Jul 12, 1995	The Big Four (Loris Magnani, Rodrigo B Capaz, Manoel Mendonca)
Apr 27, 1995	England v Italy (Loris Magnani)
Jan 29, 1997	England v Argentina and Uruguay (Ariel Mazzarelli, Stephen Davies, Tony Fell)

Other head-to-head statistics can be found at:
South America head-to-head
Europe head-to-head

Subject: The Big Four
From: loris@zeus.physast.uga.edu (Loris Magnani)
Date: July 12, 1995

In light of the never-ending "my country is a better soccer-playing
nation than yours" arguments, I have decided to muddle the issue 
further by trying to compile the records of the so-called Big Four
(Argentina, Brasil, Germany, and Italy) in head-to-head competition.
I don't mean to offend other great soccer nations like England and 
Uruguay, but they haven't shook up the soccer world too much lately...
If there is any interest we can throw them in at a later date.

I don't have the alltime Argentina-Brasil results nor do I have the
Argentina-Germany results.  I can get the Brasil-Germany results from
the US Cup 93 souvenir book...but for the others I rely on the 
collective knowledge of the r.s.s. readership.  One note of caution:
In the past when people have posted the Argentina-Brasil head-to-head
results there has been considerable inconsistency from one list to the
next.  That's because some lists consider Under-xx results while others
don't. I leave to the South American contributors to sort out what the
"official" full-National team results are...include friendlies but
no Under-23, 21, 17, 12, etc. results, OK...

Since the only complete stats that I have are for Italy, here is Italy's
alltime head-to-head results vs. the other Big Three... I didn't know
what to do about East Germany, so I give you the East/West breakdown
so you can subtract those games if you wish...

                             Won   Tied  Lost    GF    GA 

vs. W. Germany/Germany       11     7     7      37    32
vs. E. Germany                1     2     1       5     3
Overall vs. Germany(ies)     12     9     8      42    35

vs. Brasil                    5     1     5      16    16

vs. Argentina                 6     5     1      20     9


Grand Total                  23    15    14      78    60

Realize that I am not making any claims about Italian superiority
or anything like that.  Even in the case of Italy-Germany there are
too few games over too many years to reach any conclusions. For 
instance:  In the last 7 games vs. Germany going back to 1984, Italy's
record is poor:   1 W  2 T  4 L,  so the overall record as of 1983 was
overwhelmingly in Italy's favor:  11 W  6 T  4 L.  In the ensuing years,
the German hot streak vs. the Italians has ameliorated the overall
situation (for the Germans) significantly.  My point is that 
with small number statistics, these situations are volatile.  A few 
wins by Brasil and they can claim that they "dominate" the all-time 
series, a few wins in a row by Argentina and then things don't look 
so bad...So feel free to misuse these statistics as you wish [I throw
them out over the net just to start trouble ;)   ].

One interesting thing though:  In 52 games with the other Big 3, Italy
has won 44% , tied 29%, and lost 27%.

Overall, historically - against all opponents, the Azzurri have won 54%
of their games while tying 25%, and losing 21%....

This is not too different, but is probably only a function of having
done really well against Argentina...

On another topic,
I'm beginning to suspect (after Juan Gonzales pointed it out to me)
that Italy differs significantly from the other Big 3 in one disturbing 
aspect:  they don't do as well against less-lofty competition...
In other words... I suspect that if we choose to look at the Big 4's
record against "minnows", Italy will have by far the worst. I get the
impression that Brasil, Argentina, and Germany never lose to weak
soccer nations, while the Italians have a long history of that. It's 
something I may look into when I have time, but Italian soccer history
is chock-full of embarassing defeats or ties against teams they should
have crushed.  This may be due to Italy's eternal defensive posture
(if you don't score a lot of goals you keep every opponent in the game)
or there may be something else going on.  But that's enough for today.
If someone out there can do Germany, Argentina, & Brasil vs. the others,
please do so.

Subject: Re: The Big Four
From: capaz@athena.mit.edu (Rodrigo B Capaz)
Date: July 13, 1995

Brazil vs.
                         Won     Tied      Lost      GF     GA
W.Germany/Germany         10       5         4       32     22
E.Germany                  3       2         0       10      6
Argentina                 33      28        35      135    148
Italia                     6       1         6       19     20

Since it's Copa America's time, just for the record:

Uruguay                   33      15        22      120     92
Colombia                  14       6         6       63     25
Peru                      27       7         5       79     32
Paraguay                  47      20         7      163     56
Chile                     43      14         6      130     52
Bolivia                   19       2         3       86     21
Ecuador                   16       4         0       67     13
Venezuela                 14       1         0       60      4
Mexico                    18       6         2       54     17
USA                        8       0         1       29      8

Before someone from Europe asks:

England                    8       7         3       25     16   
Spain                      5       1         3       13     10     
Sweden                     8       4         2       32     18
Portugal                  11       1         2       28      8
France                     5       2         2       19     13
Netherlands                3       0         2        9      6

Source: PLACAR magazine no. 1094 (updated 7/12/95)

Subject: Re: The Big Four
From: manoel@cs.umd.edu (Manoel Mendonca)
Date: July 16, 1995

Ricardo Kleemannn  wrote:
>It looks to me like the ONLY team Brasil is at a disavantage is Argentina 

This is not true. Some time ago the following statistics appered in
the Brazilian Soccer mailing list (Thanks to Mauro Prais).

            J   V   E   D   GP   GC
Argentina  95  32  28  35  133  148
Denmark     3   1   0   2    6   10
Hungary     6   1   2   3   10   15
Iran        1   0   1   1    2    3
Italy      13   6   1   6   19   20
Norway      1   0   1   0    1    1

Brazil has a negative record against: Argentina, Denmark, Hungary and Iran :-).

Thanks to Rodrigo for posting the Brazil results.  However, I have a question.

My stats say for Italy vs. Brazil:
                               W     T     L      GF    GA
 vs. Brazil                    5     1     5      16    16

Placar's stats as quoted by Rodrigo:

 Italia                     6       1         6       19     20

So we are off by two games.  In my list of the games played by the Italian
team, vs. Brazil I have:

Game #   Date      Venue         Matchup             Result   Event

:141. 06/16/38  Marseilles*    Italy-Brazil            2-1   WC38
:205. 04/25/56  Milano         Italy-Brazil            3-0
:207. 07/01/56  Rio de Janeiro Brazil-Italy            2-0
:292. 06/21/70  Mexico City*   Brazil-Italy            4-1   WC70 (Final)
:313. 06/09/73  Roma           Italy-Brazil            2-0
:336. 05/31/76  New Haven*     Brazil-Italy            4-1
:359. 06/24/78  Buenos Aires*  Brazil-Italy            2-1   WC78 (Third-Place)
:397. 07/05/82  Barcelona*     Italy-Brazil            3-2   WC82
:463. 10/14/89  Bologna        Italy-Brazil            0-1
:517. 07/17/94  Pasadena*      Italy-Brazil            0-0 # WC94 OT (Final)

:# Brazil wins World Cup 3-2 on penalties
* denotes neutral site

so am I missing two games or is Placar wrong???
Can anybody help??

2. England v Italy
From: loris@zeus.physast.uga.edu (Loris Magnani)
Subject: Re: Manchester United ------ Best team in Europe !
Date: Apr 27, 1995

Phonsie Hevey (phonsie@maths.tcd.ie) wrote:

>: Which just goes to show that the Italian league and Italian players are a 
>: lot better than English players and the English Leagues.(Look at the 
>: European Competitions

to which Dave Anderson replied:

>Funny you should say this, as if you do look at the competitions, English
>teams have won more of them than Italians, and with a larger number of
>distinct winners, as shown by the summary posted elsewhere on RSS recently.
>So how about you looking at the facts instead of coming out with ridiculous
>sweeping generalisations.

I'm just guessing now, but I do believe that Mr. Hevey was referring to the
last, oh, 5 or 6 years.  But since you seem to be so keen on looking at the
facts, here's a whole slew of them for you:

Imagine two historically great soccer powers.  Let's call them Team A and
Team B (I'm no longer referring to clubs, I'm referring to National Teams,
now).   Let's look at Team A's performance vs. Team B in the period
1933-1972.   Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that Team A's
record vs. B during that time is:

            Games     Won   Tied   Lost     GF    GA
1933-72       8        4      4      0      18    10

Quite impressive, wouldn't you say?

However, for the sake of argument, let's say that in the period 1973-1995
Team A fared rather less well against Team B.  Let's say something like:

1973-1995     9        2      1      6       7     12

The question is, could you arrive at any conclusions about any trends in
the performance of the two teams vis-a-vis one another ?

Let's throw in a bit more data, only for the sake of argument, of course...
Let's say that in the 6 World Cups in the period 1973-1995, Team B qualified
for all of them, winning 1, and finishing 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in three others.
While Team A won none, finished 4th once and actually failed to qualify 
for fully half of those 6 World Cups...Could you draw any conclusions about
long term trends vis-a-vis the two teams??

I will let the reader guess who might be Team A and who might be Team B.

It has taken a longer time for the Sun to set on the British Empire in a 
footballing sense than in other senses...but lads, face it, it's about 
midnight for you now...

However, on a positive note, don't despair, because as Ernest once said,
The Sun Also Rises and maybe the coming decades will bring a new dawn for
Team A...(but not just yet...)

Cheers, and by all means, Flame On!

3. England v Argentina and Uruguay
From: mazzare@primenet.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Re: Get thee to a law school [The 1966 World Cup And Other Controversies]
Date: Jan 29, 1997

The problem with joining a thread 30 posts deep is that your point has
been answered elsewhere.

Steve Jones wrote:
> Why the hell would England or Germany worry about Argentina in 1966? 

Boy, we were dancing rings around your island's hoofers since the 20's.

Can you imagine Mussolini telling his federazione, "I must have the world cup.
Get me some Englishmen pronto!" It would have been piano-wire time for Il Duce.

Now, I don't think that being white is what the game is about, though it may
be tempting to take that tack if you live in a perpetual fog. One of the 
things that the game *is* about, however, is gambeta. You know gambeta?


PS: Maybe we can talk the brasucas into forming a whiter-than-England team.

From: stephen.davies@bbsrc.ac.uk
Subject: Re: Get thee to a law school
Date: Jan 30, 1997

Ariel mon ami, here, for your perusal, is the overall Argentina-English Hoofers 
record (first game at Wembley in 1951).

England Won 4
Argentina Won 2
Draw 3
One game abandoned

England have scored 15
Argentina have scored 11

Not too bad for a bunch of hoofers is it?

From: mazzare@primenet.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Re: Get thee to a law school
Date: Jan 30, 1997

Interesting table. I wonder what that last one was about.

Now if you play once in a blue moon and rarely out of your
backyard, you might end up with a good record. For example, we'd 
have an even better record against the brasucas if we insisted on
playing in Buenos Aires and with a friendly whistle. I might add
that you were fortunate to scrape a draw in the last meeting@wembley.

It would help if there were more games to draw data from, but 
travelling from the island is so strenous, isn't it? So we're
left with a low-count data set. To illustrate my point, ask yourself
what is your record in official games against the socker powerhouse
of USA? As far as I know, Argentina is 1-1, 6 gf and 4 ga.

btw what was your source for this record?

>Not too bad for a bunch of hoofers is it?

Indeed, you should be proud of your good record against a world-class 
team. Now, tell me, what international trophies are in your case? Feel 
free to include whatever it is you award yourselves for beating the Scots 
once a year. Meanwhile I'll just mention that we've been winning continental 
titles since 1910, for a total of 15. To illustrate the point, recall a 
recent thread here that was titled "Brasil is THIRD"; if you wanted to start 
such a thread from an English perspective, which country would you put in 
the title instead of Brasil--Wales, perhaps?

From: Tony Fell 
Subject: Re: Get thee to a law school
Date: Jan 31, 1997

>Interesting table. I wonder what that last one was about.

It was played at Buenos Aires in 1953, abandoned after 21 mins due
to a pitch invasion ....... of water (rain) ;)

>Now if you play once in a blue moon and rarely out of your backyard, you 
>might end up with a good record. 

Frankly I'm amazed that you believe that England play only rarely, but I 
realise that you have no intention of doing any research, and I'm not going
to do it for you. 

Our record in Buenos Aires isn't too bad, played 2, drawn 1, and one abandoned
at 0-0. As you say later, not enough data, however it takes two to tango :)

Argentinas record at Wembley is played 4, lost 3 drawn 1. Of course I 
realise that it is purely down to biased referees ;) Argentina do have the 
edge (2-1) on neutral grounds though.

>To illustrate my point, ask yourself what is your record in official games 
>against the socker powerhouse of USA? As far as I know, Argentina is 1-1, 
>6 gf and 4 ga.

What? Such a well travelled team as Argentina has only played the States once! 
Travelling from the island may not be as strenous as travelling from 
Argentina perhaps?

To illustrate my point I need only to reply to your question. England have 
played USA 7 times, only once at Wembley (5-7  31 gf 7 ga).

From: mazzare@primenet.com (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Re: Get thee to a law school
Date: Jan 31, 1997

Ahem. Frankly, I have no idea how many times the US and Argentina
have met. I don't think it is an AFA priority. I don't know why
you associate this with my statement, however, as I referred to
official games, and in order for those to take place in the US,
the US has to host something official.

My point was that England does not have whatever it takes to come
to Buenos Aires more than twice per century. It would be interesting,
for example, if they'd go on a whirlwind tour through Barranquilla,
Guayaquil, Lima, La Paz, Santiago, Asuncion, Buenos Aires, Montevideo
and finish up at Maracana. I'd guess the visitors would get about three
points out of it.

>To illustrate my point I need only to reply to your question. England have 
>played USA 7 times, only once at Wembley (5-7  31 gf 7 ga)

What I asked, instead, was what the record was in OFFICIAL games between
the USA and England. The point of that question, after you answer it, is 
that the process of drawing conclusions from a low-count data set is 
erratic (and in this instance, perhaps a bit painful).

From: Tony Fell 
Subject: Re: Get thee to a law school
Date: Feb 2, 1997

Marcelo Weinberger writes
>Although I let Ariel run the show, this thread originally involved also
>Uruguay from the South American side. Would you like to post the overall
>Uruguay - England record?

Uruguay v England  P9  W4  D3  L2

(Uruguay scores first)

1953  Montevideo    2-1
1954  Basle         4-2
1964  Wembley       1-2
1966  Wembley       0-0
1969  Montevideo    1-2
1977  Montevideo    0-0
1984  Montevideo    2-0
1990  Wembley       2-1
1995  Wembley       0-0