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Scoring ourselves

How our World Cup football forecast performed

Shortly before World Cup's opening match, we published a “probability circle”: an interactive infographical tool (with hefty statistics behind the scenes) that predicted each team's chances of victory as they would progress through the tournament. So how did it do?

This year's World Cup has been particularly exciting because of the surprises. Spain's stumble. Brazil giving up zillions of goals within seconds. Cannibalism. Unlike some of the teams, the competition itself exceeded all expectations. As such, our predictions—like so many others—were amiss.

But we were not too far off. The finalists, Germany and Argentina, ranked third and fifth place in our model. Brazil, a third-place contender, we placed first (as did many other forecasts). Their opponent caught us by surprise; the stats put the Netherlands as low as 16th.

The original probability circle is below, followed by a Q&A with the statistician and infographicist who produced it. For comparison, the actual results are here.