Qualifiers are over, and 32 teams are preparing to challenge for the most coveted prize in soccer. But when it comes to the ultimate Dream Team, which players and teams make the cut?
We analysed Google search volumes of almost 3,000 players to find out who would make the cut for Australia's ultimate fantasy soccer team. We’ve also identified Australia's favourite player from every international team.
Australia’s Ultimate Fantasy Soccer Team
Top of the crop for Aussie fans is Portugal team captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, with an average of 165,000 searches per month. One of the all-time greatest players, he scored his 700th club goal in early October. A sign of things to come?
He's followed by Brazilian forward Neymar, a prolific goalscorer and renowned playmaker who has an average of 33,100 searches per month.
Next up is Manchester United midfielder Fred, with an average of 18,100 searches per month. He's followed closely by Man United teammate Harry Maguire and Porto centre-back Pepe, who both have 18,100 average monthly searches each.
Wolverhampton winger Adama Traore, Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and Manchester City midfielder Jack Grealish also make the team, each with 14,800 average monthly searches.
Joining them on the pitch are Spanish centre-back Sergio Ramos (9,900 average monthly searches), Liverpool right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold (8,100 average monthly searches) and Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (3,600 average monthly searches).
Here are some of the players making up the rest of the squad:
- Darwin Núñez - 18,100 average monthly searches
- Gareth Bale – 14,800 average monthly searches
- Harry Kane – 14,800 average monthly searches
- Louis Díaz - 14,800 average monthly searches
- Sadio Mané - 14,800 average monthly searches
- Mason Mount – 12,100 average monthly searches
- Paul Pogba – 12,100 average monthly searches
- Phil Foden – 12,100 average monthly searches
- Robert Lewandowski – 12,100 average monthly searches
- Bruno Fernandes – 9,900 average monthly searches
- Lisandro Martínez - 8,100 average monthly searches
- Gerard Piqué - 8,100 average monthly searches
- Virgil Van Dijk – 6,600 average monthly searches
- Edouard Mendy – 3,600 average monthly searches
- Kasper Schmeichel – 3,600 average monthly searches
Who are Australia’s favourite players?
As well as finding out the ultimate fantasy team, we also looked into Australia’s favourite players from every qualifying nation, based on average monthly Google searches.
Here’s what we found...
Take Home Message
No matter how Australia perform in the finals, we’re behind them all the way. Whether you plan on following the tournament intensely with mates and some gameday high-protein snacks or just want to watch some of the world’s best footballers, there’s plenty to be excited about.
We examined the Australian Google search volumes of over 3,000 soccer players, before arranging them into teams based on their position.
Star players were determined by the highest searched player in each qualifying international team, based on Australia's average monthly searches.