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Our view

The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow

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Changing the Conversation
21st Club presents a collection of insights for football club boardrooms

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  • 26 Jul 2018

    Less money mo problems

    When Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo, there probably wasn’t much for their directors to deliberate over. There are only a handful of strikers in world football that could improve their team, and even fewer who could expand their commercial potential. As one of the wealthiest clubs in the world, the search needn’t have been far and […]

  • 13 Jul 2018

    We shouldn’t be here

    So France vs Croatia it is. For France, it’s three World Cup finals in six tournaments, a mightily impressive feat. Croatia meanwhile become the smallest nation to reach a World Cup final since Uruguay in 1950, a fitting reward for a golden generation. Our model gives France a 62% chance of lifting the trophy.

    Both countries, […]

  • 05 Jul 2018

    Predict the unpredictable

    Football never ceases to surprise us, and this World Cup has been no different. The early eliminations of Spain and Germany have been in keeping with a tournament that has been much more competitive than many thought.

    When we published our pre-tournament forecast last month, like everyone else we made Brazil, Germany and Spain among the […]

  • 29 Jun 2018

    The German question

    Fill in the blank: Germany are the _________-best team in the world.

    It might seem like a trivial question after they’ve been eliminated from the World Cup – who cares how good they are if they aren’t going to win it? But in the coming days and weeks there will be debates and discussions about the […]

  • 21 Jun 2018

    The value of a World Cup goal

    As James Rodriguez’s volleyed shot flew past Fernando Muslera in the Uruguay goal four years ago, the football world instinctively knew he had earned a move to one of Europe’s superclubs. Barely three weeks later, James was unveiled as a Real Madrid player, for a cost of €76m before his first pay cheque.

    We all know […]

  • 14 Jun 2018

    How to forecast the World Cup

    Predicting the outcome of the World Cup is difficult. There aren’t that many international matches, and the squads are constantly changing anyway. At 21st Club, we have two different approaches for forecasting international competitions.

    Our League of Nations model incorporates results from national team matches, including tournaments, qualifiers and friendlies, to estimate how good every national […]

  • 07 Jun 2018

    From Russia with Löw

    While clubs from across the world will be scouting players during the World Cup – perhaps mistakenly believing that big game performance is a key mark of a player’s quality – we think the tournament a good opportunity to track head coach performance.

    National team coaching isn’t the easiest task; you have limited time with the […]

  • 31 May 2018

    From prediction to decision

    Back in August, like fans and pundits across the world our UK football department sat down and made predictions for the Premier League season. We each wrote down how many points we thought each team would get, giving an overall predicted league table.

    It would be easy to forget about these and say that we knew […]