenia, New Zealand and Korea DPR, by contrast, fielded just 15.


fouls made Japan’s Keisuke Honda an unlikely leader of the competition’s crime count. Finalists Sergio Ramos and Mark van Bommel followed closely behind on 17.


FIFA World Cup goals was the landmark reached by Miroslav Klose, leaving the Germany striker one behind record-holder Ronaldo but nonetheless in joint-second place with Gerd Muller.


yellow and red cards were handed out in a fiery Final between the Netherlands and Spain, more than doubling the previous record for this fixture, set when Argentina and West Germany shared six cards in 1986.


goals were scored by Bayern Munich players during South Africa 2010, making the Bavarian giants the best-represented club in the scoring charts. Bayern’s European conquerors, Inter Milan, were next-highest on nine, while Atletico Madrid players accounted for eight. The Spanish league dominated overall, with 29 goals to 21 for the Bundesliga, 12 for the English Premier League and 16 for Serie A.


hours and 19 minutes without conceding enabled Switzerland to set a new FIFA World Cup record. The Helvetians surpassed Italy’s previous record of 550 minutes.


teams have now won the FIFA World Cup after Spain joined this elite club. La Roja became the first team to win the global showpiece having lost their opening game, and the first from Europe to lift the Trophy outside their own continent.


FIFA World Cups as coach was the new benchmark set by Carlos Alberto Parreira, who in taking charge of his fifth team at the global showpiece, also broke the record of four he previously shared with Bora Milutinovic.


European teams reached the last 16 at South Africa 2010 and only three made it to the quarter-finals – an all-time low for the Old Continent. Nonetheless, while five South American representatives reached the knockout stage – four as group winners – the Final was once again an all-European affair.


million fans attended South Africa 2010’s 64 matches, just short of the FIFA World Cup record set when 3.59 million clicked through the turnstiles at USA 1994.


players – David Villa, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol – accounted for Spain’s entire haul of goals at South Africa 2010. Previously, no team had ever won the FIFA World Cup with fewer than four different goalscorers. La Roja’s overall tally of eight was the lowest of any world champions in history.


siblings in one squad was another first for South Africa 2010, with Jerry, Jhony and Wilson Palacios making history thanks to their inclusion in Honduras’ 23-man list.


assists were racked up by Kaka, Thomas Muller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Dirk Kuyt and Mesut Ozil, establishing this quintet as the competition’s most effective creators.


of the previous FIFA World Cup’s finalists failing to reach the second round had only ever been seen once before – in 1966, when Czechoslovakia failed to qualify and Brazil fell at the first hurdle.


draws and a defeat from three group games made Italy’s performance in South Africa their worst-ever FIFA World Cup showing. Never before had they failed to win a single match, or finished bottom of their group. Marcello Lippi’s side remain winless in 2010.


minutes and 39 seconds was the time at which Thomas Muller scored the tournament’s fastest goal in Germany’s 4-0 win over Argentina.


team finished the tournament unbeaten: New Zealand. That unlikely statistic was sealed when the Netherlands’ 14-match winning streak in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and tournament proper came to an end in the Final.

source: FIFA

About The Author: Rox

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