CONMEBOL wins Golden Mommy 2014

15 July 2014

The World Cup always comes with a number of side awards: in this year's edition Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball, James Rodríguez won the Golden Boot, and Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove. I would like to award the Golden Mommy: the award for the best Confederation in the World Cup.

In previous posts, I already discussed the performance of teams across Confederations. Now that all games have been played, it is time for the final picture.

As there are 31 losers in the World Cup, and only one winner, it would make sense to award the Golden Mommy to the European federation UEFA simply because Germany has won the cup. However, we want to draw a more nuanced picture: which confederation's teams performed best throughout the tournament?

To calculate this, we first need to grade team performance. I did this in a rather standard way: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, and zero points for a loss. Because advancing in the tournament is obviously also important, I added a win (i.e. 3 points) for each round the team survived (THRU). The table below shows these team results:

We can now add up these scores per confederation to see which confederation scored best, but we will calculate an average for awarding the Golden Mommy because the continental federations don't delegate the same number of teams to the World Cup.

And the winner is... CONMEBOL, the South American football federation! With 87 points earned by only six delegates they top the European World Cup winners.

Congratulations CONMEBOL! Just give me a call to come pick up your statue.

Honorable mention for CONCACAF who scored surprisingly good, especially considering their lower estimated potential, which is indicated in the star colums of both graphics, expressed in units of FIFA video game stars.