Ahead of Tuesday’s Wembley clash between England and Germany the #ThreeLions lead the charge on Twitter engagement – but like the post-1966 power balance between these two footballing nations, it’s nuanced stuff.
For both teams core engagement success is attributed to celebrating individual player performance and expression.
England’s official Twitter account toasts Arsenal central midfielder Saka’s display against Czech Republic on 22 June.
The downstream conversation around the tweet is positive in the main, with oddball trolls regulated by the twitterati.
The post is shared 3.6k times, bettered only by France, Belgium and Denmark tweets across the tournament.
One enlightened fan informs the conversation that Saka’s first name, “Bukayo”, means “adds to happiness” in tribal Nigerian.
Germany’s closest viral tweet focuses on national goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, who won’t face disciplinary action by UEFA after wearing a rainbow armband during Euro 2020 games.
The 35-year-old has worn the armband to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.
The outcome was met with a torrent of recrimination, on the same social media platform, around an old 2020 story in Stern magazine, after Neuer was covertly videoed allegedly singing along to a song by ultra-right rock band Thomson, while on holiday in Croatia.
Mediacells fan engagement analysts aren’t sure if his committed support for LGBT during Pride Month is cancelled out by a historical, paparazzo story.
Perhaps the answer lies in an unrelated tweet by The Thick of It star, Chris Addison, “people who respond to an expression of joy with e.g. ‘I thought it was rubbish’.”