By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On the night of Saturday, July 12th, the eve of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final match between Germany and Argentina, the iconic Rio de Janeiro statue of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer) was lit in the German national colors of yellow and red. The lighting was the result of a social media campaign sponsored by a partnership between the Rio Archdioceses and the social networking site, Twitter.
To choose the lights for Cristo Redentor, or what national colors the statue would “wear” on the night before the finals, the public was asked to show their support for one of the two teams vying for the 2014 World Cup championship, by tweeting the hashtag #BraçosAbertos (or #ArmsWideOpen), followed by either #ger or #arg.
The votes began on Wednesday, July 9th after Argentina defeated Holland in their semi-match, and Twitter users were then allowed to vote until the 12th. Germany won by 565 votes and the statue was lit at 7PM and remained dressed in yellow and red lights for several hours on Saturday night.
Brazilian support for the German team was also revealed through a recent study of World Cup Fan Migration conducted by the Facebook Core Data Science team.
Through analysis of Facebook activity including; status updates, network generated prompts asking users to choose the flag of one of the two countries playing at time of the prompts and direct questioning of users participating on the trending World Cup Facebook page, the team found that seventy-one percent of the users living in Brazil included in the analysis favored Germany over Argentina after Germany’s devastating 7-1 defeat of Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals.
Within Brazil, Argentina supporters are also voicing support for the historically bitter rival country of Brazil to win the final match. In addition to the 100,000 tourists from Argentina expected to be in Rio de Janeiro during the final match, many Brazilians have expressed support for the neighboring South American country.
Brazilian football (soccer) star Neymar stated during a recent press conference held the day he returned to the Brazilian national team training camp after suffering a back injury that took him out of the Cup; “I’ll cheer for Messi and Mascherano. I have two teammates (from FC Barcelona) there and I’ll cheer for them.”
The 2014 FIFA World Cup final match will take place at the legendary Maracanã Stadium today, Sunday, July 13th, beginning at 4PM local time.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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