Heading into the World Cup for the first time in 16 years, Colombia has the biggest soccer fans in the world, according to a New York Times-backed survey.
Colombians are the biggest soccer fans in the world. Only 6% said that they are not interested in soccer while half of the respondents stated that they were very interested in soccer, according to results obtained from a study among people in 19 countries conducted by the online survey firm YouGov in collaboration with The Upshot at the New York Times.
The study also showed that respondents in 16 of the countries believe that Brazil will win the World Cup in 2014. Only Argentina, Spain, and the US did not agree on this outcome, but instead rooted for their respective home teams.
The strongest plurality confident enough to root for their home country was among Brazilian fans, of which 64% predicted they would win at home in the World Cup.
Also, 25% of the Colombian respondents said Colombia would win the World Cup while 40% predicted Brazil to be the winners.
The country least interested in soccer was the US, where 60% said they did not have any interest in soccer and only 11% said they were very interested. The countries most interested in soccer after Colombia were Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, and South Korea.
The respondents were also asked which country they rooted against in the World Cup and in these answers global geo-political dynamics seem to come into play. Mexicans named USA as their least favorite, Brazil and Argentina named each other, and Greece named their money-banker, Germany.
Interestingly, fans from all across the board all agreed that Brazil played the most attractive form of soccer.
YouGov conducted 19,780 online interviews in 19 countries between May 19 and June 2. Internet access rate in the 19 countries ranged from 37 % in Mexico to 58 % in Italy to 93 % in the Netherlands. In countries with lower internet rates the results reflect the views of internet users whereas in countries with higher internet usage, the results are intended to apply to the full population.
World Cup Opinions in 19 Countries: Likes, Dislikes, Predictions (New York Times)