How excited are global Millennials about the 2014 FIFA World Cup? Do they think their countries stand a chance of winning? And since the World Cup is all about mass displays of national pride … what people, places, and things do young people believe to be the most popular symbols associated with their countries/regions?
To answer these questions, MTV commissioned a survey of young people across eight of its key regions, including Australia, UK, France, Latin America (Argentina, Colombia and Mexico), Germany, Italy, Southeast Asia (Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore) and Spain. Here are key findings:

(a) Football Fervor

6 in 10 global Millennials believe the World Cup will be more exciting than the Olympics. On average, 61% think the World Cup will be more exciting than the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Those in Spain (75%) and Germany (73%) are most likely to agree with this statement. UK Millennials are least likely to share their enthusiasm—possibly because the most recent Summer Olympics were on their home turf.

Young people in Germany and Spain are most optimistic about their country’s chances of winning. Among Millennials, 76% of Germans and 69% of Spaniards think their nation will take home the 2014 trophy. (Oddschecker, an online betting site that’s part of the UK’s BSkyB, predicts rankings of fourth and third, respectively, for these countries.*) About 6 in 10 young people in Italy and Latin America (Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico) anticipate a win—and again according to Oddschecker, Argentina is second most likely to win. The UK and France are less confident in their teams, with half expecting their country will lose.

Brazil is the nation the most Millennials hope will win if their home countries don’t. Brazil is by far the most favored country if their own countries should lose (29% would root for Brazil, 10% Spain, 8% Italy). Brazil is also the country expected to win, according to Oddschecker.

(b) National Pride Symbols**

Food and alcoholic beverages are the most popular symbols of national pride among Millennials.

•    UK: Fish and chips (#1)
•    France: Croissants (#2), Champagne (#3)
•    Germany: Beer (#1), Bratwurst (#3)
•    Italy: Pizza (#1), Wine (#5)
•    Spain: Paella (#1), Wine (#5)
•    Latin America: Corn (#3)
•    Australia: Barbecues (#2), Beer (#3)
•    Southeast Asia: Dim Sum (#3)

Current personalities and historical figures also have important symbolic value. 

•    UK: The Queen (#2), David Beckham (#4)
•    France: Napoleon (#4)
•    Germany: Beethoven (#5)
•    Italy: Leonardo da Vinci (#3)
•    Spain: Cervantes (#2), Rafa Nada (#4)
•    Latin America: Simon de Bolivar (#1), Shakira (#4), Lionel Messi (#5)
•    Australia: Ned Kelly (#4)
•    Southeast Asia: Jackie Chan (#2)

Landmarks ranked highly as national pride symbols in a few countries.

•    UK: Big Ben (#3)
•    France: Eiffel Tower (#1)
•    Italy: Colosseum (#2)
•    Spain: La Alhambra de Granada (#3)
•    Australia: Sydney Opera House (#1)

In a few areas, Millennials identified brands as symbols of their national pride.

•    Southeast Asia: Milo (#1), Uniqlo (#4)
•    Australia: Billabong (#5)
•    Germany: BMW (#4)
•    Italy: Ferrari (#4)

*Oddschecker, Wednesday June 11th 2014

** 10 options of national symbols offered for each country (e.g. food & alcohol, historical figures, landmarks, brands, sports stars, music artists, actors and animated characters)