In Numbers: The World Cup’s frivolous facts and figures summed up

By Antoinette Muller 15 July 2018

Paul Pogba of France celebrates with the trophy after winning the FIFA World Cup 2018 final between France and Croatia in Moscow, Russia, 15 July 2018. EPA-EFE/PETER POWELL

It's not a World Cup until you've chewed over all the numbers.

After a whirlwind 64 matches, the 2018 World Cup ended like it started: with a glut of goals as France secured their second title with a 4-2 win over Croatia.

Luka Modric earned himself the player of the tournament award, Harry Kane the Golden Boot and Thibaut Courtois the Golden Glove.


The number of goals scored by Golden Boot winner Harry Kane.


The average number of goals at this year’s tournament, a touch less than the 2.67 average in 2014.


The number of goals scored in the final, the most in a final of the tournament since 1966, when England beat West Germany 4-2.


The total number of braces scored at the tournament, less than the 14 scored at the 2014 edition.


The number of penalties scored out of the 29 awarded.


The number of penalties missed or saved.


The number of own goals.


The stoppage time minute of the tournament’s latest goal. Neymar holds that honour.


The number of goals scored by Belgium.


Egypt’s total points tally in all World Cups. Ever.


The number of yellow cards at the World Cup.


Total number of passes completed in the entire tournament.


Croatia’s total clearances, tackles and saves.


Neymar’s attempts on goal for his total of two goals.


Total distance in kilometres covered by Croatia’s Ivan Perišić.


Paul Pogba’s total touches in the final.


The number of goals scored in the 90th minute or later (excluding extra-time), more than in any previous edition of the competition.


The number of goalless draws at the tournament.


The number of goals scored through set-piece situations, the highest percentage since 1966.


The estimated number of times somebody complained about seeing (and hearing) that Three Little Birds advert. Here it is, for the last time, hopefully never to be repeated again:



In other news...

South Africa is in a very real battle. A political fight where terms such as truth and democracy can seem more of a suggestion as opposed to a necessity.

On one side of the battle are those openly willing to undermine the sovereignty of a democratic society, completely disregarding the weight and power of the oaths declared when they took office. If their mission was to decrease society’s trust in government - mission accomplished.

And on the other side are those who believe in the ethos of a country whose constitution was once declared the most progressive in the world. The hope that truth, justice and accountability in politics, business and society is not simply fairy tale dust sprinkled in great electoral speeches; but rather a cause that needs to be intentionally acted upon every day.

However, it would be an offensive oversight not to acknowledge that right there on the front lines, alongside whistleblowers and civil society, stand the journalists. Armed with only their determination to inform society and defend the truth, caught in the crossfire of shots fired from both sides.

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