Comparing the Socceroos to the giants of world football through goals, appearances and social media

FIFA World Cup: Comparing the Socceroos to the giants of world football through goals, appearances and social media     Nothing sums up the daunting task facing the Socceroos quite as succinctly as their opening World Cup fixture

Australia fronts up to one of the tournament favourites in France, stacked with talent in every position Seriously, the only thing more ridiculous than Les Bleus strength in depth are some of the stars that didnt make it in their squad The Australian sporting public is aware enough of the strength of European leagues, but it can feel so far away and out of sight while domestic football gets excited over Tim Cahills return to our shores, or the emerging talents of Daniel Arzani and Andrew Nabbout Its only when youre paired against such leading lights in the World Cup group stage that it suddenly dawns on you: Australia appears well and truly stuffed So gather round, pessimists, and drink in the statistical breakdown of what makes our Group C opponents so fearsome, and Australias talents appear comparatively modest

Goals, goals, goals: France has em, we dont Lets have a look at how various nationalities performed in Europes big five leagues this season — that is, in the English Premier League, Frances Ligue 1, Italys Serie A, Germanys Bundesliga and Spains La Liga This isnt the amount of goals scored in these five leagues by players at the World Cup — instead, its goals scored by all players of a particular nationality across these five leagues in the 2017-18 season France sits very pretty in second spot, just behind Spain, with a whopping 603 goals scored Denmark, another Group C contestant, notched 51 goals

Australia, in comparison, had just nine goals in 2017-18: Aaron Mooy scored four for Huddersfield, and Mathew Leckie five for Hertha Berlin If we expand it out to goals plus assists (the final important pass to set up a goal), it doesnt get much better Unless youre French The top three goal-scorers of Spain, France and Germany remains the same for goals plus assists, while theres a bit of shuffling the pack below the podium places But for Australia, the only good news is that were ahead of Peru (five goals and assists), with 13 in total

You can thank Mooys three assists in the Premier League and Leckies solitary through-ball in the Bundesliga for that inflation But behind Frances monumental 1,075 goals and assists, and Denmarks century, the sheer storm headed the Socceroos way in Russia becomes apparent But weve got plenty of players to choose from overseas, right? Not in the big five leagues And this time France do top the table outright

French players playing in the English, French, German, Italian and Spain leagues amount to a formidable 381 guns for hire — ahead of Denmarks 28, Australias three (Mooy, Leckie and Brightons Mat Ryan), and Perus two External Link: Number of players in Big Five leagues by nationality But how useful were all those players? For France and Denmark, the answer was pretty handy indeed Frances 381 players notched 7,217 appearances in those five leagues this season gone, while Denmarks 28 marauders registered 611 appearances

External Link: Total appearances made across Big Five leagues Australias threesome came in with exactly 100 Compare that to Denmark, who had more than nine times as many players as the Socceroos, with more than six times the appearances For the good of your sanity, please dont ask us to compare with France Off the pitch? How do the kids these days rate their stars?

Through video games and social media, of course! Ever heard of FIFA? Not the shadowy organisation that runs the beautiful game We mean that annually-released, controller-destroying video game produced by EA Sports External Link: Paul Pogba is a bit of a gun in FIFA 18 With all the worlds football stars licensed and included in the cyber-footballing behemoth, FIFAs yearly updates have become an unofficial guide to ranking the best players around the globe

For Australia, again, its a bit humbling External Link: FIFA 18 ratings Tim Cahills digital moniker has not been getting better with age, and while the Socceroos stars may be handy if youre pushing for promotion towards the top leagues, theyre probably not going to be winning you the top division in FIFA Ultimate Team any time soon France, as expected, is chock-full of FIFA megastars, while Denmark poses a team of consistent quality crowned by midfield star Christian Eriksen Against Peru, however, theres at least some competition to be had with most of its players also hovering in the 70s for overall rating

There is better news in the world of social media France again dominates (we get it, France are awesome) with Paul Pogba catching fire on Twitter, and Antoine Griezmann a behemoth on Instagram External Link: Social media followers But against the Danes and Peruvians, Australia holds its own thanks largely to Tim Cahills following And to think some people were a bit upset he was included in Australias 23-man squad

Would any of our players fetch the big bucks in the transfer market? Not really By comparing each of the same five players transfer market valuations (that is, an educated guess on what their going rate would be were they to be sold to another club), you get a sobering idea of where Australian players are in the grand scheme of things According to transfermarkt com, Mooy sits pretty as Australias most valuable player at 9 million Euros ($14

1 million), with fellow Premier League competitor Ryan valued at 6 million Euros External Link: Transfer market valuations From there, the prices get more modest with Massimo Luongo priced at 4 5 million Euros, Tom Rogic at 2 5 million Euros and Cahill a comparatively miniscule 500,000 Euros

You might argue that figures like that need some updating — particularly given Rogics fine form for Celtic — but when you compare those prices to the giants of French football, and even Denmark, the issue becomes pretty academic Moving outside of the Socceroos Group C and to the world at large, it will surprise no-one to learn that Europe and South America dominate the total valuations by team As youd expect, the hot property is basically self-combusting in Europe and in South America, while Australia remains a mere speck on the global market

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