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World Cup: bet365 launches the Fan Nation Survey

With the stage set for a month of footballing theatre, bet365 has surveyed thousands of football fans from around the world to determine confidence ahead of the showpiece tournament.

The World Cup in Qatar is one that will go down in the history books. Expected to be watched by a record 5 billion viewers from around the world, the tournament is the first in the history of the competition to be played during winter and the first ever to be held in the Middle East. 

It also happens to be the last of the 32-team tournament format, with every tournament from 2026 onwards increasing to 48 teams. 

With the stage set for a month of footballing theatre, the sports team at bet365 has surveyed thousands of football fans from around the world, to determine confidence in their national team and manager, which teams and players they’re worried about facing, whom they expect to win the Golden Boot and the Golden Glove, how they’ll be celebrating a tournament win and much, much more.

Stay tuned to the bet365 World Cup news page for ongoing survey results and insights.

England fans are backing Gareth Southgate... 

Pre-tournament we asked all nations how confident they were in their manager’s ability. The exact question asked was: 

‘How confident or not confident are you in the following aspects when it comes to the football team which you will be supporting in the World Cup?’

Analysis of the results found that 92.29% of England fans are supportive of Gareth Southgate, the fourth highest out of all countries surveyed. 

Speaking to bet365 about the support Southgate has received in the Fan Nation Survey, England legend John Barnes MBE said: 

“He's as right as the right man can be. Because obviously when you're talking Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp, maybe give them time, but in terms of what's available and what we have now, Gareth absolutely is. 

“He's a modern manager who understands international football, whereby these aren't your players. They are from other clubs, and when you get together you have three or four days to get them to want to play for you.

“And they like Gareth, he's not a shouter or a screamer, he doesn't tell people off, which is the way modern managers are.”

The countries who have the most confidence in their national team’s manager...

The England results may be impressive, but they are nothing compared to the huge figures coming out of the USA.

An eye-opening 97% of supporters from across the pond have confidence in the USMNT manager, Gregg Berhalter. That’s the second highest fan confidence figure for this question, only behind Argentinians’ confidence in their national team’s manager, Lionel Scaloni (98.82%).

Brazilian supporters placed as the third most confident in their managers leadership, with 94.57% behind their man Tite. 

It’s Coming Home?! Almost 50% of England fans are confident of a World Cup win...

The one question on every England fan’s lips, could this finally be the year the men’s national team add another World Cup to the trophy cabinet? 

Ahead of the tournament, we asked all nations how confident they were in their team reaching each stage of the World Cup and winning it. 

The exact question asked was: 'How confident or not confident are you that the football team which you will be supporting will reach the following stages in the World Cup 2022?'

Fans could vote as not at all confident, somewhat not confident, somewhat confident, and very confident. Confidence scores were then grouped to produce net confidence scores. Fans were then surveyed on their confidence of reaching each stage of the tournament. 

And the analysis found that England fans have high hopes for this World Cup:

  • 94.69% are confident England will qualify from the groups
  • 88.50% are confident England will make it through to the Quarter Finals
  • 76.11% believe England will make it to the Semi-final 
  • 60.18% believe England will make it to the Final
  • 47.79% are confident that England will finally bring it back home, winning the 2022 World Cup

The most confident nations of the 2022 World Cup...

Looking at the responses from the fanbases of other countries taking part in the World Cup finals, reveals huge confidence in the United States of America.

Just under 90 percent of Americans are confident that the USMNT will be victorious in Qatar, lifting the famous World Cup trophy. 

Nation                  Fan Confidence in Reaching the World Cup Final (%)Fan Confidence in Winning the World Cup (%)

The USMNT are yet to win a World Cup, unlike their female counterparts in the USWNT. Currently priced at 40/1 to reach the final and 150/1 to win the tournament, it would be some upset for them to do it.

John Barnes MBE commented:

“I don't think they can do it at all, but I know that they think they can do it. My sisters live in America, and I grew up in Jamaica - we know Americans. They are very similar to Australians, they have this attitude that they can win everything, so they do better than they should. 

“If they got to the quarter-finals or the last 16 it wouldn't surprise me because they have this attitude - and I'm not talking about arrogance, I'm talking about confidence - because they're Americans, so it doesn't surprise me.

“It’s a good trait to have. As much as we're thinking 'it's a throwaway line, they're pretending', they really do believe it. Mainly because of their American-ness. 

“And this is not a criticism because that's what makes them the great people they are. They don't know that they shouldn't be getting to the World Cup quarter-finals because the other teams are better than them. So, it's a great trait to have, but if you're asking me whether I think they're misguided I would say probably yes.”

England fans' main concern is tactics...

Despite much fan optimism and support for the players and manager, England fans are concerned about their teams’ tactics.  

We asked: If you could change one aspect of the football team which you will be supporting before the World Cup, what would it be, if anything?

For the 68.14% of fans who would like to change at least one aspect of the team, the majority (23.89%) said they’d like to change the teams’ tactics to ensure a more positive way of playing and deliver better chance creation. 

Top 5 aspects of England men’s national team fans would change:

What would you change?Percentage (%)
Starting XI7.96%

Top 3 reasons for these changes:

Reason for your changes?Percentage (%)
More positive way of playing44.16%
Better chance creation (e.g., chance of scoring)41.56%
More possession19.48%
Concede less goals19.48%

Netherlands and Argentinian fans are the most aligned with their national team’s manager. They are the only nations whose fans voted in the majority (+50%) that they wouldn’t change a single thing going into the World Cup (54.90% and 52.66%) respectively.

How fans will be celebrating if their team wins the World Cup...

Wrapping up this first article from the Fan Nation survey, we asked each countries fan’s how they’d celebrate if their team won the World Cup. 

45.69% answered they’d be partying either at their own home or at a friends or family member’s home. That’s more than the 38.91% who said they’d celebrate with a night out, which we doubt would be the case, were this World Cup being held in the summer. 

What was eye catching was the number of fans who said they wouldn’t celebrate at all. 6.34% of all fans said they’d refuse to celebrate if their country won the World Cup.

And it’s the Dutch, Australians and the English who top the charts:

I wouldn't celebrate if my team wins the World CupPercentage (%) 

Based on this question alone, Mexicans would be the happiest with a World Cup Victory. Not a single fan from Mexico answered this question saying they wouldn’t celebrate if their team won. Viva México!

There will be plenty more to come from bet365’s Fan Nation Survey, delivering the best fan insight Throughout Qatar 2022. Stay tuned to the bet365 World Cup news pages for updates

The bet365 Fan Nation Survey has been powered by survey data collected from Censuswide.

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