However, this raises the question, what effect can temperatures have on a nation’s chances of lifting the World Cup? Do countries of warmer climates produce more winners? In a previous post on this blog, David Butler considered the relationship between geography and World Cup success. An important aspect that makes geography important is the climate.
The higher the temperature the more difficult even the simplest of tasks can become for even the most gifted players. So surely those who are used to a warmer climate should cope more favourably in these conditions than those who are not? Using average annual temperature data, I’ll attempt to address whether on average warmer countries produce more World Cup winners than colder ones.
Of course if only climate mattered, we could expect World Cup winners from among the Middle Eastern and African nations given their high temperatures. Obviously talent still plays a key role, given that the strongest teams still stand the best chance of making finals. However, it appears that strong nations with warm climates tend to stand a much better chance of success in Brazil e.g. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay than their cooler counterparts, Germany, Spain, Italy etc.