Google broke out its Insights for Search tool (as well as some other internal sources) to paint a picture of search activity related to the 2010 World Cup.
The World Cup's 30 days of soccer began on Friday, and there will no doubt be plenty more related searching in the coming weeks. Google Consumer Operations Strategist Jaime Forman-Lau says:
It’s often said that football is a global sport, and that’s certainly true in search. Searches for [world cup 2010], [copa mundial] and [?? ?] are all spiking, although overall World Cup buzz seems to be off to a slower start in 2010 than in the months leading up to the 2006 tournament, based on global trends for queries like [world cup] and [fifa world cup]. India is the #1 country searching for [fifa world cup schedule], [fifa 2010 schedule] and similar queries. And as the match-up between anglophone rivals England and USA approaches, searches for [england world cup] continue to far surpass interest in [usa world cup].
Most of us will be watching the matches on TV in pubs and living rooms, but a few lucky spectators will get to watch in person in South Africa. Searches for [world cup tickets] peaked in mid-April, and have since declined. But whether home or abroad, we’re all searching for the best way to show support for our team. Searches for [world cup decoration] have risen, and a glimpse at the Dutch shows queries for [oranje versiering] (“orange decoration”; orange is the Netherland’s national color) and [orange] have risen sharply for the last three months, as they have in 2006 and 2008 for the World Cup and European Cup.
Insights for Search shows a great level of interest in Cristiano Ronaldo and some other stars of the sport:
These are the players provided in Google's own Insights for Search presentation. As I am not a soccer guy (I'm more of a fan of the other football), I can't get too specific, but if you want to check out search activity on any other players, you can do so using the tool yourself. I'm sure there will be plenty of them showing up on Google Trends as well (not to mention Twitter).