The World Cup’s longest goooooooooooooooooal

 


Argentina fans on July 5, 2014, in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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The Facebook Data Team has analyzed World Cup posts and comments since the tournament began. When they looked for use of the word “goal,” they found (big surprise) that Spanish, Portuguese, English and German posts used a lot of redundant characters, such as “Goooaaalll!” They averaged the character length by country and found the top five, which is led by Venezuela with 21.

But the longest “exuberant mention” of the word “goal” was from Argentina in response to Lionel Messi’s free-kick goal against Nigeria in the June 25 game. The word “gol” had 20,400 of the letter “O.” Facebook analyst Dustin Cable figured out that it would take about 12 minutes of holding down the “O” key on the keyboard to reach that many. Now that is fan exuberance!

When referring to the game, many names are used across the globe. Some form of the word “football” covers much of it.

When looking for words for the game, analysts found the most prevalent spellings in posts and comments to be:

1. Soccer

2. Football

3. Fútbol

4. Futebol

5. Futbol

Facebook analyst Dustin Cable mapped the uses of the various words for the game of soccer/football:

So while the United States calls it “soccer” in its Facebook posts — along with Canada, Australia, South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe — much of the rest of the world uses some variation of “football.” The actual word “football” was found in posts from much of Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and Europe.

No matter what the game is called, Facebook fans from around the world are posting about their World Cup excitement.

Pam Tobey is the graphics editor of the Morning Mix Web team at The Washington Post and a member of the Presentation Desk’s Information Design graphics team.
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