2010 World Cup: Players to Watch
- Posted June 2nd, 2010 at 11:11 am by Gilda Raczkowski
- Categories: General
As the June 11 kick off approaches for the 2010 World Cup, Yahoo! users are turning to their phones to track the action. Mobile searches for “World Cup” shot up 23% over last week. We’ve also been looking at top searches for footballers. Here’s what we found, and why these players might be interesting to watch.
Most Watched: Lionel Messi – Argentina
Though his team, FC Barcelona, lost to Inter Milan in the Champions League in the semis, they sealed the championship on the last day of La Liga, the Spanish competition. Overall, Messi represents more than 60% of all searches for the top five players listed here. At the World Cup, Messi should receive plenty of help from national teammates Gonzalo Gerardo “El Pipita” Higuaín of Real Madrid and Inter Milan’s new superstar, Diego Milito. Argentina will play Nigeria, South Korea, and Greece, and there’s little doubt they’ll advance.
Biggest Buzz: Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast
Didier Drogba excelled on May 8 by scoring for his club, Chelsea, during the Cup final at Wembley. Drogba kept his excellent track record at Wembley by scoring his third goal in the endgame of the world’s most-watched Cup matches. Chelsea also recently won the Premier league. Mobile searches shot up 60% over the last 2 weeks, even though Chelsea didn’t advance in the Champions League. Drogba is hitting his stride just in time for the World Cup. Ivory Coast will need it when they face Brazil, Portugal, and North Korea. Unbelievable—and only 2 teams will advance!
Most Controversial: Franck Ribéry – France
The attacking midfielder for France and Bayern Munich, Franck Ribéry is known for controversy on and off the field. He sat out the Champions League final against Inter Milan, due to a red card that seems to correspond to fan interest: Searches were down almost 100% compared to April. Ribéry, at 27 years old, needs the World Cup to show his true worth after extending his contract (and football future) with Bayern Munich. France will play Uruguay, Mexico, and South Africa. Anything less than second round would be a disgrace for this proud team.
Hometown Favorite: Arjen Robben – Netherlands
The Dutch star of Bayern Munich just won the double in Germany: the cup and the championship. And Bayern played and lost the Champions League final in Madrid. Robben scored some beautiful goals at the Champions League, and mobile searches peaked for both goals against Lyon (semi-final)—up 45%—and against Manchester United (quarter final). In June, the Netherlands will play Cameroon, Japan, and Denmark. The Dutch team, though never without controversy, should advance to the second round.
Most Likely to Cheer from the Sidelines: Wayne Rooney – England
England’s key player for both Manchester United and the national team, Wayne Rooney is extremely popular among fans. He represents more than 30% of the searches compared to the other four players. England will need him, but after a few injuries this year, let’s just hope his body will hold up for the World Cup. England will play Slovenia, Algeria, and USA.
Soccer fans in Europe searching for footballers on their phones can now see up-to-date stats on a new players profile page. Try it now using this search for Arjen Robben and clicking on the “Profile” link: http://uk.m.yahoo.com/w/search?&p=arjen+robben.
Fans around the world now get special World Cup coverage of teams and matches. Try some of these searches out on your phone (for instance, “uk slovenia” for match info) or visit m.yahoo.com to view mobile search results on your desktop.
–Yahoo! Mobile Search
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