Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the craziest of them all? They are the ones who bring all the colour, excitement and passion to the football field – apart from the players, of course. We are talking about the football fans. And to demystify the football fans, Philips and Yahoo! have come out with the ambitiously titled ‘Ultimate Football Fan Survey’.
What makes a great football fan? According to the study, 44 per cent of the respondents in Argentina and 41 per cent of respondents in the UK said a true football fan was someone who would support his or her favourite team even during a losing season. Other markets differed in their view of what made a football fan a fanatic. 23 per cent of Brazilian respondents said they would watch every game of the season, while nearly 24 per cent of Italian respondents said they would paint their body in the national colours to gear up for the FIFA World Cup matches.
The survey also probed into what fans would do for a ticket to the finals, including selling their car or even giving up a well-deserved vacation.
An average 15 per cent of the global respondents claimed to be watching more than 31 hours of football a month, with 30 per cent of the fans in Argentina responding that they thought about the FIFA World Cup ‘every waking moment’ when not watching the games.
While many fans dreaming of attending this high-profile sporting event in person, majority of sports enthusiasts watch from the comfort of the couch. An average of 89 per cent of survey participants stated that they typically watched a football match at home vis-à-vis an average of only 25 per cent, who will attend the games in person. 57 per cent of the survey participants believed that they were in a better position to make an important judgment call in front of their television versus a referee on the field.
More than 45 per cent of the respondents in Argentina, Brazil, the UK and Spain agreed that a new Flat TV would create the perfect FIFA World Cup home viewing experience, while 35 per cent of fans in Mexico thought that a DVD recorder with hard disk would enhance the experience.
When asked which team would be the most feared in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, nearly 70 per cent of the survey respondents named Brazil, which was also named by more than half of the survey respondents as the clear favourite to win the Cup.
Nearly 62 per cent of the global respondents selected Brazil’s Ronaldinho as the best player in the world today.
According to the survey, an average 46 per cent of the global respondents believed that Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ goal during a quarter-final match between England and Argentina at the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico was the greatest FIFA World Cup moment, while 26 per cent of the global respondents felt that Geoff Hurst’s hattrick that gave England a 4-2 victory over Germany in the 1966 World Cup Final was the best highlight in FIFA World Cup’s history.
The survey further found that nearly 70 per cent of all respondents would follow their team’s progress on the Internet while away from the television.
The ‘Ultimate Football Fan Survey’ was conducted among more than 4,500 respondents from nine countries, including FIFA World Cup hopefuls such as Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands.