Sports are all about emotion. Whether the emotion of the players on the field or the cheering fans in the stands, to the emotions that grab viewers’ attention in millions of homes around the World. Few sporting events can compete with the FIFA World Cup’s ability to draw a large audience from all over the world, regardless of culture, language, or time zone.
We saw all the ingredients that make football the most popular sport in the world on the first day of the group stage. From shocking results, such as when underdogs Saudi Arabia and Japan defeated title contenders Argentina and Germany, respectively, to goals galore in England, France, and Spain triumphs, to more dull affairs with no goals and where the excitement was missing.
But no game has yet matched the intensity of Portugal vs Ghana, the exciting five-goal thriller from Group H and one of the final games of the initial round of group stages. And we have the data to back it up.
With our panels around the world (we’re monitoring the world cup in our panels in the US, UK, Portugal and Germany), we’ve been analyzing the emotional involvement of World Cup matches. Viewers watched the games from the comfort of their homes, equipped with MindProber sensors and an app, while their emotional engagement was monitored and analyzed.
We compiled a list of the Top 5 Most Emotionally Engaging Moments at the 2022 FIFA World Cup based on the hundreds of moments we tracked. And all the top three came from the same game: Portugal vs Ghana.
With an Emotional Impact Score (EIS) of 1782, Portugal’s second goal, scored just moments after conceding an equalizer, was the most emotionally engaging moment of the opening round. Just a little above our second moment, which was a missed opportunity by Portugal’s star player Cristiano Ronaldo with 1768 EIS. Finally, Rafael Leão’s goal, the third for the Portugal National Team, rounded out the all-Portuguese podium.
Timothy Weah’s goal for the USMNT against Wales and Jude Bellingham’s scoring the first goal in England’s 6-2 win over Iran round out our Top 5 moments from the first round.
As the competition progresses to more decisive games we’ll continue to update this ranking of the most emotionally engaging moments of the competition. Stay tuned to get more insights from the FIFA World Cup 2022.