Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland are 20 times better than England, according to this brilliant statistic

And highlighting this on the anniversary of David Healy's goal that sealed a 1-0 win seemed fitting.

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland are well in the hunt for securing a spot at the World Cup finals for the first time in over 30 years. But regardless of whether they make it to Russia or not, one statistic has emerged that puts their achievement into brilliant perspective.

Of course, we're all well aware that securing a spot at the World Cup finals would be punching well above the weight of a country of approximately 1.9 million people.

But a table has been posted on twitter by @ItsRobGray that breaks down the number of points gained in World Cup qualifying by 13 of the top nations in relation to their population.

And it makes rather amusing reading for the GAWA.

The table divides the points totals of each team by the number of million people in that country's population to work out how many points they have gained per million people.

Northern Ireland's is easy to work out. 19 points divided by 1.9 is 10 points per million population.

And all of the other 12 fall way below that. Since the table was posted, Wales' win over Moldova has seen them move up to 4.5 points per million people. While that's nowhere near Northern Ireland's achievements - it's still higher than the rest.

It's also worth noting that Northern Ireland's 10 points per million people is over 20 times better than England's total of 0.4.

It is worth noting, though, that even Northern Ireland's relatively impressive tally pales into insignificance compared to the Faroe Islands. With 8 points from their open eight World Cup qualifying games and a population of just 49,000, they have picked up a stunning 163 points per million people. Fair play.

Have a look at the table right here:


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