Perhaps nothing has been more influential in determining the popular perception of the Italian game than furbizia, the art of guile. For it is no overstatement to say that Italians enjoy a reputation as the dirtiest players in the game and, dryly put, as cheaters.
Investment Banks and the World Cup
Competition Description: World Cup 2010 - Take on the Quants
The Vuvuzela Externality
Soccer Done Right;
To remove these bizarre incentives, soccer should follow the ice hockey approach to penalties, after correcting for the difference in team size (six players for hockey vs. 11 for soccer) and game length (60 minutes for ice hockey vs. 90 minutes for soccer).
They think it’s all over: National identity, scoring in the last minute, and penalty shootouts
The Carbon Footprint of the 2010 World Cup
Gamesmanship and Collective Reputation
The Diving Champions of the (Football) World
While the anecdotal (and video) evidence against Italy is strong, it would be useful to have a statistical measure of diving on the basis of which international comparisons could be made. One possibility is to use data on fouls suffered. For instance, in the latest game, Italy was fouled 23 times while New Zealand suffered just 10 fouls. Either New Zealand is an unusually aggressive (or clumsy) team, or a number of the "fouls" suffered by Italy were simulated.
Back to the Future in the soccer World Cup: Chile wins 1-0 or 3-1?
Now onto more substance about the evolution of soccer: historically, the 1962 World Cup is an important turning point, since it marks the advent of modern defensive strategies in soccer. Until that World Cup, the average scoring had always exceeded 3 goals per game. In the 1962 World Cup, the goal scoring dropped significantly below 3 goals, to 2.78 goals per game, never to recover.
Defensive strategies have further taken hold. Nowadays we would be satisfied if we were witnessing ‘a mere’ 2.78 goals per game. In the seven World Cups between 1980 and 2006, the average had already dropped further to only 2.53 goals per game.