Statistics of 2017

How many goals were scored in 2017? What where the most frequent results? And most importantly: What was the best team in the world? This article provides the answers and a very brief (statistical) recap of the year 2017 in football.

2018-01-06

World Ranking

The table below shows the final top ten in 2017 of our world ranking.

Rank Team Country Points
1 FC Barcelona Spain 2075
2 FC Bayern Muenchen Germany 2028
3 Real Madrid Spain 1904
4 Manchester City England 1903
5 Juventus Italy 1853
6 Paris Saint Germain France 1794
7 Atletico Madrid Spain 1713
8 Manchester United England 1660
9 San Lorenzo Argentina 1605
10 SSC Napoli Italy 1592

The ranking was update 52 times last year and four teams took the top position. Bayern Munich was ranked on top 15 times, Real Madrid 27 times, FC Barcelona 9 times and Manchester City once. With 2162 points on August 15th, Real Madrid achieved the highest points during the last year.

We can also compute the strength of leagues by averaging the points of the best five teams per League. The below table shows the top ten at the end of 2017.

Rank Country Points
1 Spain 1675
2 England 1652
3 Italy 1492
4 Argentina 1468
5 Germany 1367
6 France 1326
7 Brazil 1300
8 Portugal 1236
9 Colombia 1195
10 Mexico 1181

The below chart shows a comparison of strengths of the "Big Five" throughout the year.

Quite obviously, the German Bundesliga had an awful year, dropping more than 100 points on average. This is mostly due to the painfully bad performance in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Non of the teams playing in the Europa League qualified for the next round. The performance in the Champions League was just marginally better, where Bayern Munich advanced to the next round. Leipzig and Dortmund at least managed to qualify for the Europa League. Spain mostly remained comfortably the strongest league in the world. The English Premier League, however, has seen a strong comeback this year. On average, its best five teams gained more than 300 points, even ranking before La Liga for a brief moment.

Goal and Results

Our database recorded 36933 games in 2017, played in 206 domestic leagues with 97470 scored goals. This gives an average of 2.64 goals per match (2016: 2.62). On national level, the average varies quite heavily. The countries with the lowest average are Burkina Faso (1.63), Haiti (1.71) and Cameroon (1.80). The highest averages are found in Guam (6.64), Liechtenstein (5.86) and the Turks and Caicos Islands (5.73).

The below graph shows a break down of the most frequent results.

Apart from these fairly common results, there were some pretty unusual ones:

Full Physic - Teachers 17:2 (Turks and Caicos Islands)
UE Sant Julia - Penya Encarnada d'Andorra 18:0 (Andorra)
Paintco Strykers - Pago Bay Disasters 17:0 (Guam)

44.7% of matches were won by the home team, 25.8% ended in a draw and the remaining 29.5% were won by the away team. Compared to 2016 (45.4%/25.7%/28.9%), the home-field advantage declined, if only slightly. Again, there are some significant difference when looking at the national level. American Samoa (83.3%), Nigeria (75.2%) and the CAF Confederation Cup (67.9%) had the highest home win percentages. The lowest can be found in Liechtenstein (20.0%), Lebanon (28.8%) and Gambia (29.5%)

Streaks

Home
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) won 18 games in a row from 01/14/2017 to 12/23/2017
Atlético Nacional (Colombia) was undefeated for 23 games in a row from 02/13/2017 to 12/03/2017.

Super Power Samut Prakan FC (Thailand) lost 13 games in a row from 02/18/2017 to 09/10/2017.
Sportivo Trinidense (Paraguay) did not win in 22 games in a row from 02/06/2017 to 12/10/2017.

Away
Real Madrid (Spain) won 13 games in a row from 01/15/2017 to 08/20/2017.
Atlético Madrid (Spain) was undefeated for 20 games in a row from 01/07/2017 to 12/10/2017.

Super Power Samut Prakan FC (Thailand) lost 15 games in a row from 02/12/2017 to 09/23/2017. Clan Juvenil (Ecuador) did not win in 22 games from 02/04/2017 to 12/09/2017

Home and Away
JS Saint-Pierroise (Réunion) won 18 games in a row from 02/19/2017 to 09/16/2017.
Celtic FC (Scotland) was undefeated for 35 games in a row from 01/25/2017 to 12/13/2017.

Super Power Samut Prakan FC (Thailand) lost 27 games in a row from 02/12/2017 to 09/17/2017.
Super Power Samut Prakan FC (Thailand) did not win for 29 games in a row from 02/12/2017 to 09/23/2017.

PageRank of 2017

A previous article explained PageRank as a ranking method for football clubs. We can calculate the PageRank scores of all games played in 2017 to determine the best clubs in the world for the past year1. The below chart shows the Top 50.

The best team, according to PageRank, was FC Barcelona. Certainly the enormously successful start of the current season helped to bring them to the top in 2017. Internationally, they "only" reached the quarter final of the UEFA Champions League, where they lost against Juventus, ranked 4th here. Real Madrid is ranked 2nd, although they certainly suffer from a horrible start in this seasons La Liga. The top ten are made up by teams from Spain (3), Italy (1) and surprisingly Japan (1). Interestingly, the best German team Bayern Munich is only ranked 33rd, even behind the best teams from Iraq, South Africa and China.


  1. The difference to our world ranking is that we only consider games played in 2017, while our world ranking goes back 2 years and puts less weight on earlier games.