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World Cup 2022 Wrap-up Report

Uncovering football fans’ online reactions, perspectives and preferences regarding the World Cup using social listening

 

 

Introduction

 

The biggest event in football just finished with Argentina winning their first title in 36 years in what was deemed as the best and most eventful final World Cup match in history, and Messi has established himself as the best player in this sport’s history. Many historical and iconic moments occurred throughout the tournament, unexpected results and outstanding performances, controversial decisions, and by using social listening we were able to analyze every World Cup mention on digital media; to gain unique insights into fans’ perceptions and reactions in real time from all across the globe. We at Makana 360 collected more than 100 million mentions and 2 billion engagements from all digital media platforms in the span of 1 month only, then applied our social listening expertise using a multitude of analytical models to provide a new perspective into this significant event. In this report we aim to highlight the importance of understanding the audience conversations and the major part it plays in shaping perspectives, reflecting fans’ interests and even the ability to forecast and predict the outcomes of certain events such as football matches.

 

 

 

A. World Cup 2022 in a nutshell (20/11 – 18/12)

 

Top 5 images

 

 


 

  • Fans’ engagement throughout the tournament:

Total engagement with World Cup related content exceeded 2 billion, coming from likes, comments, reactions, retweets and shares on all digital media platforms. The highest engagement was recorded on December 18th, the finals match day, reaching 170 million engagements from all over the world. The second highest peak was on December 10th during the Quarter finals, where a lot of the engagement came from posts about Portugal losing to Morocco and Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the pitch in tears.

 


 

  • Fans’ engagement world map distribution:

As shown in the heatmap above, fans’ engagement with the World Cup came from all the regions with some places being hotspots (shown in red) such as Western Europe, the Middle East, some parts in South America, Japan and the United States of America.

 


 

  • Engagement by continent:

 

When analyzing where the engagement came from around the globe Europe came in first with 39% of the engagement throughout the tournament. North America was second with 34.2% of the engagement, followed by Asia with 13.4% and South America was fourth with 9.6%.

 


 

  • Fans’ engagement by media type:

Instagram was the fans’ favorite platform to engage with World Cup content, comprising 49% of the total amount of engagement throughout the tournament. Twitter was the platform where fans wrote the most content and mentioned the World Cup, but it was only third in terms of engagement with 16% of the total amount. Other digital media platforms such as online news websites, blogs and forums only added up to 9% of the total engagement.

 


 

  • Most used languages:

 

English was the language used the most, comprising 47% of mentions in all spoken languages (26.8 Million English mentions). Spanish was the second most used language with 21.6%, followed by Arabic (14.8%) and Portuguese (4.3%). All other languages combined only amounted to 12.3% of the World Cup conversations.

 


 

  • Fans’ demographics – Gender

World cup fans were dominantly males, comprising 2/3 of all the fans throughout the entire tournament.

 


 

  • Fans’ demographics – Age groups

Younger generations were much more involved in World Cup conversations than the older ones, fans from ages 34 and lower  comprised 86.7% of all World Cup fans; 50% of which were from the age group 25-34.

 


 

  • Fans’ emotions throughout the tournament:

Using advanced AI models to categorize different tones of language used in fans’ mentions about the World Cup in all languages, makes it possible to gain insights into fans’ emotions of satisfaction/dissatisfaction. Love was the most prominent emotion used with 28% of relevant mentions, followed by anger with 25%, joy with 23% and sadness with 19%. Fans’ emotions ranged depending on their team’s performance and many other match related factors, such as the referee’s decisions, the events during the match and if anything unexpected happened.

 


 

  • Share of team attributes mentions:

We classified the plethora of national teams’ related World Cup mentions into 5 major classifications called team attributes. Morale was by far the most mentioned attribute with 47% of all attribute mentions, reflecting the importance of team spirit and confidence which make all the difference in crucial matches. With 23% tactics were mentioned around half the time morale was.

 


 

  • Top Emojis:

Multiple flags show in the top 50 Emojis used throughout the tournament, with Argentina’s flag being used the most. Qatar’s flag was used continuously during the tournament even though they were kicked out early on.

 


 

  • Teams by engagement:


The entirety of the World Cup tournament amassed more than 3 billion engagements, 20.5% was fans’ engagement with the Argentinian team totalling 615 million engagements. France came in second with 12.6%, followed by Brazil with 9.9%, Portugal with 8.8% and Morocco with 7.8% of the total engagement. Engagement with Argentina, Brazil, France and Portugal constituted more than 50% of the overall engagement; signifying these teams’ popularity and the volumes of fans they have all over the world.

This post talks about who will win the world cup and they used the hashtag #BringHomeTheBud is related to the winner who going to take the cup with them to their home country.

 


 

  • Players by engagement:

Lionel Messi was the player that fans engaged with the most during the tournament (480 million), exceeding the second in place Cristiano Ronaldo who got 390 million engagements. Although Portugal was disqualified in the Quarter-finals Cristiano was a big part of World Cup conversations. Kylian Mbappe came in third with 134 million mentions after his consistent great performance.

 


 

  • Team of the tournament:

Team of the tournament according to each player’s important social intelligence metrics (mentions, engagement and net sentiment); providing a very realistic formation based on digital media and fan conversations. 4 players from Argentina, 2 from France, 3 from Croatia and 1 player each from Morocco and England.

 


 

  • Brand visibility:

The sponsor with the highest brand visibility during the World Cup was Adidas with 26.7% of all sponsor mentions or images containing logos (431 Thousand). Budweiser was second with 18% of all sponsor mentions, a lot of which was due to the Player Of The Match (POTM) awards which features their logo on the award itself as well as in the background.

 


 

  • Logo visibility:

Although Adidas was one of the World Cup’s official sponsors, Nike’s logo appeared in significantly more images, mostly images of jerseys as Nike sponsored 13 teams while Adidas sponsored only 7.

 


 

  • Most popular official broadcasting channels:

By looking into the official broadcasting channels engagement throughout the tournament (30 Million total engagements), beIN Sports channels received the highest engagement with 22.7% (7.2 Million), exactly double the amount of the second highest broadcasting channel Argentina’s TyC 11.4% (3.6 Million). The top 4 channels received more engagement (17 Million) than all the other 25 official channels combined (13 Million).

 


 

  • Highlighted topics:

The new stoppage time rule was a source of widespread criticism in this World Cup, the added time reached new records in the tournament and many matches had more than 15 minutes of stoppage time. By filtering the mentions to only show where stoppage time was mentioned, a few peaks showed over the duration of the World Cup and totalling around 200 thousand mentions. The first two peaks were about Iran’s two games, the second one happened after they scored two goals against Wales in the stoppage time. The third peak was after Cameroon’s goal against Brazil in the stoppage time. The fourth and highest peak was after the Netherlands team scored against Argentina in the stoppage time, forcing a draw and then playing penalties which Argentina won in the end.

 


 

2. Players celebrating with their mothers:

 


Drawing smiles from all supporters and opponents alike, many Moroccan players shared their genuine joy with their mothers in front of all World Cup fans, appreciating and acknowledging their endless sacrifices that paved the way for these players’ superb performances in this tournament.

 


 

3. Solidarity with Palestine:

 


The Palestinian flag was a very prominent part of this World Cup, fans not mainly from the Arab world carried it around and showed unrelenting solidarity with the Palestinian people.

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by DOAM (@doamuslims)

 


 

  • Fans’ engagement with stadiums

41.3% of the total engagement that all stadiums received was for Lusail stadium, the stadium which hosted the final match. Al Bayt stadium, where the opening ceremony and the first match were held, received 16.9% of the total engagement.

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Javi Mascherano (@mascherano14)


 

  • Viral posts:
Post #1:

One of the top trending posts was by Onefootball’s Instagram, showing Messi and Mbappe numbers in the World Cup, highlighting all Mbappe’s achievements and he’s still 23 years old.

 

Post #2

A sight that invoked a lot of curiosity was Messi wearing the traditional Qatari black cloak (bisht) during the World Cup final ceremony.

 

 

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Gemsofislamm (@gemsofislamm)

Post #3

One of the top trending posts was Salt Bae attempting to take pictures with different Argentinian players on the pitch during the celebration.

 


 

B. Group Stage (20/11 – 2/12)

 

Top 10 images:

 


 

  • Teams by engagement:

Argentina got the highest percentage of engagement with 12.2% (158 Million) in the group stage which totalled 2 billion total engagements. Brazil was second with 11.1% (144 Million), followed by Portugal with 8.2% (106 Million), Mexico with 5.7% (92 Million) and France 6.1% (79 Million). Additionally, Morocco was amongst the teams with the highest engagement in the group stages, amounting to 3.5% of the total engagement (50 Million).

 


 

  • Sentiment by team:

 

The teams with the highest percentage of positive fans’ mentions were South Korea and Japan. Argentinian team mentions were 72.5% positive and the French team mentions were 64.4% positive. Iran mentions showed a significant difference in sentiment where the mentions were 32.1% positive and 67.9% negative and was the team with the highest negativity, which was due to the riots that were ongoing when the World Cup started. Brazil mentions were 37.7% negative showing great dissatisfaction in their performance against cameroon.

 


 

  • Players by engagement:

Lionel Messi (123 million) and Cristiano Ronaldo (75 million) significantly gathered more engagement than any other player during the group stage. Neymar and Richarlison from the Brazilian team were among the most engaged with players due to the volume of conversations about their team and their performance. After his outstanding performance in the group stage Ochoa was the 6th most mentioned player with 19 million engagements.

 


 

  • Engagement by continent:

The highest engagement originated from North America with 36.5% of the total number of engagements, followed by Europe with 35%, Asia with 13.8%, South America with 11%, Africa with 3.5% and Oceania with only 0.2%.

 


 

  • Top Emojis:

The majority of the emojis that were used were flags, which stand for the national teams or favorite teams of the fans. Additionally, throughout the group stage matches, the fans used the emojis to express their emotions.

 


 

  • Highlighted topic:
Japan’s thrilling journey

Japan surprised all World Cup fans when they came back from losing 1-0 to winning 2-1 against Germany, proving to everybody that they’re a force to be reckoned with and exposing everything that’s wrong with the German team.

 

In a one of a kind and extremely unique gesture, Japanese fans stayed behind after their team beat Germany 2-1 and cleaned up the entire stadium, displaying their lovely values and traditions in the best way possible

 

 

Continuing with their unbelievable and unexpected performance, Japan won against Spain 2-1 in the 3rd and final match in the group stage, knocking  Germany out of the World Cup and putting them in first place in a group no one expected them to qualify from. Japan’s second goal was extremely controversial and created a split between fans who thought it was a correct goal and those who thought the ball crossed the line, but the VAR technology settled the matter and counted the goal.

 


 

  • Viral Posts:
Post #1

One of the top trending and among the posts with the highest engagement was a picture by FIFA worldcup’s Instagram of Richarlison’s legendary goal in Brazil’s first match in the group stages against Serbia.

 

 

Post #2

FIFA’s Youtube account uploaded a video featuring Jung Kook from BTS during the World Cup opening ceremony, which was one of the highest engaging posts in the group stages.

 

 

Post #3

FIFA worldcup posted an iconic picture of Argentina and Saudi Arabia’s final result in their first match in the group stages, the result which shocked the entire world and went against all expectations especially because Argentina was one of the favorites to win the World Cup since before the tournament even started.

 

 


 

C. Round of 16 (3/12-7/12)

 

  • Top 5 images:

 


 

  • Teams by engagement:

Total engagement during the round of 16 reached 406.7 million, 15.3% of which was with Brazil, followed by Argentina (13.1%), Portugal (12.9%), France (12.2%) and Morocco (10.9%). These 5 teams combined had about ⅔ of the total engagement recorded for all teams in the round of 16.

 


 

  • Sentiment by team:

Compared to the other teams, Morocco had the highest percentage of positive emotion following their outstanding performance during the round of 16, while Spain had the highest percentage of negative sentiment following their defeat by Morocco.

 


 

  • Players by engagement:

Lionel Messi (44.9 Million) had the highest engagement in the round of 16 because of his excellent performance against Australia. Cristiano Ronaldo (35.2 Million) came in second although he wasn’t in the starting lineup against Switzerland. Both Olivier Giroud (10.1 million) and Kylian Mbappe (24 million) were praised for their exceptional performances in the round of 16 against Poland. Having come back from injury, Neymar (17 Million) had a great performance against South Korea, scoring a penalty. Achraf Hakimi received 8.3 Million engagements and was the 6th highest player in engagement, after scoring the outstanding paneka that gave Morocco the victory against Spain. After starting instead of Cristiano Ronaldo and scoring three goals, Gonzalo Ramos surprised the world with his outstanding performance, scoring a hattrick and getting 7 million engagements.

 


 

  • Engagement by continent:

Europe (39.9%) had the most engagements during round 16 because it was made up of the majority of the participating nations, followed by North America (28.8%), Asia (16.2%), South America (11.2%), Africa (3.5%), and Oceania (0.4%).

 


 

  • Top used languages:

The most common language used throughout the round of 16 was English, which made up (44.5)% of all languages spoken. Spanish came in second with (20.1)%, followed by Arabic with (15.3%), Japanese with (6.1%), and other languages with (14%) each.

 


 

  • Top Emojis:

These are the most used emojis during the round of 16, where most of the fans used their national teams or favorite teams flags and they also expressed their emotions through the use of the reactions. Morocco’s flag was the most used amongst all flags and was the 3rd most used Emoji after the ball and the heart, which shows how interested and supportive football fans were of this team’s performance.

 


 

  • Highlighted topic:

The Spanish fans were excited and very positive prior to the match, but as it progressed and both teams reached the penalty kicks, the excitement for the Spanish team dwindled and the negativity significantly increased due to the team’s poor performance in dealing with the penalties.

 


 

  • Viral posts:
Post #1

Following the victory against South Korea and outstanding performance, this post became one of the most popular ones throughout the round of 16, reflecting the fans’ joy over the victory against South Korea.

 

Post #2

This post became popular among Argentinian fans during the round of 16 after Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez helped their country’s team defeat Australia in a competitive and neck-to-neck game.

 

 

Post #3

This post of Jordan Henderson’s amazing goal against Senegal went viral following England’s dramatic victory over Senegal.

 


 

D. Quarter finals (8/12 – 11/12)

Top 5 images


 

  • Teams by engagement:

Total engagement during the Quarter finals was 247.2 million engagements, where Argentina (21.2%) had the highest share due to their amazing performance against Australia. Morocco (18.5%) came in second after they managed to beat Portugal and put on a great show, emphasizing that their great performance so far wasn’t a strike of luck.

 


 

  • Sentiment by team:

The team with the highest percentage of positive mentions was Morocco. Argentinian team mentions were 66.5% positive and the French team mentions were 72.5% positive. On the other hand Brazil mentions were 54.7% negative showing great dissatisfaction in their performance and being kicked out early when they were expected to reach the final stage.

 


 

  • Players by engagement

 

As always Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo got significantly more engagement than other players, but this time Cristiano Ronaldo had more engagement (65 Million) after being seen crying after leaving the world cup. Lionel Messi came in second place with (55 Million) after a very tense match with the Netherlands that ended after penalties and a lot of drama.

 


 

  • Engagement by continent:

During the quarter finals, the whole world was watching and interacting especially with morocco, however some regions were more engaged than others. Europe (18.1%) was in 3rd place after North America (27.6%) and Asia (26.8%), unlike the previous two rounds where Europe was where most of the engagement came from. 26.8% of the engagement came from Asia despite the fact that no Asian country participated in this round.

 


  • Top Emojis:

Emojis During the Quarter-final Stage were mainly about how the fans reacted to the unexpected performance by Morocco against Portugal, Also there are some negative Emojis and this is because of the disappointment of the Brazilian fans due to the loss against Croatia.

 


 

  • Highlighted topic:
Fans’ emotions after Brazil was knocked out by Croatia

Due to Brazil’s surprising defeat to Croatia, the emotions of the Brazilian fans were dominated by anger and sadness because they were very confident that they could win it this year and they were unprepared for being defeated at this stage in the tournament.

 


 

Viral posts:

 

Post #1

After the clash and 16 yellow cards were issued to both teams, this iconic stance from Messi went viral during the round of 16  and scored an amazing goal against Netherlands.

 

Post #2

After the loss against Morocco Cristiano Ronaldo left the pitch crying and his pictures went viral.

 

Post #3

After launching a jump which was 2.76 meters, Youssef En-Nesyri outstanding was one of the viral posts during the world cup.

 


 

E. Semi finals (12/12 – 15/12)

 

  • Top 5 Images:

 


 

  • Teams by engagement:

During the semi-finals the engagement reached a staggering amount of 272.4 million. Engagement with Argentina amounted to 41.7% of the total engagement the four finalists received. France came in second with 30.5% of the total engagement, followed by Morocco (17.4%) and Croatia (10.4%).

 


 

Sentiment by team

Fans’ sentiment regarding the final four teams were extremely similar, Morocco had the highest percentage of positive mentions with 78.8% among all the other teams, while France had the highest percentage of negative mentions with 25.3%.

 


 

  • Players by engagement

Lionel Messi was by far the player with the highest engagement in the Semi-finals with (94 Million) engagements as he led Argentina to the finals. With less than fourth the engagement that Messi received, Kylian Mbabppe came in second with (22 Million ) engagements after a wonderful performance that paved the way to the finals for France. Luka Modric with (17 Million)  and Achraf Hakimi with (10 million), were the only two non-finalist players who got very high engagement after their outstanding performances during the entire competition.

 


 

  • Engagement by continent

Europe was responsible for 46.6% of the engagement, while 31.9% of the engagement came from North America. The other regions didn’t even compare, with Asia at 12.4%, South America at 4.9%, leaving 4.1% for the rest of the world.

 


 

  • Top Emojis

 

Despite being knocked out after losing to France, Morocco’s flag was among the 3 most used emojis which included France and Argentina’s flags as well.

 


 

  • Highlighted topic:

 

Morocco leaves the world cup as the most successful African and Arabic team in World Cup history

 

Morocco exceeded all expectations in Qatar by defeating Belgium in the group stage and then defeating European powerhouses Spain and Portugal in the knockout stages, reaching the semi finals which ended up with France winning. They may have lost to Croatia and came in fourth place, but they did Africa well and sent a powerful statement to the world about the continent’s rising maturity in football.

 


 

Viral Posts

 

Post #1

As both teams went towards a World Cup summit that is remarkable for both nations, the friendship between Achraf Hakimi and Kylian Mbappé was a widely discussed topic and the players’ respect for each other was evident during and after the match.

Post #2

A picture posted by the FIFA world cup account went viral as the pictures show the two teams who reached the final game, team Argentina and team France.

 

Post #3

before the match post shows messi and modric both playing to qualify their country to the world cup finals, the picture shows both players winning the World Cup Golden Ball in previous World Cups.

 


 

  • F. Finals (17/11 – 18/12)

 

Top 5 Images

 


 

  • Teams by engagement

During the World Cup finals 299 million engagements were recorded in only 2 days, Argentina (64.7%) had almost double the engagement that France got (35.3%).

 


 

  • Sentiment by team

 

 

The Argentinian team (86.8%) unsurprisingly had a higher percentage of positive mentions than France (76.6%); as all Argentinian fans were extremely joyful that their team finally won the World Cup and their best player crowned his life of endless achievements with the World Cup title.

 


 

  • Players by engagement

Fans Seemed to be extra interested in Messi among other players during the finals attaining to 162 million engagements after leading his team to the title. Following Messi was Kylian Mbappe with 59 million  engagements. Two other Argentinian players and one other French player were among the top engaged players, leaving only Luka Modric as the only player with high engagement that didn’t play in the finals.

 


 

  • Engagement by continent


From a total of (266 Million) engagements, 46.4% of the engagement came from Europe, followed by North America (36.2%). Only 5.6% of the engagement came from South America, and 9.1% was from Asia

 


 

  • Top Emojis

Most Used Emojis during the final stage shows the argentina flag emoji with 1.4 million results then comes the cup emoji with 1 million results.

 


 

  • Highlighted topic:
Sentiment during the final

The sentiment changed dramatically during the match, beginning with Argentina’s two goals in the first half which created a major drop in the French fans’ sentiment. The French fans’ sentiment stayed negative until Mbappe scored his two goals, switching the sentiment entirely with the French fans being more positive than the Argentinians. In the extra time the pattern was repeated when Argentina scored the 3rd goal which increased the positivity, but France didn’t wait long to score the equalizer.

 

This post talks about Lionel Messi’s goal in the final match and they used the hashtag #GOTC
GOTC is an abbreviation for the Goal of The Century, which is a campaign, related to sustainability, which is led by the Korean band group BTS and football player Steven Gerrard (add the explanation under the post for each of the above links )


 

  • Viral Posts

 

Post #1

Posted by the official argentina national team instagram account shows Messi holding the world cup after being  named the world cup winners,wearing the iconic “Bisht” and surrounded by his teammates.

Post #2

Team Argentina celebrates its first World Cup title in 36 years.

This post related to Argentina’s win in the final

Post #3

A picture by PSG’s official account featuring their two star players who were absolutely phenomenal in this World Cup.

 

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