Beautiful game or ugly game: what is it and how can we quantify it?

Letícia Petruce Montoya Júlia Barreira Luciano Allegretti Mercadante About the authors


The aim of this study was to identify the quantitative variables of a football match associated to the classification of a beautiful or ugly game. Based on the performance indicators 2018 FIFA World Cup, we selected four games with different characteristics. The games were watched by ten participants who pointed out the performance indicators that influenced the aesthetic judgment of the game. A semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The beautiful game was associated with a large number of shots, shots on goal and pass accuracy. The absence of these same indicators was important for classifying the games as ugly. The quantitative variables identified in this study advance the debate on football and aesthetics.

Football; Aesthetics; Performance indicators

Colégio Brasileiro de Ciências do Esporte Universidade de Brasilia - Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro, Faculdade de Educação Física, Asa Norte - CEP 70910-970 - Brasilia, DF - Brasil, Telefone: +55 (61) 3107-2542 - Brasília - DF - Brazil