Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Harald's Original Miscellany - The Truth about Football - Part 2

John Terry Celebration Meme, read on and you will understand...
Of course you always wanted to know, who is the best football player of all times. Sure this might be a question about which real football afficionados might argue forever. Also Wikipedia will not be able to give you the definite answer. But, we can play around with the available data and maybe we find out something interesting about football players again ...

But, first at all, I want to say thank you to Kingsley Idehen, who gave me the hint for my SPARQL query links to use the parameter "qtxt=" instead of "query=", which enables others to see the original query and to use it for further data explorations. Thus, all SPARQL query links will be given in this form.

So let's start with the most simple query: Select all football players and their popularity (indegree) in descending order starting with the most popular player. We must be a little bit careful, because the class SoccerPlayer does not only contain "real persons" but also popular roles of football players such as e.g. "Captain". Therefore, we filter the results for entities that have a name (via foaf:name). Here are the Top50 football players according to wikipedia. For the entire list, please refer to the references [1].
Name Popularity
Cristiano Ronaldo 1794
David Beckham 1572
Thierry Henry 1414
Lionel Messi 1404
Wayne Rooney 1343
Frank Lampard 1188
Pelé 1111
Didier Drogba 1047
Ronaldo 1037
Michael Owen 1011
Steven Gerrard 1002
Zlatan Ibrahimović 964
Alessandro Del Piero 926
Ronaldinho 914
Raúl (footballer) 903
Ryan Giggs 894
Fernando Torres 889
Zinedine Zidane 867
Ruud van Nistelrooy 861
Robbie Keane 861
Samuel Eto'o 859
Landon Donovan 835
Andriy Shevchenko 823
Kaká 804
Francesco Totti 730
Robin van Persie 720
Paul Scholes 692
Hernán Crespo 680
David Villa 669
John Terry 669
Cesc Fàbregas 669
George Best 667
Carlos Tévez 666
Robinho 643
Gary Lineker 641
Teddy Sheringham 633
Andrew Cole 620
Dwayne De Rosario 617
Xavi 616
Jermain Defoe 613
Craig Bellamy 609
Dimitar Berbatov 587
David Trezeguet 587
Luis Suárez 581
Peter Crouch 577
Michael Ballack 572
Miroslav Klose 568
Luís Figo 567
Lee Dong-Gook 558
Filippo Inzaghi 557
Yes, it was obvious for everybody that names such as Ronaldo, Beckham, Thierry, Pelé occur among the top popular players. Unfortunately, I'm not a football expert to comment further on that. Let's have a look, whether popularity corresponds with the number of achieved goals. However, this information is not easy to extract. For some of the football players, there's a property dbprop:totalGoals, while most of them has dbprop:goals. But the later sometimes exists multiple times for single years or periods. Thus, we have to sum up all dbprop:goals, while keeping in mind not to count any number more often than once (because an entry might be reproduced in our result list for several reasons).
Name Goals Popularity
David Schofield (footballer) 76543210 9
Alcindo Sartori 5019110 160
Oh Seung-Bum 1842256 32
Marei Al Ramly 6037 11
Darío Espínola 1715 6
Kim Andersson 1537 23
Stefan Lövgren 1328 18
Nikola Karabatić 1318 84
Elias Ribeiro de Oliveira 1187 26
Mohd Amar Rohidan 1020 38
Slaviša Žungul 856 113
John Bartley (footballer) 762 1
Zoran Karić 759 11
Jimmy Greaves 748 342
Ernest Spiteri Gonzi 704 11
Pierre van Hooijdonk 670 238
Reg Date 664 3
Trevor Phillips (footballer) 655 4
Joan Linares 645 12
Domenic Mobilio 625 58
Pelé 620 1111
Harry Johnson (footballer born 1899) 610 25
Ernst Stojaspal 602 23
Max Morlock 588 66
Ernie Hine 574 72
Branko Šegota 561 38
Serhiy Koridze 557 4
Salvinu Schembri 538 6
Konstantin Yeryomenko 537 13
Tony Brown (English footballer) 498 47
Waldo Machado 497 36
Nguyen Minh Phuong 496 50
Tony Cascarino 496 141
Leônidas da Silva 484 98
Zeki Rıza Sporel 470 75
Ángeles Parejo 469 9
Tommy Dickson 457 13
Elisabetta Vignotto 454 22
Alberto Spencer 445 99
Stefan Schwoch 435 7
Peter Kitchen 429 16
Edgar Kail 427 7
Eusébio 423 433
Giorgos Sideris 415 51
Tommy Browell 414 88
Patricio Margetic 412 14
Arsénio Trindade Duarte 409 19
Uwe Seeler 406 153
Hughie Gallacher 406 131
Dragan Džajić 401 150
Again we see, that DBpedia data (resp. Wikipedia data) is somehow 'noisy'. The first 3 ranks are obviously wrong concerning the number of goals. Simply because if David Schofield really would have achieved 76,543,210 goals, it would mean that he had won about 5 goals per minute of all the 32 years of his entire life so far. This must be kind of an extraction error. If we look at the players with more than 1000 goals, then a closer inspection reveals some handballers that either are also footballers or are wrongly declared to be footballers. In handball it is easier to achieve a higher number of goals compared to football. Trevor Phillips and John Bartley really achieved more than 600 goals, but their popularity score signals that they did achieve this not necessarely in the major league. The first top ranked prominent football player in this list definitely is Pelé with 620 goals. The only other two in this Top50 list I have already heard of are Eusébio and Uwe Seeler, but don't take me as a reference :)

Lets order the list again the other way around according to the most popular players to investigate their goal score:
Name Goals Popularity
Cristiano Ronaldo 227 1794
David Beckham 95 1572
Thierry Henry 265 1414
Lionel Messi 223 1404
Wayne Rooney 156 1343
Frank Lampard 163 1188
Pelé 620 1111
Didier Drogba 160 1047
Ronaldo 217 1037
Michael Owen 163 1011
Steven Gerrard 98 1002
Zlatan Ibrahimović 198 964
Alessandro Del Piero 223 926
Ronaldinho 157 914
Raúl (footballer) 280 903
Ryan Giggs 114 894
Fernando Torres 161 889
Zinedine Zidane 95 867
Ruud van Nistelrooy 249 861
Robbie Keane 179 861
Samuel Eto'o 219 859
Landon Donovan 135 835
Andriy Shevchenko 219 823
Kaká 114 804
Francesco Totti 226 730
Robin van Persie 130 720
Paul Scholes 107 692
Hernán Crespo 198 680
John Terry 30 669
David Villa 234 669
Cesc Fàbregas 50 669
George Best 238 667
Carlos Tévez 135 666
Robinho 122 643
Gary Lineker 243 641
Teddy Sheringham 289 633
Andrew Cole 226 620
Dwayne De Rosario 94 617
Xavi 57 616
Jermain Defoe 151 613
Craig Bellamy 113 609
Dimitar Berbatov 189 587
David Trezeguet 218 587
Luis Suárez 128 581
Peter Crouch 102 577
Michael Ballack 117 572
Miroslav Klose 181 568
Luís Figo 91 567
Filippo Inzaghi 184 557
Patrick Vieira 45 551
As we would expect, most of the popular football players are also good goal scorers. Well, there are a few exceptions. Take John Terry with a popularity score of 669 and only 30 goals. Why might he be so popular then? Taking a closer look at Wikipedia reveals that Terry plays at centre back position and is the captain of Chelsea in the Premier League. Well, that's already something for popularity. But, if you look even closer, you will find more: under the topic 'Controversies' you will find charges for assault and affray, a £60 fine for parking his Bentley in a disabled bay, extramarital affair allegations as well as racial abuse allegations. But, neither of these is directly responsible for Terry's popularity. In fact it's an internet meme (cf. introductory picture of this article). John Terry was suspended for the UEFA Final and had to watch his team in a suit and tie on the sidelines. He did look quite miserable as he sat there, watching his team defend for their lives and then miraculously pull out the victory. However, as soon as Chelsea made the victory, it was party time for Terry! He immediately threw off his suit like Superman and revealed his full Chelsea kit underneath his suit. The internet community enjoyed his dedication to his club and soccer so much that immediately a popular internet meme lampooning his behaviour appeared on the web, becoming one of the most popular online jokes in 2012. Terry has been pictured taking part in great moments in history and fiction. These included the fall of the Berlin Wall, the freeing of Nelson Mandela, the triumph of Rocky Balboa, as well as the first landing on the Moon [3]. Well, this should be reason for some popularity :)