Almanac Soccer: Cambridge University Press kicks off global study on the World Cup

We’re still very much in the grips of that monolith of global sport, the World Cup, even though the Australian side has been bundled out in the group stage of the finals.


If you’ve watched a dozen games or perhaps only the three that we took part in, consider giving this a go. More information below.





Press release:

As the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ captivates upwards of 5 million viewers globally, the world’s oldest publishing house is collecting data on football fans’ language across the 32 participating countries.

  • To celebrate this year’s World Cup, the Press’ language research team will be conducting a global study that will analyse the language used when discussing each team
  • Football fans around the world are encouraged to enter the three words they think best describes a team of their choice, on the Cambridge Word Cup website, forming a ‘People’s Corpus’
  • For every member of the public that participates, the Press will be donating £1 to UK charity, United Through Sport



People are being asked to enter the three words they think best describe each national team on the Press’ website. The Language Research team will then analyse them as part of a study into the language used when writing about the tournament.

The public’s contribution will form a ‘People’s Corpus’, a collection of words which researchers can then compare to the language used in the media to reference different teams – the ‘Football Corpus’.

The results of the research, including the top three words for each team, will be revealed ahead of the final match on Sunday 15th July.



To get involved, simply visit, click on any country and enter the three words you feel best describe this team. Once submitted, you’ll be taken to a page that is updated in real time where you can view the reaction so far





Three little words that could have a big impact (probably bigger than our Aussies had this time around, it must be said)


Almanackers, we’d be keen to know your own three word summation of your team at the World Cup in the comments & of course, please do your part for the project at their site too, while helping charity.


It’s not the first time Cambridge have run such a campaign, check out the results of last time in graphic form:


Cambridge’s 2014 version results. Published online by Cambridge University Press.



  1. george smith says

    What a wonderful day for England’s foes!

    Joan of Arc, Charles Stewart Parnell, Michael Collins, Mahatma Gandhi, Jomo Kenyatta, George Washington all can hold their heads high today. Even staunch republicans bill Hayden and Malcolm turnbull, well maybe not them…

    They frustrated our knavish tricks, but it was one knavish trick too many, from Croatia of all places!

    As for the parcel of rogues in a nation: Farange, Boris Johnson, Rees-Mogg and all the jingoistic English gutter press – suffer in your jocks! No one deserves this day more than you!

    Commiserations to Martin Tyler, the Bruce McAvaney of England, he sounds like a decent bloke.

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