Who do Romanians support at the World Cup? New survey reveals Germany as their number-one favorite
Romania did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, but that doesn’t stop the Romanians from celebrating the once-in-four-year footballing festival.
A new international survey carried out by Ipsos in 34 countries between August 26 and September 9, 2022, on people aged 16 to 74 years, reveals that, despite not being qualified for Qatar, Romanians are among the most passionate football fans. 1 in 2 people will watch the World Cup, a bigger average than current defending champions France (39%) and four-time champions Germany (46%). 16% of them will even watch as many matches as humanely possible from the group stage.
Unlike the popular worldwide opinion that favorites Brazil to win the World Cup (21%), most Romanians count on Hansi Flick’s German men to turn their horrible display in the 2018 Russian edition and bring back the trophy after eight years, followed by Brazil (14%), and France or Spain (13%, each).
Despite being among the pundits’ favorites, however, only 5% of Romanians see Lionel Messi and co. as the winners by the end of the tournament. La Albiceleste ended their 36-match unbeaten record in a shocking 1-2 loss against Saudi Arabia in their first Group C match on November 22, thanks to Mohammed Al-Owais’ man-of-the-match performance under the goalpost.
As a social event, the World Cup brings people closer than ever. The survey says that over 80% of Romanians will watch the matches with friends and families, followed by work colleagues (49%), or with other people at sports bars or restaurants (55%).
Worldwide, the United Arab Emirates and, surprisingly, Indonesia has the highest intention to watch the World Cup despite not being qualified – 4 in 5 adults in those countries want to follow the competition closely from the group stage.
Romania’s last participation at the world’s biggest stage happened a while back in 1998. Captained by Gheorghe Hagi, the Tricolor men advanced to the Round of 16 (and went blonde) before being knocked out by Croatia in a 1-0 goalscoring margin.
(Photo source: FIFA on Twitter)