Finger length in Brazilian football players Robinho and Kaká.So far Brazil won the FIFA World Cup five times - will they win the FIFA World Cup 2010 as well?


[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] A new soccer documentary “How To Win The FIFA World Cup” (Sony Pictures Television International, 2010) predicts that from a scientific point of view, Brazil is most likely to become the FIFA World Cup winner in 2010. How come that Brazil is usually performing so well in football? Finger length research by British ‘finger professor’ John Manning provides a clue!


Bernard Krikke + fellow researchers from the University of Groningen analysed 28,400 minutes of football matches including over 250,000 moment from the fields during World Cup games (from 1990 to 2006). According their DMA-analysis (based on: Defense Midfield Attack) Brazil is most likely to win the 2010 tournament, France might become the runner-up, and The Netherlands + Germany are most likely to play for Bronze.

The full documentary can be streamed from: RTL’s ‘Wie wint the FIFA WK voetbal’

Ronaldo (right hand digit ratio estimate: 0.93) was the Golden ball winner of the FIFA World Cup 1998.
Ronaldo - Golden ball winner of the FIFA World Cup 1998.


Brazil’s footballing prowess may have more to do with the players’ finger lengths than their training schedule or their ‘hunger’ to succeed, say scientist John Manning from the University of Liverpool.

At the 12th Commonwealth International Sport Conference, held in Manchester in the lead-up to the recent Commonwealth Games, Dr John Manning reported on studies suggesting that one simple physical feature offers an accurate means of predicting future footballing ability. It kicks in in the womb and can be seen from birth.

In collaboration with colleagues Dr Rogan Taylor and Dr Peter Bundred, John Manning measured the digits of amateur footballers from UK local leagues and professional footballers from the Brazilian first division club Internacional of Porto Alegre. He found a low ratio between the index finger and the ring finger in all the footballers, but the ratio was much lower in the professional players.

Romário (right hand digit ratio estimate: 0.93) was the Golden ball winner of the FIFA World Cup 1994.
Romário - Golden ball winner of the FIFA World Cup 1994.

Manning explains in his second book ‘The Finger Book‘ (2008):

“In collaboration with Rogan Taylor and senior coach João Paulo Medina, I was recently fortunate enough to measure the finger ratios of a Brazilian First Division side, Sport Club International of Porto Alegra.”

“The hands of ninety-nine players were photocopied, of whom thirty-three were members of the senior playing staff. This group of players had an average left-hand finger ratio of 0.93, more masculined than English football’s ‘League Legends’. The first-team squad consisted of twenty players with an even lower average finger ratio of 0.92, and thirteen reserves with a mean ratio of 0.96. Considering the first-team squad, six players had astonishingly low ratios of below 0.90. This group included a forward with a ratio of 0.885, who was subsequently transferred to Barcelona for a fee reported to be in excess of $12 million.”

The biggest unanswered question is… who has the Brazilian football player that was transfered to Barcelona for $12M?

Pelé (right hand digit ratio estimate: 0.94) was the Golden ball winner of the FIFA World Cup 1970.
Pelé - Golden ball winner of the FIFA World Cup 1970.

A final impressive illustration of Brazil’s football ability:

Brazil is widely known as the only country that was able to win the Word Cup five times. But even more impressive… in the history of football only 12 players were able to win the ‘Golden Ball’ when the tournament was not played in the home country of the player. Six of those players were Brazilians! The names are: Leonidas (1938), Didi (1958), Garrincha (1962), Pelé (1970), Romário (1994) & Ronaldo (1998) – the list of non-brazilian names is also impressive: Ferenc Puskás (1954), Johan Cruijff (1974), Paolo Rossi (1982), Diego Maradona (1986), Oliver Kahn (2002) & Zinedine Zidane (2006).

Based on track-record AND finger length: in the Brazilian 2010 football squad are Kaká, Robinho and Luis Fabiano the most important nominees for winning the ‘FIFA World Cup Golden Ball 2010’ in South-Africa.

Can finger length predict the new FIFA World Cup winner?
Football talent is found in finger length of players from Brazil!
‘The Finger Book’ by John T. Manning!
Jamaicans have the long ring finger: the story of Usain Bolt!
How fingers relate to: evolution, behavior, disease, sex and sports!

The 2010 football squad from Brazil.
The FIFA World Cup 2010 football squad from Brazil.

The second international congress of eugenics (1921) reported: differences between the hands of white and negro fetuses.
The second international congress of eugenics (1921) reported: differences between the hands of white and negro fetuses.

[tweetmeme source=”handresearch” only_single=false] An exhibit from the 1921 second international congress of eugenics presented a report about black-white 2d:4d differences established by the third month of gestation. Modern 2D:4D digit ratio research however has demonstrated that the 1921 results are actually far less revealing than one might presume. For research in various white European populations has indicated that the average ‘2D:4D digit ratio’ of for example people from Finland is hardly higher than the average digit ratio in Jamaicans & Zulus.

Eugenicists emphasized the supposed hereditary differences among races and ignored the social-economic variables that might account for differences in behavior and customs. Thus, the eugenic concept of degenerate heredity provided a pseudo-scientific gloss to age-old prejudices.

John T. Manning presents in his book ‘The Finger Book’ (p.28, 2008) some evidence which illustrates the fact that the index:ring finger ratio differences WITHIN (white) populations are usually larger than the differences BETWEEN the averages of various (ethnic) populations:

“In this sample of 1,516 men and women from ten countries, the average index:ring finger ratio is 0.97 and ranges from about 0.87 to 1.12. … The average ratio per country varies across the distribution and is indicated by the position of the countries. The highest average ratios are found in the samples from Poland (P), Spain (S) and England (E), in a band of ratios from 1.00 to 0.98. … An intermediate group (average ratios from 0.97 to 0.96) comprises subjects from Hungary (H=ethnic hungarians and Hg=Hungarian Gypsies), Germany (G), and India (I). … The group with the longest ring fingers (average ratio o.95 to 0.93) comprise Zulu, Finish and Jamaican participants [ranked by average digit ratio]. They are likely to have experienced high testosterone concentration before birth.”

ILLUSTRATION FROM 2008: Digit ratios in various populations!
Digit ratios in various populations!

The continuation of this post concerns an (outdate) quotation from the 1921 report:

OUTDATED ILLUSTRATION FROM 1921: Differences between white and negro fetuses!
ILLUSTRATION: Differences between white and negro fetuses!


“Fig. 24. Comparison of White and Negro Fetuses”

“An exhibit prepared by Dr. A.H. Schulz of the Department of Embryology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, deals with racial differences during prenatal development of man. It is based upon researches on 455 white and 168 negro fetuses ranging in age from the ninth to the fortieth week of intrauterine life. Fourteen plaster casts of white and negro specimens and ten large table illustrate the chief points of difference in fetuses of the two races and in which periods of development that are most distinct.”

“Of these differences the following may be enumerated: The average of the upper arm-forearm index for every week of fetal life is larger in the negro than in the white, showing that the forearm in relation to the upper arm is longer in negro fetuses. In an analogous way the leg in relation to the thigh was found to be longer in negro fetuses, a difference which becomes more pronounced with advancing development. The hand as well as the foot is slightly shorter and broader in white fetuses. In the latter, finger II and IV are of equal length in the greater percentage of cases and frequently finger II is even longer than finger IV; while in the negro the relation in length between these two fingers is more often in favor of finger IV and the latter is never shorter than finger II. The length of the thumb in relation to the total hand length is shorter in the negro, a difference which is constant and rather marked throughout intrauterine development.”

“The first toe is the longest in a greater percentage of white than of negro fetuses, while the second toe is longest in a greater percentage in the negro. In the latter race the heel is more prominent than in the white. The trunk shows no racial differences. Of the head, the brain part is proportionately smaller and the face part larger, particularly in height, in negro fetuses. The nose is relative shorter and broader in negro fetuses in all stages of development, causing a very marked difference in the nasal index of the two races. During the later part of pregnancy the nostrils are directed transversely in the negro and sagitally in the white. The lips are much thicker in negro fetuses.”

Again, modern science today learns that reality can not be described in black and white… you are welcome to share you opinion!

Evolution of the human hand, finger & the palmar creases!
Finger length linked with social behavior!
Understanding our past: “the primate hand vs. the human hand”!