Respected British football manager Bill Shankly once famously said, "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death...it is much, much more important than that." While growing up in Taiwan during my childhood, I learned firsthand what Shankly meant.
Football, also known as soccer in some countries, is not exactly a national sport in Taiwan. Come to think of it, I can't remember the last time the national team even came close to qualifying for the World Cup. But when the tournament came around, everything—and I mean... everything—stopped. The World Cup was the one event that brought everyone—my family, friends, country and the world—together. For a few moments at least, the world seemed smaller and more connected.
In a few short weeks, people from all 32 competing countries and the rest of world will come together for the 2010 World Cup unfolding in South Africa, both on the field and through Facebook. To make it easier for you to be part of the action with your friends and the world, we're launching Facebook's Goal! Leaderboard today on the Sports on Facebook Page.
We chose one of our preferred developers, Involver, to build this application, and they've created an engaging, globally accessible application that is designed to ignite and stoke global football passions in preparation for the June 11 kick off. It is available initially in English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese.
This leaderboard complements the hundreds of authentic team, player, brand and media voices that are sharing World Cup dreams and drama on millions of people's Facebook home pages. People's football passion will be shared, liked, commented upon and amplified billions and billions of times over. In fact, one could say that the 2010 World Cup tournament marks the first time in history that the event will be truly experienced and celebrated through the eyes of friends.
Through the Goal! Leaderboard, fans all over the world can:
- Like their favorite teams
- Publish a News Feed story broadcasting their support
- Recommend their team to their friends
- Invite their friends who aren't on Facebook to support their team
To help you and your friends get in the competitive spirit, Facebook will be tracking and ranking teams based on a "Passion Index"—a measure of a team's total number of "Likes" divided by the internet population of the country it represents.
The leaderboard will be available via the Goal! tab on the Sports on Facebook Page. Connect with your favorite team, show your support and share your passion with your friends. And while you're at it, help us bring your friends and the whole world together.
Alex Wu, who runs the Sports on Facebook Page, is excited about experiencing the World Cup live in South Africa with one of his best friends—his little sister.