The global conversation about the #WorldCup


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 Sunday, we took a look at Twitter data to analyze 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 rooting for. 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?

Here’s a visualization that depicts the relationships between nations competing in the World Cup:

Click on the image to access the interactive visualization.

Click on the hashflag of a team that you’re interested in to explore further, such as:

  • which countries (also competing in the World Cup) were talking the most about that team;
  • which other teams were being most-discussed within the country;
  • how the conversation in that country shifted over time, particularly once that team was 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 host nation #BRA: its team was widely discussed among football fans in #CHI and #MEX, while Brazilians were paying a lot of attention to semifinal foe #GER, archrivals #ARG, and fellow semifinalists #NED.

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 favoring which side, based on their conversation about #GER or #ARG since the start of the World Cup. Fueled 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 neighbors.

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 colors 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):

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.