Having said that, an exception can be made for the Wall Street Journal, because they’ve done it in an amusing way.
Geoff Foster has undertaken a “comprehensive empirical study aimed at determining one thing: Which World Cup participant nation is the world’s floppiest”.
A tally of “writhing time” – seconds spent rolling or lying on the grass, excluding those which ended in a player being substituted or missing a future game owing to injury – in the group stages of the tournament identified “293 cases of potential embellishment that collectively took up 118 minutes, 21 seconds”.
Top of this alternative table is home nation Brazil, who sustained 17 suspect “injuries”, by Foster’s reckoning.
That added to only three minutes and 18 seconds writhing time, however, which was dwarfed by Honduras, who collectively spent 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the turf.
At the base of the table, up on their feet and of true stoic stock, are debutants Bosnia and Herzegovina, who registered just two dodgy injuries, wasting a mere 24 seconds. They failed to make the second round.
See also: Football World Cup songs