Can Relationship Analytics Predict the World Cup Winner?

At the time of writing, the Soccer World Cup 2018 Semi-finals have been completed and we are days away from a France-Croatia final and an England-Belgium play-off for 3rd place. Despite a plethora of statistical information available on team past performance, there was only one data set that could be considered representative of how players in a team related to each other; and that is the passing distribution information: The passing distribution information records how players are connected and therefore related through the activity of passing the ball to each other. Sounds obvious, but every other statistic focusses on individual…