Which remaining World Cup player reigns supreme on Facebook?

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For three weeks now, the eyes of the world have been fixated on Brazil to watch football — or soccer as it’s called in the United States.

Yep, the World Cup is in full swing — and so far it has been the most talked about Facebook event ever. Here’s proof:

  • There were 1 billion posts, likes and comments about the World Cup during the first half of the tournament alone
  • More than 220 million people participated in discussions about the World Cup on Facebook between June 12 and 29
  • The Jan. 28 match between Chile and Brazil garnered 75 million posts, likes and comments from about 31 million people

Now that’s what I call engagement!

With all these numbers in mind, I took to Facebook to see how the greatest soccer teams on the planet are faring on the world’s largest social network.

Eight countries have qualified for the World Cup quarterfinals this year:

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • France
  • Germany
  • Netherlands

We know these teams can handle themselves on the pitch, but can they score on Facebook?

To answer this question, I’ve compiled some stats about the World Cup on Facebook. Let’s start with some basics:

The 2014 World Cup kicked off with 32 teams from six continents. Of the eight countries still alive, here’s who has scored the most goals so far:

  1. Netherlands: 12 goals
  2. Colombia: 11 goals
  3. Germany: 9 goals
  4. France: 8 goals
  5. Brazil: 8 goals
  6. Belgium: 6 goals
  7. Argentina: 6 goals
  8. Costa Rica: 5 goals

But which of these international soccer powerhouses have the most Facebook fans?

Here’s that all-important breakdown:

  1. Brazil: 4 million fans
  2. Germany: 3.1 million fans
  3. France: 2.7 million fans
  4. Colombia: 1.3 million fans
  5. Argentina: 975k fans
  6. Belgium: 320k fans
  7. Netherlands: 293k fans
  8. Costa Rica: 5k fans

Since I also wanted to see what types of World Cup-related posts got the most engagement from fans, I used Post Planner’s Viral Photos Tool to find the most viral photos posted by the tournament’s top goal scorers.

So here they are! Behold the top performing photos from the Facebook pages of the World Cup’s†top performers:

1. James Rodriguez — 5 goals

Like count: 6.7 million

2. Thomas Müller — 4 goals

Like count: 4.6 million

3. Leo Messi — 4 goals

Like count: 61.1 million

4. Neymar Jr. — 4 goals

Like count: 33 million

5. Karim Benzema — 3 goals

Like count: 14.2 million

6. Arjen Robben — 3 goals

Like count: 1.8 million

7. Robin Van Persie — 3 goals

Like count: 10.7 million

The Results

It looks like top Facebook virality honors go to superstar Leo Messi, whose top photo has garnered serious engagement:

  • 2 million Likes
  • 100k Comments
  • 120k Shares

Neymar is a close second, and actually surpassed Messi in Likes. His top photo’s engagement:

  • 2.8 million Likes
  • 60k Comments
  • 90k Shares

These are interesting results, considering the fact that most experts are predicting a final with Brazil vs. Argentina.

What do you think? Will the winner of the Facebook competition also win the actual competition?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Emeric Ernoult is the CEO of Facebook marketing platform AgoraPulse.

Image courtesy of AGIF / Shutterstock.com

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