As ever, fans were fervent in their support for their team and used digital media to express that passion, whether Tweeting, TikTokking or searching for all the latest news, analysis and transfer rumours. Indeed, search engines have been vital filters for the abundance of information available online since the mid-1990s, and by analysing the data surrounding its use, we can paint a vivid picture of fan engagement and the popularity of teams and leagues.
Looking at data from the start of June 2021 to the end of May 2022, DataPOWA has crunched the numbers relating to the five biggest and most influential leagues in Europe (the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, the Bundesliga, and Ligue A) and the teams who compete in them. By doing so, we’ve discovered the following:
- The moves of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi inspired a power shift in European football on digital as well as on the pitch. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain benefitted hugely from the transfers, while Serie A, La Liga, Barcelona and Juventus suffered, though they all remain powerhouses.
- Were there any doubt, Paris Saint-Germain are now a major commercial power following the arrival of Messi. They gained an enormous 293m searches when compared to last season, with only Liverpool, who added 220m to last term’s total, coming close.
- On a league level, England still reigns supreme. The Premier League surpassed 1000m searches yet again this season, more than double that of La Liga, which ranks second. Ligue 1 still can’t quite compete at that level, but it made the biggest gain on last season.
- Juventus remain Italy’s biggest team, but the loss of Ronaldo hit them hard as they fell by 222.8m searches compared with last season. This is the biggest loss suffered by any team in the five major European leagues.
- Success in European competitions was a big driver of searches, with major games in the Champions League and Europa League generating peaks, and Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt and Roma all enjoying increases on last season.