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New player social media ranking tool launched ahead of Russia 2018

LONDON, June 12 2018 - Over eight billion digital interactions are expected during this summer’s World Cup, the equivalent of every person in the world liking or commenting on content related to the tournament. The event promises to shatter social media records across all platforms.

With a record global audience of 1.1 billion following the players’ every move on Instagram alone during the tournament, this summer’s flagship football event provides an unrivalled opportunity to connect with audiences and fans.

Heading into the tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the most influential player on digital channels following the launch of exciting new technology that can monitor and rank players’ activity on social media in real time.

Primetag – the leading Portuguese developer of technology to measure influence on social and digital media – has unveiled a dynamic new tool that will display up-to-the-minute rankings of the social media activity of all players participating in this summer’s football spectacular in Russia, by group, nation or worldwide.

Speaking at the launch in London on Monday, French international football player Bacary Sagna, said:

“Social media is an incredible tool for all athletes to use. It allows us to speak directly with our fans and have a voice whenever we need one. This World Cup will be the biggest one ever on social media as far as content from players is concerned and I am really curious to find out who will be the most popular and influential stars during the tournament.”

Ahead of the opening match of the World Cup, the top 20 player Instagram rankings are:

Additional highlights from the data unveiled at the media launch in London on Monday include:
· 1.1 billion (1,146,923,082) - the total number of followers of all 2018 FIFA World Cup players

· 192 million (192,353,815) – the total number of followers of Brazilian players, the most followed team at the World Cup

· Top five ranked players on social media come from five different countries but all are Portuguese or Spanish speakers

· Of the top 10 players, all but one - Pogba (9th) – have played for either Real Madrid or FC Barça

· By continent, Ronaldo (Portugal) tops the table in Europe and worldwide with 128M followers, Neymar (Brazil) is number one in South America with 94M, Mo Salah (Egypt) is top in Africa with 16M, Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) leads in North and Central America and the Caribbean with 6.9M and Sardar Azmoun (Iran) tops the rankings in Asia with 2M

· The starting eleven most influential players in the world: De Sea, Sérgio Ramos, Piqué, Thiago Silva, Marcelo, Paul Pogba, Andrés Iniesta, James Rodriguez, Neymar, Leonel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo

· Harry Kane (4.76M), Marcus Rashford (4.74M) and Raheem Sterling (3.69M) are the three English players with most followers

· Top 10 countries by total number of players’ followers*

*England is 11th, with 31,960,003

The Primetag tool is expected to revolutionise how players, teams, brands and media can access key information to help them harness the power of social media and maximise their influence on the global stage. It will be made available to media throughout the tournament, so they can easily track players’ activity and keep up to date with the most “liked” and “shared” moments of the World Cup, dramatically enhancing the depth and availability of player and team social media data during the global event.

Manuel Albuquerque, founder and CEO of Primetag, said:

“Social networks are not here to replace traditional interviews or press conferences, but to provide journalists with the tools to shape content creation. They are a reliable source for the stories that will drive the most audience engagement, as social network insights allow for an estimate of an article’s potential success. In a chaotic sea of World Cup related posts, journalists will find it easier to spot the most eye-catching story, in real time.”
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