The Statistics That Show Bayern Munich Are the Backbone of the 2014 World Cup

Clark Whitney@@Mr_BundesligaFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2014

Bayern's Toni Kroos, left, and Philipp Lahm look disappointed after losing the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena in Munich, southern Germany, Tuesday, April 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

Bayern Munich have been the backbone of the 2014 World Cup thus far, or so the statistics show.

With three-quarters of the tournament's 64 games having been played, those on the books with the Bundesliga giants have collectively (and in many cases individually) posted better numbers than those of any other club.

Despite injuries to some international stars, such as Franck Ribery, Thiago Alcantara and Holger Badstuber, no team sent more players to the World Cup than Bayern.

Some 14 players from the German champions' ranks went to the summer tournament, representing Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, the United States and, of course, Germany.

Manchester United are their only peers, having also sent 14 to Brazil; Barcelona sent 13, while Chelsea, Juventus, Real Madrid and Napoli are all represented by 12.

Bayern players have also been more successful than those of any other club at the World Cup. While United and Barca representatives have dwindled to just five following the group stage, 12 of Bayern's 14 representatives reached the knockout rounds.

Seven of Bayern's 12 players still in competition represent Germany, but it would be a mistake simply to categorise the Bavarians as having had all their eggs in one basket.

They sent players to compete for eight different teams, six of which advanced to the round of 16. If football were decided by chance, odds would be favorable for the Bavarians, who have at least one player on 37.5 percent of the teams that qualified for the round of 16.

Napoli are runners-up with nine players still remaining, representing six nations. Beyond them, Chelsea (with seven) and Juve, United and Real (all with five) have players in four teams among the round of 16.

Bayern players have also offered arguably the most entertainment at the World Cup, at least in terms of goals scored. The tournament's two hat-tricks have been scored by Bayern players, Thomas Mueller and Xherdan Shaqiri.

Mueller is a joint leader in scoring at the World Cup, his four goals placing him alongside Neymar and Lionel Messi. Bayern duo Shaqiri and Arjen Robben are each just one goal behind as part of a six-way tie for fourth in the scoring charts.

In total, 13 goals have been scored by five different Bayern players. Barcelona players are second in terms of prolificacy, with nine goals scored by three players.

United's representatives have scored eight, although their breadth is greater; only Robin van Persie has found the net more than once, meaning that six United players have been on target.

The telling part of the tournament is still yet to come, though, as real heavyweights clash and the wheat is separated from the chaff.

As it stands, odds are good that at least one Bayern player will be crowned a world champion, with favorites such as Germany, the Netherlands and hosts Brazil all containing at least one representative of Pep Guardiola's side.

But regardless of how the tournament ends, through 48 of the 64 games, it's abundantly clear that without Bayern, the tournament would be a shadow of the thoroughly exciting spectacle it's been.


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