The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future
DANIEL KAHNEMAN – Author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
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 […]
Just like the universe is governed by a set of rational laws that we can discover and understand, football’s transfer market is also determined by factors that we’re able to research and control.
Such research helps us understand what happened, why it happened and what might happen in the future. It can rinse our eyes and […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Real Madrid have won the Champions League in three of the last four seasons. However, if the competition were organised slightly differently, it’s not impossible that we would be reading headlines as the one above.
Imagine the Champions League were contested every four years, like the World Cup is. The narratives that would emerge would be […]