Thursday, 25 Jul 2024

The In-Game Comparison Between Male and Female Footballers

male vs female soccer statistics

Soccer, once perceived as a predominantly male sport, has seen a significant shift in recent years. With the emergence of women’s football, the game has become more inclusive and diverse. In this article, we will explore the in-game comparison between male and female footballers over the past two decades.

The Changing Landscape

Football has long been a lucrative business for male players, with higher salaries and more extensive opportunities. However, the women’s football industry is rapidly growing and closing the gap. In the United States, for example, the average annual salary for female professional footballers is 60% lower than that of their male counterparts. Yet, recent scientific research shows that women’s football has increased its market size by four times since 1999, becoming the third most popular sport for females after basketball and volleyball.

Analyzing In-Game Performance

While women’s football still has a long way to go to reach the market size of men’s football, analyzing in-game performance can provide valuable insights into the present state of the sport. We will focus on comparing attacking performance, specifically the number of goals scored, between men and women.

Part I: The In-Game Comparison

FIFA World Cup

The FIFA World Cup is the most prestigious soccer tournament globally, captivating millions of fans every four years. Surprisingly, despite lower average attendance, women professional footballers have scored 32% more goals than men in the last five World Cup competitions. The average number of goals per match in men’s tournaments was 2.484, while women’s tournaments saw an average of 3.693 goals per match.

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Copa America

Copa America, the most significant soccer tournament in Latin America, has witnessed a shift in goal productivity. In the last three competitions, women scored more goals per match than men. The average number of goals for men was 2.592, while women recorded an average of 2.815 goals per match.


UEFA EURO, the second most popular national tournament after the World Cup, has shown interesting patterns in terms of goals scored. In four out of the last five competitions, women’s tournaments had higher goal productivity compared to men’s. However, in the most recent tournaments, men scored more goals in 2016 than women did in 2017. The average number of goals for men was 2.729, while women averaged 2.936 goals per match.

Olympic Games

The Olympic Games provide a unique platform for both men and women to showcase their skills. Women’s soccer officially became part of the Games in 1996, with a consistent increase in goal productivity since then. Men’s soccer, on the other hand, demonstrated great discrepancies in their attacking performance. The average goal productivity for men was 2.869 per tournament, while women averaged 2.949 goals per tournament.

Part II: Most Successful Countries

Analyzing the most successful countries in terms of semifinal appearances in the last five World Cup competitions reveals interesting insights.

FIFA World Cup

For men, Germany emerged as the most successful country, with four appearances in the semifinals. Brazil and the Netherlands followed closely with three semifinal qualifications. On the women’s side, the United States dominated with five semifinal appearances, while Germany secured three qualifications.

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Copa America

Copa America has seen different countries excel in men’s and women’s competitions. Uruguay leads the charts in men’s tournaments with four semifinal appearances, followed by Argentina with three qualifications. In women’s competitions, Brazil and Argentina both secured five semifinal qualifications, with Colombia trailing at three.


Germany and Portugal took the lead in men’s UEFA EURO tournaments, both with three semifinal qualifications. Spain, France, and Italy followed closely with two semifinal appearances each. In the women’s category, Germany and Norway dominated with four semifinal qualifications, while Sweden and Denmark secured three qualifications.

Olympic Games

The distribution of semifinal appearances in the Olympic Games varied significantly between men’s and women’s tournaments. Brazil emerged as the most successful country in men’s tournaments, with three qualifications. In women’s tournaments, the United States and Germany dominated with four semifinal qualifications each. Japan, Canada, and Sweden followed with two qualifications.


The analysis of in-game performance and the success of countries in various tournaments challenge the assumption that women’s soccer performance is inferior to men’s. In fact, the statistical analysis shows that women have been more productive in terms of scoring goals in all tournaments analyzed. While the women’s football industry still has a considerable gap to close in terms of market value, the rapid growth and high in-game performance suggest that this gap could close sooner than anticipated.

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Q: How has the women’s football industry grown in recent years?
A: The women’s football industry has increased its market size by four times since 1999, making it the third most popular sport for females after basketball and volleyball.

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Q: Have women outperformed men in terms of goal productivity?
A: Yes, the analysis shows that women have scored more goals per match than men in various tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup, Copa America, UEFA EURO, and the Olympic Games.

Q: Which countries have been the most successful in recent tournaments?
A: Germany has emerged as the most successful country in both men’s and women’s competitions, followed closely by Brazil and the United States.


The analysis of the in-game comparison between male and female footballers reveals fascinating insights into the evolving landscape of the sport. Despite historical disparities, women have demonstrated their prowess by outperforming men in terms of goal productivity. With the rapid growth of the women’s football industry and the consistent improvement in game performance, it is only a matter of time before women’s football reaches new heights. Stay tuned to Pesstatsdatabase for more exciting updates and in-depth analysis of the beautiful game.