Football

FT Baseline

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Liverpool were without Raheem Sterling for the first hour as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa, highlighting the teenager’s importance to the team.

Just how much has Sterling improved since he broke into the first team in the 2012/13 season? We used data from Opta to analyse and visualise his rapid development. Read more

In case you’ve forgotten, England did take part in the 2014 World Cup. But despite uncharacteristically low expectations from the watching English public, Roy Hodgson’s side slunk under this low bar, flying home after two defeats and a goalless draw with the global footballing powerhouse Costa Rica.

What went wrong? Countless theories abound – some better than others – but some relatively simple maths may be able to explain at least one of the factors involved: statistically speaking, England were bereft of luck. Read more

736 players have travelled to Brazil for the World Cup. The diagrams below show how their individual skillsets help create their national team’s identity. Read more