Joy & Agony: Fan Loyalty & Perception of Euro 2016

By Beekeeper Staff on July 11, 2016

BigQuery

Euro 2016 Fanbase Awards

2016 Euro Fanbase Awards

Overall awards take into account any chatter from the first day of quarterfinals until today on /r/soccer.

  • Most Positive Fans: Highest average sentiment
  • Most Negative Fans: Lowest average sentiment
  • Good Sports Award: The highest sentiment for a losing team in any game
  • Pessimists Award: The lowest sentiment for a winning team in any game (1st: Germany v Italy, 2nd: Portugal v France)
  • Chattiest Fans: Highest post count
  • Quietest Fans: Lowest post count

(Beekeeper Data is not affiliated with UEFA Euro 2016 or reddit.com. See details regarding the data under “Methodology” at the very bottom.)

How Reddit Perceived Euro 2016 Game by Game

We ran analysis to determine play-by-play sentiment during the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final game. Each graph is broken down into four categories - fans of each team (as evidenced by their user flair), and overall reactions in /r/soccer and the match thread and post-match thread. Finally, major events during each game are denoted with an annotation on the chart.

QUARTERFINALS

Poland v Portugal

Poland started the game very well early on, but it looked like Portugal’s game to lose throughout, despite being down 1-0. The Portuguese sentiment is fairly stagnant, while the Polish appear to be volatile - perhaps they felt the direness of a game that always felt like it was going Portugal’s way.

Poland v Portugal

Wales v Belgium

Despite some wonderful moments of football, Belgium’s time in Euro 2016 was ultimately disappointing, and their most unhappy fans showed they agree. A great goal from Nainggolan started the action, but a strong-willed comeback by Wales and some poor officiating kept Belgian sentiment in the dirt. Welsh fans were always satisfied, especially after Ashley Williams’s key momentum swinging goal.

Wales v Belgium

Germany v Italy

Germany started well in a game that saw few chances for either team. Schweinsteiger scored a disallowed goal early which saw German sentiment fall until Gomez opened the scoring. However, the penalty awarded to Italy quickly equalized the chances in the game. Italian sentiment skyrocketed when they came one penalty from victory for four different kicks - however, when they eventually lost to the clutch German ending, the Italian opinion of Gli Azzurri plummeted.

Germany v Italy

France v Iceland

France was always confident in their chances against Iceland, if only to continue their age-old rivalry to outdo the English. Despite Iceland’s tendency to stay positive, when France began the game strongly Iceland’s fans strayed into negativity. As France mounted an impossible lead however, Iceland never gave up, and neither did their fans. Both teams ended with high sentiment, which was the overall mood of the game.

France v Iceland

SEMIFINALS

Portugal v Wales

As would be expected from the most positive team at Euro 2016, Wales fans remained upbeat throughout this game in which they were never favored. A strong start from Gareth Bale and company made fans see a possible miracle before them. But with two goals in succession by Ronaldo and Nani, Portugal easily saw the game out. A strong showing from Hennessey is all that kept Portugal from finding more goals in this match.

Portugal v Wales

France v Germany

France and Germany’s match was a tale of missed opportunities. Germany could have easily been up 2 within a half hour, but ultimately deserved this loss by squandering too many chances. France was unexpectedly up at halftime after Griezmann’s calm penalty, and, naturally, the French fans remained positive the rest of the game. Many of Germany’s missed chances were the kind that Gomez loves to prey upon. They will be disappointed to have lost him to injury against Italy.

France v Germany

FINAL

Portugal v France

The final was a rather disappointing match to watch, but the data behind it is much more interesting. Portugal was the underdog for most, and began the game feeling quite negative. After Ronaldo’s injury, one might have expected further negativity, however, the game felt better for the Portuguese as their shape changed with the addition of Quaresma. Regulation was slow, but saw two excellent French chances that would surely have won them the final. The French went into despair as extra time began; it could be the Portuguese penalty success, the missed chances, or the nerves. When Eder ultimately scored the game winner, French fans become despondent, only to return to positive sentiment after coming to terms with the loss. Ronaldo will be pleased with the victory, even if he wasn’t the man behind it.

Portugal v France

Methodology

Data used in the charts in this post is courtesy of BigQuery and the excellent pushshift:rt_reddit dataset. Sentiment analysis courtesy of sentiment.js, which uses the AFINN-111 English wordlist to generate sentiment. Fans are determined by their reddit flair.

Questions? Suggestions? Drop us a note at info@beekeeperdata.com and let us know! This is our first of several planned forays into analysis of public datasets. If you have any suggestions for events to consider, or improvements to our methodology, we’d love to hear it.

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