MaltaToday Survey | Will it be Brazil or Germany?

Will it be Brazil or Germany to lift the World Cup trophy? Does Malta ever stand a chance of making it to the world stage? A MaltaToday survey gauged people’s thoughts about the football frenzy that starts next Thursday. KURT SANSONE reports

Will it be Brazil or Germany?
Will it be Brazil or Germany?

Brazil and Germany are the top two clear favourites to lift the World Cup trophy next month, according to the Maltese.

The two football giants were neck and neck, with almost double the amount of preferences on third placed Spain.

Asked who they believe will win the World Cup, 13.4% and 13.3% of people identified Brazil and Germany, respectively. Spain came in third with 7.7%, followed by England with 6.2%.

More men believe Germany will win, as opposed to women, who believe Brazil will win. Women were also more optimistic (6.8%) that England will win the World Cup than men were (5.5%).

If it were up to those aged 65 and over, England would be the clear favourite to win the World Cup. The survey found that 11.4% of the elderly believe the Three Lions will carry the trophy, as opposed to 9.6%, who say Brazil and 9.4% who say Germany.

Whether the belief by the elderly is heartfelt, cannot be said but they do represent a generation that clearly remembers the only World Cup won by England, 52 years ago. Maybe nostalgia played a part in their answer.

To follow, or not to follow

Football may not be of any interest to everyone but according to the survey 59.2% will be following the World Cup that starts next Thursday.

Men are more likely than women to be hooked to the television screen during the month-long competition.

The survey found that 66.4% of men, as opposed to 52.2% of women will be following the World Cup, which is being held in Russia.

Those who will be following matches cut across all age groups, with the middle-aged being the keenest to do so.

From those aged 36 to 50, 64.6% said they will be following the World Cup, while among the elderly, this drops to 52.6%.

And Gozitans could give two hoots about the World Cup with the island being the only region that bucks the trend.

A majority of Gozitans (56.5%) said they will not be following the World Cup.

No betting, they say

Malta may attract the biggest players in the online betting sector but according to the survey an outstanding majority will not be playing money on World Cup games.

When asked whether they will wager money on football games, or engage in betting between friends, 92.5% of people answered ‘no’.

Only 3.6% said they will engage in betting of sorts, while 3.9% were uncertain.

The results were similar across all regions, with a slightly higher predisposition in favour of betting in the Northern Harbour and South Eastern regions where 5.2% and 4.2%, respectively, said they would play money.

Supporters of…

With Italy failing to make it to the World Cup, as expected the team most supported will be England.

The survey found that 29.5% of people will side with England but a significant 51.7% said they will support no team.

The team with the second highest support, albeit well below that for England, is Brazil with 5.9%, followed by Germany with 5.1%.

Further down the line, Argentina enjoys the support of 3.2% of Maltese.

Malta and the World Cup: Hope springs eternal

Malta has never come anywhere close to qualifying for any international tournament but some people do believe a World Cup appearance is someday possible.

The survey asked people whether they believed Malta would one day, during their lifetime, make it to the World Cup and 16% harboured that hope.

The vast majority, 78.3%, answered ‘no’, while 5.8% could not express an opinion.

Women were more hopeful than men – 18.7% of females believe Malta will make it to the World Cup, as opposed to 13.2% of men.

The young (18%) and the elderly (19.2%) are also the most hopeful of a World Cup appearance.

On a regional basis, the highest level of optimism is in the Southern Harbour where 21% believe Malta will one day book a place to the World Cup.

Will you be watching from home or at the pub?
Will you be watching from home or at the pub?

Home Sweet Home...

Ditch the crowd, the sweat and the noise and opt for the living room because the home is by far the most favourite location for watching World Cup games.

According to the survey, a whopping 89.9% said they preferred to watch World Cup matches in the comfort of their home.

Only 5.3% said they preferred to watch the games at a bar and 4.8% on big screen in an open-air location.

While results are uniform across all regions, the highest share of people saying they prefer to watch games in a bar is Gozo with 13.8%, followed by the Western region with 9.5%.

The young are predisposed to prefer watching games in a bar or on the big screen although a significant majority (88.1%) still prefer their home.