World Cup Winning Colours

32 teams played 64 matches and scored 169 goals in the 2018 Football World Cup. Teams played half of all the games in strips of one main colour: white, red, blue, green, yellow or black. This infographic uses match data from these games to explore whether the colour worn had any impact on the performance of the teams taking part in the tournament. So find out what team colours you should choose if you want to win the next World Cup!

Click on the infographic to enlarge it.

world cup winning colours infographic

Football team strips

Shirts, shorts and socks make up a football team's strip. Teams wore lots of different strips in a variety of colour combinations during the 2018 Football World Cup. The first choice of teams would be their ‘home’ strip, but many games in the tournament were played in ‘away’ strip colours or even variations of ‘home’ and ‘away’ strips. An all-white strip was the most common, accounting for 20% of all team appearances. The next most popular was an all-red kit, with 12.5% of teams wearing this colour during matches. A full yellow strip had the fewest appearances, making up just 1.5% of all strips worn.

Colour impact

Colour can affect our emotions and mood. The infographic highlights some of the colour associations that relate to a football team's desired performance. So it may be worth considering the cultural, historical and social associations of different colours when choosing what football strip to wear.

To determine the impact of colour on games in the tournament, the infographic assesses the results of matches and the goals scored by teams that wore strips of one main colour. A Colour Impact Factor is calculated for each of the six main colours. The findings suggests that black was the colour that had the most influence on team performance during the tournament, followed by blue and red. Green and yellow appear to have been worn by teams that didn't perform as well. White, the most popular colour worn, seems to have had a limited influence on whether a team won or lost.

France wore an all-blue strip in the 2018 final, beating Croatia, who wore a mixed white and red kit. During the earlier matches, Croatia had won games wearing an all-black strip, the colour with the highest Colour Impact Factor. Might it have ended differently had Croatia worn their black strip instead of their 'home' strip for the final?

Use the infographic to help select the colour that suits the way you want your team to play, and prepare to WIN! Of course, if you are an international team manager or coach, you may also want to consider some other factors when putting together a World Cup winning team!


The main colour of football strips (shirts, shorts and socks) worn by teams for each match was recorded. The number of goals scored by each team, and the result of the match ('win', 'lose' or 'draw') were also collected. The data from those teams who wore a strip of only one main colour was used to determine the Colour Impact Factor (CIF).

The Colour Impact Factor for each main colour is calculated by adding together the 'Win Loss Rate', the 'Goals to Games Ratio' and the 'Match Weighting' as follows:

[ no. of wins - no. of losses ] + [ goals scored / games played ] + [ no. of games / total games ] = CIF

The 'Win Loss Rate' calculates how successful the teams wearing each colour were at winning matches. The 'Goals to Games Ratio' determines the average number of goals scored by each team when wearing the colour. The 'Match Weighting' evens out the number of times each colour appeared, by comparing the number of games played by teams wearing one colour against the total number of matches held during the tournament.


Match data from

This infographic appeared in JONO Design e-news. The e-news is published once every couple of months and each issue contains a specially designed infographic.

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