The most talked about player in the MENA region during the World Cup was Egyptian star Mohamed Salah, who was followed closely by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
That was among the findings of Crowd Analyser, a Dubai-based data intelligence provider and Arabic-focused social media platform.
The statistics are based on data and insights derived from more than six million Facebook interactions, over a quarter of a million Instagram posts and 85,000 Twitter mentions on the tournament, that was hosted in 11 cities across Russia from June 14 to July 15.
Mustafa Othman, at Crowd Analyser, said: “The MENA region has millions of active users on social media platforms, and they love to talk and engage with important topics. The World Cup is an event that brings the world together and we can see how much the users in this region enjoyed the tournament.
“The World Cup is a good example of a conversation that lasted for over a month and included literally millions of voices and viewpoints, each with a subtly different sentiment and many with different dialects.”
Crowd Analyser was able to monitor Arabic conversation and content online using technologies and resources to establish sentiment, relevance and dialect in Arabic.
“This is hugely important to our clients and brands looking to make an impact in the region,” he said.
“This data, information and knowledge are hugely important if brands want to thrive in this part of the world and understand their potential audience.”
Specific to the UAE, Salah, Ronaldo and Morocco’s Nordin Amrabat were the most-loved players, while Brazil’s Neymar and Spain’s Sergio Ramos, the defender who tangled with Salah during the Champions League final, were the most criticised players.
In terms of sentiment analysis, 14.9 per cent of posts for Salah were positive, showing appreciation for the Liverpool striker. The 18.6 per cent of negative posts on Salah were overwhelmingly aimed at the Egyptian Football Association rather than the player.
Messi and Ronaldo both had 11 per cent positive posts, with the Argentine superstar receiving 18.6 per cent negative feedback and the Portuguese winger getting 14 per cent adverse posts.