The FIFA World Cup happens every four years, and is a spectacle of sport and talent that draws in television audiences in the billions – with half of the global population tuning into the most recent tournament.
And as the next edition quickly approaches, a unique winter World Cup in Qatar, supporters are again beginning to get excited about the prospect of witnessing their country achieve the ultimate in football and win the coveted Jules Rimet trophy.
But which countries’ fans are already beginning to get excited about the thought of World Cup football, and which sets of supporters are struggling to feel the hype?
Analysing social media sentiment data collected over the last 12 months from social listening tool Linkfluence, we’ve been able to determine which nations’ supporters are most excited about the upcoming World Cup. Read on to see where the favourites place…
Which European nations are most excited about the World Cup?
Comparing social media data across Europe, it’s clear to see that the people of Portugal are most excited about the World Cup later this year.
In fact, almost a quarter (24.90%) of the 29,857 social media posts by Portuguese football fans over the last 12 months have been positive in nature. The country has never won the World Cup, but captain Cristiano Ronaldo will carry the hopes of a nation in what may well be his final chance to lift the trophy.
Meanwhile, Belgium place second among the most excited European nations, with 20.70% of the 15,924 fan posts from the last year regarded as positive. Belgium place alongside the top-rated teams going into the World Cup, with FIFA ranking them the second-best team in the world as of June 2022, so the locals’ eager anticipation is understandable.
Next up, France and Spain both record a positive sentiment score of 20%, from 765,257 and 88,350 social media posts, respectively. France won their first World Cup in a generation last time round, and have since won the UEFA Nations League, while Spain are hoping to re-find the form that saw them win two European Championships and a World Cup between 2008-2012.
Rounding out Europe’s five most excited countries, we have Euro 2020’s perhaps unlikely semi-finalists Denmark, with a positive sentiment score of 13.60% from 11,141 posts. The Scandinavian nation is outsiders to lift the trophy, but with a return to fitness for star man Christian Eriksen, the Danes are getting seriously excited about the World Cup.
Just missing out on a top five spot, England fans are potentially a little more subdued than expected, with a positive sentiment score of just 12.90% from 1,510,631 posts. Following narrow disappointment at the last two major tournaments, English fans are maybe holding back on claims that it’s coming home for now – although perhaps the Women’s recent success will jeer them on.
Which American Countries are Most Excited About the World Cup?
Of the eight North and South American countries to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, fans from Costa Rica are the most excited, with a positive sentiment score of 28.40% from 5,804 posts.
Despite Costa Rica having among the longest odds of tournament glory, and their previous best position culminating in a quarter-final finish in 2014, supporters are getting well and truly in the World Cup spirit.
Next up, we have Uruguay, whose supporters recorded a 23.5% positive sentiment score across 6,970 social media posts last year. Fans will hope the nation can improve on their 2010 semi-final finish, with star strikers Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani potentially featuring in their final World Cups.
In third, 21.00% of the 10,539 supporter social media posts in Ecuador are considered positive, with fans excited to cheer on their country’s fourth-ever World Cup participation.
Mexican football fans are also among the most excited, with 17.90% of the 65,299 related social media posts regarded as positive, while tournament favourites Brazil place fifth. Brazilian supporters recorded a positive sentiment score of 17.70% from the 613,360 posts published over the last year, with fans hoping to see Neymar and co lift the World Cup for a record sixth time.
Meanwhile, excitement in Argentina is relatively low, with a positive sentiment score of just 15.00% from 44,792 posts, despite the nation being ranked among the best teams in the world and captain Lionel Messi hoping to lead the team to its first World Cup title since the days of the late great Diego Maradona.
Where else is the excitement felt around the world?
Looking at the rest of this year’s World Cup entrants, Saudi Arabian fans are the most excited of all, with an astonishing 33.30% of the nation’s 124,964 related social posts considered positive.
This perhaps shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise though, considering the tournament is being held in neighbouring Qatar. In fact, the host nation is also among the most excited, with a positive sentiment score of 27.70% across last year’s 44,871 posts.
Senegalese fans are clearly still caught up in football fever after recent African Cup of Nations success, with a positive sentiment score of 31.40% from 49,518 posts. Supporters will be hoping the in-form team led by the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Edouard Mendy, and Sadio Mane can better the nation’s previous best quarter-final finish.
Ghana is another African nation to feel the excitement, with 26.50% of the 350,295 fan posts from the last 12 months considered positive. Ghana narrowly missed out on a place in the semi-finals at the 2010 World Cup, following Luis Suarez’ infamous goal line handball, so fans will be hoping to go one step further this time around.
Finally, rounding out the five most excited non-European or American fanbases, we have Cameroon, with a positive sentiment score of 26.40% from 29,400 social media posts.
With the World Cup fast-approaching, it’s interesting to compare the most excited fanbases across the globe – and even more curious to recognise just one European and American nation apiece among the top ten.
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Through the utilisation of sentiment data captured through social listening tool Linkfluence, we’ve been able to analyse and determine how excited each competing country has been across social media over the last 12 months in the build-up to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.