Data visualization and storytelling


Your ultimate guide to visualizing football tournaments ⚽

From the EUROs to the World Cup – explore 15 innovative ways to visualize the game

Football tournaments captivate the world, bringing fans together with a shared passion that goes beyond borders. But aside from the excitement of matches and intense action, these tournaments also contribute to an expanding database of the sport. Whether it’s the global spectacle of the World Cup or the continental clashes of the European Championship, each tournament adds a new chapter to the rich history of football.

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To celebrate the spirit of these iconic competitions, we delve into the ocean of statistics they generate. Discover how we visualized goals, passes, and player performances into 15 compelling visual narratives with Flourish, offering inspiration for you to create your own football masterpieces.

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The tournament essentials

No tournament coverage is complete without these essential chart types. Whether you’re short on time or simply aiming to wow your audience, rest assured – our Flourish templates will take your reporting to the next level! Explore graphs that are both highly customizable and easy to make, such as the Tournament chart, Table, and Bar Chart Race.

Visualize fixtures with Tournament bracket charts and tables

Our interactive Tournament template provides a clear and simple way to map out the knockout stages of any tournament. Perfect for featuring on your homepage, this visualization type lets your readers easily track their favorite event’s unfolding story.

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You can add an extra column for the winner of each game, or keep it empty for future contests – the template will indicate these are matches yet to be played. Enhance your chart with custom visuals such as flags or player photos for a personal flair, or a background image to add more depth.

Looking for a neat way to lay out all upcoming matches? A table could just be the ticket. While our Tournament template captures the competitive flow from match to match, a table layout offers a straightforward snapshot of who plays against whom, where, and when.

The Table template is designed with versatility in mind, allowing you to format and color-code cells to your preference. The search bar allows you to quickly find information about specific teams or venues, while the addition of images, emojis, and flags makes the visual presentation highly engaging.

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As with all Flourish templates, the Table is very flexible – you can stick to the basics or include additional details like scores, making it as rich in information as you need. And for those who love going the extra mile with their data, you’ll appreciate a standout feature of our tables – the mini bar and line charts! They effortlessly turn your numbers into engaging graphs right within the table cells.

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If you’re subscribed to one of our premium plans, you can link your visualizations directly to a live-updating CSV file. This means your charts will automatically refresh and republish as your data changes, ensuring your visuals are always current. The live data feature is incredibly handy for keeping charts updated in real-time scenarios, like tracking the progress of a game. Check out our blog post to learn more.

From venues to victories with maps, Sankeys, and racing charts

Using one of our interactive map templates, you can share a detailed look at the history of tournaments or point out the locations of upcoming events, along with key game facts. Create a story or use customized popups as in the example below to share more information about each point or region, without overcrowding your map.

Hover over any host city to see photos of each venue, or click on a dot to see a table of matches. From adding rich text, custom HTML and CSS, vibrant videos and images, to even embedding Flourish charts – the creative potential is limitless!

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Curious to see which nations have climbed to the top of the world in football? Our Sankey Diagram lays out the tally of World Cup wins, giving a clear picture of each country’s success over the years. It’s a visual feast of colors representing the historical wins, from Brazil’s impressive five titles to the notable achievements of Germany and Italy.

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And if animation is what you’re after, our Bar Chart Race template is the perfect match for your needs. Using this template, we’ve brought to life the shifting landscape of FIFA rankings of the last decade, tracking the rise and fall of national teams in the global football hierarchy.

To get started with a Bar Chart Race, your data should have a row for each participant, a column for each time period, and should be cumulative – i.e. it should reflect the total FIFA ranking points accumulated by each team up to that date. For a step-by-step guide on setting up your data for a flawless Bar Chart Race, take a look at our help doc.

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Tournament squad guide

Now that we’ve covered the basics, we turn the spotlight onto the heart of any football tournament – the players. With tools like the Cards and Sports templates from Flourish, you’re fully equipped to present all the vital metadata that sets the stage for upcoming tournaments and bring player profiles to life.

Show players info at a glance with interactive visualizations

Our versatile Cards template is perfect for visualizing team and player profiles along with additional information.

Equipped with interactive features like popups, panels, and filtering, it offers extensive customization options. You can enhance your visualization with HTML and CSS tweaks, such as creating a hover effect – as done in our example below; adding collapsible sections, or designing flippable cards for dynamic engagement. The Cards template can do it all!

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To gain a deeper understanding of every football match, you can use our Sports template which turns the complex world of team formations and tactics into vibrant, animated stories.

In our template chooser, you’ll find multiple starting points of this template – from full to a half pitch, to a lineup with flags, images or numbers, explore the versatility of this template yourself below.

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To accommodate unexpected formations, our Sports template allows you to plot each player individually. Simply provide an X and Y position in your dataset or use the custom formation box in the Preview tab. Read more about this on our help page.

Analyze player stats with sunburst diagrams and scatter plots

Flourish’s Hierarchy template offers a dynamic and intuitive way to break down complex data into digestible categories – much like a pivot table with a visual twist! In the context of the World Cup or the EUROs, it’s a great tool for delving into the sport’s global connections or financial landscapes.

With the added functionality of filters and clickable segments, you can easily navigate through the sunburst diagram to learn more about the players’ club affiliations. Give it a go!

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Besides the sunburst layout, the Hierarchy template offers a variety of other formats including treemaps, radial trees, packed circles, and stacked bar charts. All these options are readily accessible in our template chooser, but you can also easily experiment with different views right within the visualization editor. Read more about this chart type here.

For an even more straightforward way to spot trends and patterns, turn to the Scatter plot – a true powerhouse in uncovering insights! It’s perfect for exploring the age diversity of football players or comparing the average heights across your favorite teams.

Within the Scatter template editor, you have the option to activate the box plot feature. This enables a quick overview of your data distribution, showcasing the median and quartiles for each category. Check out our blog post for a deeper understanding of box plots and their use case.

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One of Flourish’s standout features is the effortless creation of a grid of charts, also known as small multiples, directly within the visualization editor. This is a handy way to compare related charts side by side to easily analyze different segments of your data.

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The proper deep dive

For those who revel in the complex layers of football data, we’ve put together some visualizations that are a great match for any sports outlet or publication. These insights provide a deeper understanding of player efficiency, team dynamics, and tactical effectiveness.

During a sports tournament like the World Cup, sports fans often want to go deeper into the analytics of the game – and new statistics like xG (expected goals) help supporters understand the game like never before.

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To confirm whether 2022 World Cup participants met those expectations, we used our Scatter plot to lay out the expected goals against the actual goals scored per 90 minutes. By adding story annotations and selectively using dot labels (and in a neat twist, using emojis 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 as the label for some points), we created a visualization that spotlights the standouts of our analysis. Take squads like England, for example, who really brought their A-game, scoring beyond what the stats predicted.

As both the examples above and below show, scatter plots bring a special kind of clarity to sports data. They allow your data to speak for itself, offering insights that might be less apparent with other chart types. Whether you’re opting for axis highlights or annotations, selective labeling or coordinating colors for clarity, the Scatter plot template becomes an essential tool for unpacking the layers of football tournament data.

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The same versatility applies to our Sports template, which is excellent for mapping out intricate football tactics with animated trail lines. This feature serves as a powerful tool for visualizing anything from Spain’s 2010 World Cup-winning strategies to a local team’s season-long development.

Read our help doc to learn how to animate player movement.

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In the example above, we created an interactive scrollytelling piece, incorporating various setups of trail lines. This is an effective way to guide the viewer through a narrative, highlighting key moments and strategic shifts that define a team’s journey.

Flourish’s scrollytelling feature allows for an engaging, story-driven exploration of data, making complex tactical analysis not only accessible but also visually impactful. For a deeper dive into this feature, check out our blog post.

For the kicks: interactive quizzes

Wrapping up our guide, we introduce two visual tools designed to ramp up excitement for events like EUROs 2024 right on your web page. Engage your audience and add a dash of fun to your content with our Quiz and Calculator templates.

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The Quiz template is ideal for quickly putting together interactive, enjoyable quizzes. Choose between a slider or multiple choice, customize feedback, and even add multimedia elements for an extra layer of fun! Read our help doc for more.

If you’re looking to collect and analyze opinions, the Calculator template is a fantastic resource. Unique for its ability to funnel responses into a Google Sheet for easy analysis and visualization, this template lets you tap into fan preferences and sentiments with ease.

The Calculator template is available to users on our premium plans. To learn more about how it can transform your sports content, reach out to our team or explore detailed use cases on our blog.

Your turn to take the pitch! ⚽️

We hope these visualizations fuel your creativity and inspire you to craft your own standout pieces. For a deeper dive into sports data magic, check out our webinar on World Cup visualizations or browse our blog for insights on visualizing football league data.