Anorak | Revealed: The Dirtiest Teams In The History Of The World Cup Are Not South American

Revealed: The Dirtiest Teams In The History Of The World Cup Are Not South American

by | 9th, June 2014

Argentina’s soccer star Diego Maradona, left, and West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher


ANDROS Townsend, the Spurs sub with five England caps tells readers of his Sun column:

 “I don’t want to generalise but it’s usually the South American teams that resort to dirty tactics. And – at a World Cup – you have to be prepared for that.”

He doesn’t want to generalise. But he will. Those dirty Latins, eh.

But is he right?


And, as this chart shows, the dirty teams don’t do well.


As Nikhil Sonnad writes :

The more aggressive sports team usually wins, right? Not if it is far better than its opponent. In the World Cup, the countries that most regularly get dealt red and yellow cards are some of the least successful to have entered the tournament

Just looking at the number of cards given to a single team since 1970—when the current penalty system was first introduced—Argentina comes out on top with 99 yellow cards and seven reds. But Argentina is a perennial qualifier and has played 54 matches in that time. Quartz has crunched the numbers on a more telling metric: the average number of cards doled out to teams per game.

The result: None of the top 20 offenders on our list has reached a World Cup final, at least since the card system began.

Indeed, the Top Ten worst transgressors, only two teams are form South America, two from Africa and a

You have already read 1 premium article for free today
Access immediately the premium content with Multipass

Or come back tomorrow

Posted: 9th, June 2014 | In: Sports Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink