Harry Kane catching Ronaldo, Messi and Neymar for social media buzz


The goals scored by Harry Kane, England’s superstar striker, have so impressed fans on social media, that his share of voice now puts him at fourth place behind the mighty talents of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar, according to new analysis.


The research, from CX Social, the social media management platform from Clarabridge, tracked millions of social posts in a range of languages on Twitter, Facebook and across other channels since the group stage of the football championship finals kicked off on June 14th.

Social sentiment trends

The sentiment trends for the top players unsurprisingly reflect individual rather than team performance. Extreme spikes were recorded for Cristiano Ronaldo in line with his hat-trick in the first match against Spain and in the win against Morocco five days later. When Iran drew against Portugal and Ronaldo failed to score, sentiment for him on social media dropped.

It was a similar tale for Messi during the first two Argentina matches where sentiment took a dive but climbed high following his goal against Nigeria. Both players saw a drop in their sentiment trend when their teams lost and were out of the tournament.

A spike in sentiment for Neymar the day before Brazil’s first match was followed by a decline when the team drew and continued to decline despite his goal on the 22nd June against Costa Rica. However, the role he played in Brazil knocking Mexico out yesterday has sent sentiment for him on social media rising again.

Sentiment towards Harry Kane spiked with England’s first match against Tunisia in which he scored twice and rose again during his hat-trick against Panama.


The top emotions expressed via the use of emojis differ for each player. Ronaldo’s top emoji is the celebratory ‘raised hands’, Messi’s is a ‘goat’, which is likely to link to the Greatest Of All Time campaign, Neymar’s is the ‘thinking face’ and Harry Kane’s is the England flag. The top three emotions for the England team, as expressed by their fans in social media are ‘hope’, ‘satisfaction’ and ‘doubt’. The top three for Germany, which has been knocked out of the tournament, are ‘shock’, ‘surprise’ and ‘disappointment.


In terms of brand performance as tracked by Clarabridge on social media, Adidas, the tournament sponsor, has the biggest share of voice, followed by Nike. Nike, however, has also attracted some negative social sentiment particularly related to the shortage of kit manufactured for the Nigerian team’s supporters.

Clarabridge also analysed social media comment on the venues and stadiums being used during the tournament and found that the most liked is Sochi. That venue generated a lot of positive sentiment because of the beauty of the city and the stadium itself. On the flipside, the most disliked venue is Kaliningrad, this is linked to the ‘high effort’ needed to get there and the requirement for a special ID or visa. Clarabridge’s easy reference infographic can be seen here.

Clarabridge will continue to analyse social media responses throughout the tournament. Further information on Clarabridge’s CX Social is available at https://www.clarabridge.com/cx-social/

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