A survey conducted by Continental Tyres, Official Sponsor of the FIFA 2014 World Cup™, in conjunction with the top Irish soccer fans’ website,youboysingreen.ie, has found that in Ireland’s absence at the tournament.
Argentina is the most popular team amongst Irish fans. 21 percent of fans cited Argentina as the team they are supporting at the tournament. This was followed by Germany on 18 percent; Spain on 15 percent – and surprisingly, fourth place in Irish fans’ affections was shared by England and Brazil who were chosen by 10 percent of respondents.
When asked ‘Which team will you be hoping fares badly?’ nearly one third (32%) chose France – showing that Irish fans don’t forgive and forget too quickly as they hark back to Thierry Henry’s infamous hand-ball incident in Paris that denied the Republic a place at the last World Cup in South Africa 2010.
A slightly smaller percentage of fans (30 percent), said they hoped England would do badly this summer, indicating, perhaps, that our traditional reluctance to support England, while on the wane, is not totally gone.
Messi tipped to shine in Brazil
Predicting the player of the tournament proved to be an equally clear-cut affair, with 28 percent selecting Argentina’s Lionel Messi as the one to watch this summer. Brazil’s Neymar (22 percent) and Argentina’s Sergio Aguero (19 percent) were the next most popular picks.
And in terms of predictions for the final, Argentina and Brazil loom large again with 26 percent of Irish fans expecting to be sitting down to watch those two teams battle it out for the trophy on July 13. Brazil v Germany is the next most popular prediction (21 percent) and the clear favourite to win the tournament is Brazil (31 percent) followed by Argentina (24 percent) and Spain (19 percent).
In relation to Ireland’s qualification for the next tournament, the 2016 UEFA European championship in France, 95 percent of the youboysingreen.ie fan base feel sure that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane’s boys will do the business and get us there.
Commenting on the World Cup survey, Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres said: “It’s just a bit of fun really, but some of the results are certainly interesting. Who’d have thought that 10 percent of us will be supporting England outright this summer?
“When all the predictions are said and done, I think most people are just looking forward to a memorable tournament with lots of attacking football and loads of goals,” said Mr Dennigan. “And let’s hope, as our survey suggests, that in two years’ time we’re in France getting ready to play our part.”
The survey was carried out on-line on the youboysingreen.ie website and represents the views of some 300 Irish fans.