Inspired by @psychemedia (http://f1datajunkie.blogspot.co.uk/), I wondered if it would be possible to show both which teams contributed the most players to Euro2012, and the connections between the various leagues the players are from. To do this I used the gephi software.
It produced the following graph –
The data is as accurate as wikipedia can manage, so there may be a few players whose club allegiances are slightly arguable (a couple of players who are out of contract at the end of the season and there’s a wiki-war over whether that end is counted from the end of the domestic season or the start of the transfer window) and was finished before news of Frank Lampard’s injury came through. I’ll update it to reflect that this weekend.
The results have thrown up some interesting things:
1 – contrary to my expectations, it’s Bayern Munich, not Real Madrid or Barcelona that contribute the most players (13 vs 11 and 8 respectively). That isn’t shown as well as might be hoped in the diagram, possibly because Real Madrid and Barcelona both mostly contribute to the Spanish team while Bayern Munich has non-German players representing their countries, thus pulling the team into a crowded area of the diagram.
2 – while I was expecting certain countries to group together somewhat (I’ve had Danish friends who ranted at me about their national coach’s fondness for picking players that play in Holland over players that play at home), I’m interested about which countries don’t go into the main bit as much. These tend to be either countries where their players are drawn from teams from that country that have few foreign players representing their own countries (group A) or where they have lots of players playing in foreign leagues, but where the teams those players play for don’t have other internationals in (group B) or a mixture of both factors (group C).
Group A includes Greece, Ukraine, Russia and Italy
Group B includes Poland, Denmark, Ireland
Group C includes Croatia, Czech Republic
Germany is an odd one out because most of their players play in Germany, but several players from other countries play in the Bundesliga. Sweden is the opposite, where most of their players play abroad, but for clubs with lots of other national representatives.
3 – There are several countries where 2 or 3 teams make up most of their squad – Greece, Ukraine and Russia.
Amazingly, Spain isn’t one of them, with Barcelona and Real Madrid only making up 12 out of the 23. I don’t know if this is a sign of the increased amount of money being offered to players to move away and I’m very tempted to see if the players are more dispersed now than they were.
4 – Related to the above, despite England being the only team whose players are all drawn from their own national league, England is in the middle of the the diagram because, with the exception of Greece and the Ukraine, every other country has at least one English-based player playing for them.
5 – If we temporarily ignore Russia, who are being pulled away from the point I’m making by Aiden McGeady and Pavel Pogrebnyak, there still seems to be some sort of dividing line down the middle of Europe, round about where the Iron Curtain went. This is interest in light of some comments (http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/international/fa-mad-to-give-france-an-edge-by-ignoring-top-base-in-ukraine-7665766.html) made by Tomás Hübschman of the Czech Republic and Shaktar Donetsk who was bemused by England’s decision to have their headquarters in Poland despite most of their group matches being on the other side of the Ukraine. He said he wasn’t surprised though, because there was this belief that the further East you went the rougher it got, which, according to him, was utterly untrue, especially in the case of Donetsk.
The reason Russia is pulled so far by only three links from their players to non-Russian teams (and six links coming inwards) is because the rest bunch together increasing the power of those three links.
I plan on doing this again as the tournament continues, removing the teams as they get knocked out. I don’t think there will be much change in the central, heavily inter-connected teams, but I think their relative positions might change.
Any comments and complaints gratefully accepted.