The global conversation about the #WorldCup

Thursday, 10 July 2014

As the #WorldCup final approaches, football fans across the globe are picking sides with #GER or #ARG. To get a sense of what to expect from fans come Monday morning, we took a look at Twitter data to analyse how the conversation about every team has unfolded leading up to this momentous final match.

Beyond the home team
You don’t need sophisticated data science to determine who Twitter users in #GER and #ARG are supporting. But we were curious about the other 30 countries. Once the initial heartbreak of a national defeat subsides, most football fans continue to follow the World Cup action ardently, so where else is that attention directed?

Starting with Australia, here’s a visualisation that depicts the relationships between nations competing in the World Cup:

The global conversation about the #WorldCup

Click on the image to access the interactive visualisation.

Click on the hashflag of a team (we’ve selected #AUS in the above example) that you’re interested in to explore further, such as:

  • which countries (also competing in the World Cup) were talking the most about #AUS;
  • which other teams were being most-discussed within #AUS;
  • how the conversation in #AUS shifted over time, particularly once the @Socceroos were eliminated.

Of course, we’ve removed home field advantage — we don’t include the conversation around a country’s own hashflag. Let’s take a look at the image above to see the conversation around #AUS. Our team was most widely discussed among football fans from our Group B rivals #NED, #CHI and #ESP, as well as those from #ECU and #JPN. Surprisingly, #AUS fans were paying most attention on Twitter to #USA, followed by #NED, #BRA, and the two #WorldCup finalist, #GER and #ARG.

Beyond #AUS, there are other interesting relationships, such as the attention that #CRO and #BIH are paying to each other, or the high volume of conversation about #ALG coming from #FRA.

#GER vs. #ARG
With just two teams left standing, we took a look at which countries are favouring which side, based on their conversation about #GER or #ARG since the start of the World Cup. Fuelled by Germany’s dominant performance against Brazil, #GER has been the most-discussed team in many countries, though we see some notable exceptions, such as #ARG conversation coming from their neighbours.

The global conversation about the #WorldCup

If you want your voice to be heard in Brazil, you can tweet and vote to light Rio’s iconic landmark above the city, the Christ the Redeemer statue, in the colours of the World Cup finalists. Learn more here. And German fans are encouraged to send selfies showing their team support with the hashtag #aneurerseite; the Tweets will be shown on a Twitter wall in the German team’s hotel in Campo Bahia.

Which players from each of these countries has ignited everyone’s interest? This graphic shows the most-mentioned players from the two final teams (across the entire tournament), led by Argentine striker Lionel Messi and Germany’s Mesut Özil (@mesutozil1088):

The global conversation about the #WorldCup

We also looked at what’s happened to each final team’s follower growth. Since the first match on June 12, @DFB_Team and @Argentina have increased their followers by 62% and 139%, respectively.

If you aren’t following either one yet, stay close to both squads by adding @DFB_Team, @DFB_Team_EN and @Argentina.

To keep up with the action leading up to and during the final match, remember to search for or tap on #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 to enjoy the full tournament and match timelines.