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World Cup Frenzy

The recently completed World Cup was held in Qatar, the smallest country ever to host the event. But that didn’t stop thousands of fans from convening at the stadiums built in Qatar just for the World Cup. Fans in some of the most soccer-crazed (or football-crazed) countries were disappointed as their countries lost in the first round. Italy, home of some of the most notorious fans, didn’t even qualify, and fans in Germany, Spain, Mexico, and even mighty Brazil went home disappointed. But when considering the rabidness of the fans around the world, it’s surprising how few people are even fans of the sport. Portugal tops the list at 35 percent and the usual suspects of Spain, Germany and the U.K. hover around 30 percent. And Brazil, noted for soccer fanatics, comes in at barely over 20 percent. Not surprisingly, the U.S. has the least soccer fans at 8 percent. And the fans who actually played the sport within the previous 12 months mostly is represented by single digits. The chart at right is courtesy of YouGov and Nicole Piker, the head of global gaming and U.S. sports for the company.

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