Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mapping the English Premier League

Sky Sports has mapped the birthplaces of all 557 football players registered to clubs in the English Premier League. According to Transfermarkt 368 of those 557 players were born overseas,

In Where were Premier League players born? Sky has plotted the birthplace of every single player in the EPL. If you click on the markers on the map you can learn more about the individual players, such as which position they play and their number of Premier League appearances and goals. You can also filter the map to show only players for individual clubs by clicking on the club logos above the map.

The map reveals that Europe is by far the biggest catchment area for EPL teams. However a lot of players also come from South America and Africa. There are few players in the EPL who originate from Asia, North America or Oceania. I can't help wondering if the map might therefore be a reasonable guide as to where in the world children grow-up playing football.

Sky's map is in truth a pretty poor attempt at visualizing the data on EPL players. If you want to know how many players come from individual countries then you need to zoom-in on the map and count the players yourself. This can be difficult, especially when two or more players were born in the same city or when players were born very close to country borders. Would it have been that difficult to provide a table view with the map?

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