And then it was all done...
And football didn't come home. It returned to France, just 20 years after their famous first victory, Didier Deschamps side took home the accolades on and off the field.
It will be the World Cup remembered as the changing of the guard, the coming of age of the planet's top young talent. Kylian Mbappe - the youngest World Cup final goalscorer since Pele in 1958 - would announce himself to the world.
It was a tournament full of surprises, England even won a penalty shootout.
Fans continued to engage with the tournament until its very end, dominating Instagram, Twitter and just about any other platform that enabled them to get their World Cup fix. Fortunately for us, Hookit, SportsPro’s official data partner, has been keeping tabs on the athletes, teams and brands that drove the most interest and engagement on social media during the fourth week of the tournament.
About this data
Hookit followed activity across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube during the third week of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. The individual accounts of players were tracked, as were the official accounts of all 32 competing nations and those of Fifa’s 12 official World Cup partners. Interaction data comprises the total number of likes, comments and shares.
France take home the trophy - and not just in Russia...
France won the World Cup on the field and on social media. With nearly double the engagement of the next national team (Spain) and triple that of England, France took advantage of their success on the field with engaging content for their fans online as well. Spain's second place listing came despite a chaotic tournament that saw their manager sacked before the action had even started, before a disappointing second-round exit.
Ronaldo and Neymar in a league of their own
French stars dominated the engagement rankings over the final weekend of the tournament, counting on three of the top five most engaging athletes (Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann). However, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar were the dominant athletes through the whole tournament, both driving more than twice the engagement of Pogba, who came in at number three on Hookit's most engaging list. In what might be his swansong on the global stage, Lionel Messi was surprisingly low on the rankings, partially explained by his team's early exit in the round of 16.
Ronaldo influence the difference as Nike demolish rivals with quality over quantity
Though their teams are sponsored by Nike, many Adidas athletes posted about and drove value for their shoe sponsor, including top finals weekend competitors from each of the four teams. Over the course of the tournament, Adidas received twice as many promotional posts from their athletes, but thanks to the influence of Ronaldo, Nike athletes still drove more total engagement for the Swoosh.
Coca-Cola come out on top, more than doubling nearest competitors' viewing figures
Over the course of the tournament, rivals Nike and Adidas came out nearly even on total engagement, with the edge going to Nike. However, both were overshadowed by beverage sponsor Coca-Cola, garnering over double the engagement that the sportswear giants generated.