Russia 2018: The biggest ever tournament on Social Media

  • Nearly one billion interactions generated on Instagram alone
  • Brazil, Portugal and France, respectively, topped the social media rankings
  • Cristiano Ronaldo, undisputed king of social media at the world cup
  • Most influential eleven also unveiled

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

From the streets of Paris to the squares of Bordeaux, all of France is still celebrating their second World Cup title.  While Les Bleus reigned victorious on the pitch in the Russia, they couldn’t finish as champions in the social media sphere. That title belonged to Brazil.

The numbers are in and they tell a story of the biggest world cup on social media ever. Primetag’s technology has analysed the activity of the accounts of all the players at the World Cup and is ready to share the key figures of a tournament which was celebrated by everyone on Instagram, by far the most popular platform for the football community.

Instagram highlights of the tournament:

  • 990 million (990,642,846) – number of interactions generated by the content.
  • 287 million (287,703,784) – number of video views.
  • 6,366 – number of images and videos that players have uploaded to Instagram.
  • 88% – percentage of World Cup players that are active on Instagram.

So which team won the World Cup on Instagram? That title goes to Brazil, who beat out Portugal and France to finish first even though they were knocked out in the quarter finals.

The representatives of the Brazilian team accumulated almost 194 million interactions from their followers, a number equivalent to almost all of their population.

Portugal, led by the unbeatable – even on the social networks – Cristiano Ronaldo stood in second place with 120.6 million interactions. The third place was reserved for the official winner, France, with the largest number of posts (390) and 117.9 million interactions.

Regarding players, Cristiano Ronaldo was the undisputed king as he led the way with a grand total of over 110 million interactions, followed closely by Neymar and Paul Pogba.

Ranking of countries that generated the most interactions between June 14 and July 15: (access complete list here).

National team Nº of contents Nº of interactions
1 Brazil 321 193,831,130
2 Portugal 170 120,631,881
3 France 390 117,913,760
4 Spain 207 75,541,627
5 Argentina 250 68,865,372
6 Croatia 414 53,224,339
7 Colombia 181 51,689,004
8 England 306 48,875,285
9 Germany 199 47,128,557
10 Belgium 393 36,121,438

Primetag has also analysed the level of interactivity of the followers with each player. Below is the definitive ranking of player’s social media analytics on Instagram during the 2018 World Cup.

Player Nº of contents Nº of interactions
1 Cristiano Ronaldo 17 110,018,453
2 Neymar 27 97,929,405
3 Paul Labile Pogba 40 35,922,377
4 Sergio Ramos 34 31,108,500
5 Kylian Mbappé 18 29,690,081
6 James Rodríguez 11 28,098,114
7 Marcelo 28 26,549,388
8 Paulo Dybala 13 25,662,207
9 Philippe Coutinho 13 25,408,022
10 Ivan Rakitic 48 20,383,293
  • Cristiano Ronaldo leads with 110 million interactions, a number which represents 92% of the entire Portuguese sum.
  • Neymar makes it to second place after having uploaded 27 posts and garnering almost 98 million likes and comments.
  • The bronze was earned by Paul Pogba, with 40 posts and 35.9 million interactions. The official winner of the World Cup owes 56% of it´s interactions on Instagram to two players; France´s Pogba and Mbappé.
  • A similar phenomenon is repeated with Sergio Ramos, who together with the interactions generated by Isco Alarcón and Marco Asensio, accounts for 70,6% of the noise generated in networks by La Roja.
  • James Rodríguez (28 million interactions) represents more than half (56%) of the interactions of the Colombian national team.

Thanks to the Primetag technology, it has also been possible to determine the most influential eleven at the world cup, a winning ´fantasy football´ team of sorts from social networks, based on the number of likes and comments generated by the players. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer would be in charge of defending the goal, with the help of the defence comprising of Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Yerry Mina and the Iranian Ramin Rezaeian. The midfielders World Cup are Paul Pogba, James Rodriguez and Philippe Coutinho in charge to give passes to the forward stars: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Mbappe.

Russia 2018 stands out as the World Cup of the ‘underdogs’: South Korea defeated Germany, Russia overtook Spain and Croatia managed to reach the final after leaving Argentina behind. This phenomenon has also been reflected in social networks, where Iceland has been the big surprise. Their midfielder, Rurik Gislason (1,376,476 followers; @rurikgislason), takes the ‘raising star’ award on Instagram. Since defending the Icelandic flag against Argentina on June 16, his followers have increased by 4,258% to date today.

Below are the three outstanding posts of each phase of the competition. It includes the content with the most ‘likes’, comments and engagement of each phase of the tournament:

Group stage (06/14 – 06/28)

Publications with the most. Player Country URL Result
Likes Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal https://goo.gl/cFwLyS 9,956,050
Comments Lionel Messi Argentina https://goo.gl/5rFAkP 314k
Engagement Jimmy Durmaz Sweden https: // goo .gl / nMFHCC 90.59%

Round of 16 (06/30 – 03/07)

Likes Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal https://goo.gl/tzT5zA 6,989,633
Comments Miguel Layun Mexico https://goo.gl/ETnSLC 451k
Engagement Takashi Inui Japan https://goo.gl/NnZeXW 76.52%

Quarterfinals (06/07 – 07/07)

Likes Neymar Brazil https://goo.gl/SR2C3d 4,682,653
Comments Fernandinho Brazil https://goo.gl/pFMbCh 188k
Engagement Benjamin Pavard France https://goo.gl/TrJnsX 36.12%

Semifinals (10/07 – 11/07)

Likes Paulo Dybala Argentina https://goo.gl/Fxnyk7 3,330,916
Comments Kylian Mbappé Francia https://goo.gl/a4gnNx 45.7k
Engagement Benjamin Pavard France https://goo.gl/6PXdE1 46.14%

Final (15/07)

Likes Kylian Mbappé Francia https://goo.gl/P94JpK 4,733,843
Comments Kylian Mbappé Francia https://goo.gl/hmFjHx 79.9k
Engagement Benjamin Pavard Francia https://goo.gl/3CVFMG 61.7%

Visual content available for the press available here.

You can access the platform with the full rankings in the next link: research.primetag.com/2018worldcup