Who would win the World Cup if matches were decided by Facebook likes?

Who would win the World Cup if matches were decided by Facebook likes?

The World Cup is in full swing and football is coming home! Well, potentially... although not according to our predictions. We have put together a wall chart that determines the winner of each match by the amount of Facebook likes each national team's official page has.

Here are the key takeaways, before you cast your eye over our chart:

  • Brazil beat Mexico, this year's surprise package according to our chart, in the final to win the trophy.

  • England win the group but get knocked out by eventual champions Brazil in the Quarter Finals.

  • Our chart successfully predicted 13 of the Last 16 of the tournament.

Completed World Cup Chart

How does a country's Facebook following compare with its population and performance?

More often than not, the World Cup nation with the largest population doesn't necessarily have the largest Facebook following.

Iran, Nigeria and Egypt, for example, have far larger populations than their Group opponents, yet are among the least in terms of social media following.

In terms of overachieving when it comes to their performance at the World Cup and their Facebook likes, you can't ignore the likes of Uruguay, Portugal and Croatia.

If the tournament was decided on the percentage of likes compared with each nation's overall population, Iceland would be crowned World Cup champions, with an impressive 43% of its population liking the team's official page. Iceland would be closely followed by Portugal (40%) and Uruguay (32%).

It may surprise you that Mexico are finalists in our Facebook wallchart due to the weak nature of the Mexican domestic leagues in comparison to the giants of the Premier League, La Liga, Seria A and the Bundesliga. Not to mention them being 15th in the FIFA World Rankings. However, when you consider that Mexico has the fourth-highest population of the nations competing in the 2018 World Cup, their Facebook following comes as less of a shock.

Below are the population figures for each team at this year's World Cup, juxtaposed with their Facebook following:

Group A

Russia - 144m (0.15m Facebook likes)
Egypt - 95.6m (0.03m Facebook likes)
Saudi Arabia 32m (0.02m Facebook likes)
Uruguay 3.4m (1.1m Facebook likes)

Group B

Iran - 80m (0.11m Facebook likes)
Spain - 46.5m (3.8m Facebook likes)
Morocco - 35m (0.29m Facebook likes)
Portugal - 10m (4m Facebook likes)

Group C

France - 67m (5.6m Facebook likes)
Peru - 31.7m (1.8m Facebook likes)
Australia - 24m (0.61m Facebook likes)
Denmark - 5.7m (0.21m Facebook likes)

Group D

Nigeria - 186m (0.25m Facebook likes)
Argentina - 43.8m (0.94m Facebook likes)
Croatia - 4m (0.5m Facebook likes)
Iceland - 0.3m (0.13m Facebook likes)

Group E

Brazil - 207m (11.91m Facebook likes)
Switzerland - 8m (0.18m Facebook likes)
Serbia - 7m (0.18m Facebook likes)
Costa Rica - 4.8m (0.69m Facebook likes)

Group F

Mexico - 127.5m (11.21m Facebook likes)
Germany - 83m (6.26m Facebook likes)
South Korea - 51m (0.48m Facebook likes)
Sweden - 10m (0.39m Facebook likes)

Group G

England - 53m (6.95m Facebook likes)
Tunisia - 11.4m (0.2m Facebook likes)
Belgium - 11m (1.3m Facebook likes)
Panama - 4m (0.21m Facebook likes)

Group H

Japan - 127m (1.5m Facebook likes)
Colombia - 48.6m (3.12m Facebook likes)
Poland - 28m (1.06m Facebook likes)
Senegal - 15m (0.11m Facebook likes)

How does Facebook popularity correlate with the FIFA World Rankings?

In terms of our Facebook World Cup chart, Brazil winning the competition would come as little surprise given that they're currently the second-ranked team in the world.

Germany, who currently sit at the top of the rankings, would have been lucky if our predictions turn into reality, at least getting through to the Last 16. Fifth-ranked Argentina would also have a right to be disappointed, as we predict them to be knocked out at the same stage.

Additional underachievers in our predictions would have to be Switzerland and Poland considering that they both sit in the top 8 in the world rankings yet didn't make it past the group stages.

With Mexico sitting at 15th in the World rankings, it's fair to say them reaching the final would come as a huge shock.

Knapton Wright's Facebook World Cup XI

Despite Mexico's large population and Facebook following, there is no room for any of their squad members in our Knapton Wright Facebook World Cup XI, which was picked on the number of Facebook likes each World Cup 2018 player boasts.

In fact, despite getting knocked out at the Quarter Finals in our predictions, Spain has the most players in our starting lineup thanks to Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos and Andrés Iniesta. Meanwhile, Neymar is the only Brazilian to have enough followers to earn a spot.

A contributing factor to smaller nations such as Portugal and Uruguay having such large Facebook followings has to be their star players - Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez. Ronaldo has a whopping 122m Facebook likes, and no doubt a percentage of these fans have liked his nation's official page as a result of their admiration for him.


What are your thoughts?

How close will our World Cup XI be to the Team of the Tournament? Will Mexico be this year's surprise package? Is football still coming home? Let us know your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

Oliver Wilkinson
Content Marketing Exec.
Knapton Wright.

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