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The most asked football questions in the UK, according to search data

Offside (Roibu)

The Most Asked Football Questions Across UK and Europe, Revealed

  • Brits were the most clueless about the length of half-time, with 7,700 searches a month for ‘How long is half-time in football?’
  • ‘Who invented football’, ‘How long is extra time?’ and ‘What is offside?’ were among other common questions across Europe.
  • The highest-searched question in Germany was ‘Who is the best footballer in the world?’ with 6,700 monthly searches.
  • Russia and Spain knew the least about offside, with over 4,500 monthly searches.
  • ‘Who is the best footballer in the world?’ and ‘What is offside?’ were the most common questions asked across Europe, with both receiving the highest search volumes in nine countries. 

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With an estimated 1.5 billion football fans worldwide watching Argentina beat France in the 2022 World Cup Final, it’s clear that football is among the most popular sports globally.

That being said, not all of us are fans or know how to play the beautiful game. The experts at SeatPick decided to test this by using Google Search volumes to see what the most searched football-related questions are in the UK and Europe (translated into each country’s respective language), and what the most searched question is overall.

The 10 Most Searched Football Questions in the UK:

Rank Question Average Monthly Search Volume
1 How long is half-time in football? 7,700
2 Who is the best football player in the world? 7,300
3 Who invented football? 5,400
4 How long is a football pitch? 3,800
5 How long is extra time in football? 2,600
6 What is offside? 1,700
7 How many players are in a football team? 1,000
8 How often can you make substitutions in football? 700
9 What is a hat trick in football? 350
10 What year was football founded? 250

As the table above shows, the most searched question in the UK was ‘How long is half-time in football?’ with an estimated 7,700 search volumes per month. With the small break being the moment most use to go to the bathroom or grab a drink, it’s no surprise that many want to know how long they have to do so. The answer, of course, is 15 minutes.

Second in the rankings is ‘Who is the best football player in the world?’ with 7,300 searches a month. There is a divide on this one – many fans will say it’s Argentine hero Lionel Messi whilst others will say it’s Cristiano Ronaldo, and others may have an entirely different answer! There’s no wonder it’s the second-most popular football question in the UK.

In third place with 5,400 Google searches is ‘Who invented football?’. The sport as we know it today was founded by the Football Association in 1863, but the earliest form of football was called ‘cuju’, originating in China around 206 BC. Ancient Greece also had a similar game called ‘episkyros’, but players were allowed to use their hands, a rule not used in cuju or modern football.

At #5, with 2,600 searches a month is ‘How long is extra time?’. It’s unsurprising that this is a common question. According to Ahrefs’ keyword tool, this question received over 33,000 searches in early July 2021, which would have been from fans watching the Euro 2020 Championships. Those fans would have found out that knock-out matches which end in a draw after 90 minutes face an additional 30 minutes of football to settle the difference.

Interestingly, ‘What is offside?’, which is perhaps the most commonly unknown football term, is lower down the list at #6 with 1,700 searches a month. The offside rule is infamous for being a difficult term to explain, and even referees themselves have difficulty calling offsides, as viewing angles can affect what is deemed fair play and what isn’t.

Simply put, the offside rule states that an attacking player, when in the opposition’s half, must have at least two opposition players, including the goalkeeper, between him and the opposition goal when a pass is being played to him.

Trailing at the bottom of the top ten is ‘What year was football founded?’ with an estimated 250 searches per month. A popular question for a pub quiz round, it’s unclear whether they meant modern football or the Chinese origins.

The top 10 countries with the highest searches…

Country Most Searched Question Average Monthly Search Volumes
UK How long is half-time in football? 7,700
Germany Who is the best football player in the world? 6,700
Netherlands How long is a football pitch? 2,900
Russia What is offside? 2,200
Italy Who invented football? 1,600
Spain What is offside? 1,400
Sweden How long is a football pitch? 1,400
Ukraine Who invented football? 900
Denmark How long is a football pitch? 900
France Who is the best football player in the world? 800
  • It’s surprising that the UK, the ‘home’ of football, would appear first in this list, with 7,700 average monthly search volumes for ‘How long is half-time in football?’
  • ‘How long is a football pitch?’ is the most common question in these top 10 results, occurring in three countries, with a combined average monthly search volume of 5,200 searches.

Photo copyright: (Roibu) / Shutterstock.com

Methodology:

  1. The experts at SeatPick wanted to investigate what were the most common football questions/terms across Europe.
  2. Using Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, they searched the keyword ‘football’ in each country’s respective language, to find questions featuring this keyword.
  3. From this, they collected the ten most frequent questions across each country. Initially, questions related to the time of a football match were the most-searched questions in every country tested, so these were excluded to ensure not all results were the same.
  4. The estimated average search volumes were recorded for each question.
  5. Each country’s question that received the highest average monthly searches was collected and ranked to see which country had the most searches for each question.
  6. Data is correct as of 19th January 2023 and is subject to change.