British know best

British football fans have been voted the most knowledgeable in Europe by their German counterparts.

British Fans voted most knowledgeable in the Germans

British football fans have been voted the most knowledgeable in Europe by their German counterparts ahead of Wednesday's friendly, according to new research from Castrol. Euro 2008 sponsor, Castrol, asked football fans across Europe who they considered the most knowledgeable, and over half (51 per cent) the Germans polled chose their British counterparts. The result was similar across the rest of Europe with 48 per cent of Europeans also voting British fans top, ahead of the Italians (23 per cent), German (19 per cent) and Spanish (16 per cent).

Castrol Study

The Castrol Fans Study also revealed that more than a quarter of fanatical British fans felt they got more respect from their peers for their 'football knowledge' as opposed to having a good job or being known for their sexual prowess. Castrol is the official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2008¿ statistics and Rob Stroud, Marketing Manager at Castrol said: "Given that we have a big role to play at next year's UEFA EURO 2008¿ Finals, we wanted to better understand the growing importance of football in the everyday lives of millions of fans across Europe and what they think of one another. "Not only does the study show the high regard British fans are held in across Europe, it also highlights the increasing appetite European fans in general have for in-depth analysis and data about the game. The Castrol Fans Study spoke to two groups of football fans which they defined as football fanatics and football followers: Football followers were defined as those who enjoyed watching football, followed the progress of the big teams and the national side and knew about the game, the teams and the players Football fanatics were defined as those who were mad about football and said it was their main passion Other key research findings: British fans are also now more likely to follow a game online as opposed to watching it live from the terraces. Eight out of ten football followers said they use the internet to follow games whilst only 11 per cent of the same group claimed they attend live games. The British 'football fanatics' spend more time (156 minutes) accessing previews and reviews of a game via TV and radio reports, newspaper coverage and websites than they do actually watching a game (90 minutes). With fans' appetites for football statistics on the increase, Castrol plans to use its new position as 'the official sponsor of UEFA EURO 2008¿ statistics' to produce a definitive index of performance allowing fans to compare players and their teams in even greater depth. The data - which will be exclusive to Castrol - will include statistics produced by a new real-time UEFA tracking system that can instantly convey information such as the area covered by a player or team; exactly how substitutions can alter the shape of the team; and the speed of players and the ball.

Whetted appetites

"When we started looking at football sponsorship we were made aware of football fans' appetite for data," continued Rob Stroud, Marketing Manager at Castrol. "Data tells the story of the game - of the speed, efficiency and economy of the players - and analysing it can help to improve performance. It is exactly that approach we use to analyse the performance of motor vehicles. "For next year's UEFA EURO 2008¿ Championship Finals, we will be using this new system to enhance the enjoyment and understanding of the game for football fans across Europe."

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