Scientific Research Shows Footballers With Wide Faces Score More Goals And Commit More Fouls

Chris Wright

18th, November 2014


By Chris Wright


According to a study conducted by the good people at the University of Colorado Boulder, footballers with wider faces are more likely – genetically speaking – to score more goals than players with pathetic, weedy little thin faces.

Researchers analysed the facial constructs of 1,000 players from each of the 32 nations which took part at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, measuring each player’s “facial-width-to-height ratio” (FWHR) – i.e, the distance between the cheekbones divided by the distance between the mid-brow and the upper lip.

Rather than being a particularly aggressive tournament (barring the final, of course!), the 2010 World Cup was chosen due to the quality and quantity of performance data available.

The study apparently found that once all 1,000 players had their respective FWHRs compared to their individual on-pitch record, those with higher ratios were more likely to score goals, make assists and also commit a higher number of fouls.


Razor Ruddock: Proud owner of the widest head in the game

“Previous research into facial structure of athletes has been primarily in the United States and Canada,” said Keith Welker, a researcher in the CU-Boulder Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and the lead author of the FWHR paper.

“No one had really looked at how facial-width-to-height ratio is associated with athletic performance by comparing people from across the world.”

Keep up the good work guys, very worthwhile.

Posted in Hardmen, Newsnow, World Cup

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  1. adhikapp says:

    This research is very flawed personally. For starters, the 2010 edition was one of the most low-scoring world cups in my lifetime, and only taking sample datas from the world cup alone and jumping to that conclusion is over-simplifying. Or maybe I’m just a Psychology student with a knack of spotting flaws in researches. Would love to see links to this article journal however. #justmy2cents

  2. Lukass says:

    Children are starving to death in Africa, India, and half of the rest of the world, and these people give funding to a research on the facial width of footballers…
    My god, does humanity deserve a nuclear cataclysm…

  3. apgee90 says:

    @Lukass You’re right, the Sports Science department at Colorado should focus all their research on starving children in Africa.

  4. Al says:

    @apgee90 – I think you’re missing @Lukass point. If all a sports science department is doing is looking at ridiculous shit like this then their shouldn’t be one and the money would be better spent on worthwhile causes

  5. Bob says:

    @apgee90. It’s university research by US students who pay a fortune to be there. I’d argue that the future ‘sports scientists’ who did this are, by paying crazy money to go to Uni, actually funding more important research on children starving to death in Africa….or whatever.

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