Will Football Coach Pep Guardiola Quit FC Barcelona? Yes, Twitter Sentiment Analysis Say

Update: This post is all about social media perceptions before press conference was given by FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola about his future. By 13:38 CET 27 April 2012. Sandro Rosell, President FC Barcelona:

Pep Guardiola quits FC Barcelona.


The post content, written before the announcement was made.

Another sport related post in our blog about crisis and media coverage. This time is the analysis related with the decision to be announced today by head coach of FC Barcelona, Pep Guardiola about his decision to sign a new contract or to step down as coach.

This decision is being followed by anxiety by team supporters, as it is right now completely unclear the final outcome.

Corporate or institutional crisis are not always a matter of tragedies, scandals or problems. When an organization is about to take a relevant decision strongly affecting its future development and direction, the organization enters into a crisis framework. Decision making process, the announcement of the decision, risks of filtrations before of the official announcement, the design of the aftermath and the subsequent decisions fall all of them inside the culture of communication crisis process, protocol and management.

We will provide some insights about how this crisis is perceived in the social media, using as in the previous cases Twitter content analysis.

We want first show some examples of how local media is perceiving this sport related crisis as a major social issue, as it takes the main protagonism in the cover page of all local newspapers (when there is still no news, as decision is not taken!). We outline the cover proposed by Barcelona city daily sport newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, as it captures in a somptuous journalistic way the degree of incertitute concerning the outcome of the ongoing crisis.


Twitter Sentiment Analysis

What do people expect/fear/think about the decision by Pep Guardiola? The scientific way to approach this issue is to run a state-of -the-art survey asking this question to FC Barcelona aficionados and football supporters in general. This is not a for free exercice.

Another way to grasp insights about this issue is to run non scientific surveys, using as platforms news providers asking this question to viewers/readers. People respond by phone, sms or using on-line surveys. On-line newspapers are aware that the results are not scientific and many times are of limited utility, as answers are highly influenced by many variales that create non representative results (bias coming from the specific profile of readers or from those interested in answering the online survey, as there is no a random selection of respondents).

Twitter communication suffer also from some of these problems of lack of truly representativeness. But it is also true that some sources of bias tend to cancel. This is mainly due to the fact that Twitter is a by definition a pure open communication space, and because every comment receives the same space. It is true that not all tweets receive the same consideration, as comments liked by other people in Twitter community will be promoted as reference tweets in the Twitter timeline, increasing thus thier influencing role. But every single tweet is available to all Twitter community and directly reachable by the followers of that account.

Let’s see the results concerning the feeling expressed in Twitter concerning the chances that Pep Guardiola will renew his contract with FC Barcelona.

First results concern the analysis of tweets published from people in Spain.

We find that only 33.7% Twitter users expect that Guardiola will stay as coach in FC Barcelona this next season. 66.3% feel that he will quit. Results cover tweets between 19 and 27 April 2012.

In the following graph we show the daily evolution of Twitter sentiment about Guardiola chances quitting FC Barcelona. Values moved around 60% of people thinking that Pep was about to quit, between 19 and 25 April. By 26 April it was announced that a decision was taken, and that a day after Guardiola with President sandro Rosell would announce it in a press conference. This information was understood with pessimism by people expecting Guardiola staying in FC Barcelona. The share of people thinking that Guardiola would announce he leaves Barcelona sharply increased to 78%. This is also a consequence of the neagtive mood channeled by online newspapers, well reflected in some of the cover pages shown above. During the morning of April 27, before the announcement is made, 72.6% people think that Guardiola will step down.

Feelings in Madrid and in Barcelona

As we have shown in previous posts about the UEFA Champions League Semifinals and about El Clásico Barcelona Vs Real Madrid, we can also conduct detailed Twitter sentiment analysis by regions.

We have analysed how are perceptions about the chances of Guardiola staying in FC Barcelona one more season in cities of Barcelona and Madrid.

According to our results, people in Barcelona are slightly more optimistic than average about the chances of Guardiola signing again, with a ‘he will quit’ share of 62.4% Vs a global average of 66.3%. People in Madrid are slightly more ‘pessimistic’ about Guardiola future in FC Barcelona, as 68.1% predict that he will quit.

Even if differences of behaviour are not very strong, bias in perception tend to suggest again the presence of passion and rivalry. Guardiola has been managing the most sport successful period in all FC Barcelona history, which menas also that arch-rival Real Madrid supporters consider Guardiola as responsible for limited successo their team Passion for people in Barcelona influencing their perception, transforming some of the expected estimantions in hope and wish. Rivalry in Madrid is channeled also by predictions somehow influeced by hope and with that he will not stay as FC Barcelona coach.

If Pep Guardiola leaves, my preferred coach for FC Barcelona is…

We show which are the preferences shown by people in Twitter assuming that Pep Guardiola quits FC Barcelona. Thee are results in all Twitter network written in Spanish.

According to our results, there is a clear main choice for people debating about FC Barcelona sport management. This is Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa, current coach of Athletic de Bilbao. He obtains 55.6% of all mentions.

Second preferred option, far away from Bielsa, is Ernesto Valverde, current trainer of Olikpiakos, and former coach of Athletic de Bilbao and Espanyol. He receives 13.1% mentions. Third option considered is Villas-Boas, former coach of Chelsea FC and Porto (9.7%). Marginal ‘votes’ for other options mentionned by the media, like Luis Enrique (6.9%), Tito Vilanova (2.7%), Joachim Löw (1.9%) or Del Bosque (1.2%).

Reacting to expected stepping down decision by Pep Guardiola

How is people reacting to the expected decision to leave FC Barcelona? Even if Pep Guardiola is a well respected figure in the context of football and sport, the answer probably depends on who you are.

We have measured happiness index (ratio of strong positive vs negative personal reactions sown in a tweet) for the last 24 hours, when it was most apparent that the decision was not to continue in FC Barcelona next season.

We have monitored Twitter reactions in cities of Barcelona and Madrid. The results below show that, as expected, people are more sad about the announcement in Barcelona than in Madrid. The average Happiness Index value for the last 24 hours is -39 in Barcelona and +13 in Madrid. (min:-100, max:+100)

Appendix 1

Video: Pep Guardiola’s greatest (and maddest) moments, Mirror, 27 April 2012

Pep Guardiola, The Greatests Soccer Artist Ever?, CNN, 27 April 2012

Inspirational Guardiola leaves powerful legacy, Reuters, 27 April 2012

Appendix 2. Youtube Videos About Pep Guardiola in FC Barcelona

FC Barcelona – Gràcies Pep. An official tribute by FC Barcelona. Duration: 1:31

Pep Guardiola Press Conference. Pep explains why he is leaving. Translation in English. Duration: 2:55

Pep Guardiola, Full Press Conference announcing he leaves FC Barcelona, in Spanish. Duration: 1h 04.


Appendix 3. Last Game of Pep Guardiola in Camp Nou: FC Barcelona Vs Espanyol 4-0, May 5, 2012

Video: official video by FC Barcelona with tribute at Camp Nou, in his last game. Duration: 12:41

Pep Guardiola’s speech in farewell tribute, in English.

Good evening everyone, it seems that life has made me this gift, for five years I could have you so close to me, enjoy this wonderful show that these guys have been giving all along. I am no different from you, I am as privileged as you. Know the appreciation that I take home with me, this feeling is so dear, so dear, …what I’ve seen today, all the time, every day, you wouldn’t believe the feelings and happiness that I take with me.

Thanks to absolutely everyone, especially those who have been closer, because day by day we’ve been working harder for you to enjoy and have a good time watching the game play, simple as that, and you, that may not be so so close, we’ve felt you so close too.

I’ve the most to lose, I’m the one who will miss you all, I leave you in the absolutely best hands and the players you have seen all along during this period of time.

The belt too tight now I loosened, my dears you don’t have to follow me. Keep your belts tight, because all this is going to last for pretty long. I wish you all the best and the best of lucks. See you soon back, you’ll never lose me, ever.

Translation by Youtube user ‘ciroaisa’

Lyrics of song ‘Que tinguem sort’ in Catalan and in English

Besides Coldplay’s Viva la Vida (a song that become an anthem in first season with six titles won), there is abother song used live in the Camp Nou tribute (2:40-4:40). This is ‘Que tinguem sort’, by catalan folk singer Lluís Llach. It is a song of new life commitments and endeavors and farewell. I show here the lyrics and a translation provided by Albert Cla (source elyrics.net)

Que tinguem sort                                                                       May we have luck


Si em dius adeu                                                                           If you say goodbye

vull que el dia sigui net i clar                                                 I want the day to be clean and clear,

que cap ocell trenqui                                                                may any bird brokes

l’harmonia del seu cant                                                            the harmony of it’s singing

que tinguis sort,                                                                          may you have luck,

i que trobis el que t’ha mancat en mi                                 and find what you have missed in me

Si em dius et vull                                                                        If you say I want you

que el sol faci el dia molt més llarg                                     may the sun make the day much longer

i així robar temps                                                                      and so stealing time

al temps d’un rellotge aturat                                                 at time of a stopped clock

que tinguem sort                                                                        may we have luck,

i que trobem tot el que ens va mancar ahir                    and may we find all we were lack of yesterday

I així pren                                                                                     And so, take

I així pren                                                                                     And so, take

tot el fruit que et pugui donar                                              all the fruit that it could give you

el camí que poc a poc escrius per demà                          the way that you write little by little for tomorrow

que demà, que demà,                                                             as tomorrow, as tomorrow

mancarà el fruit de cada pas                                                we’ll lack of the fruit of each step

per aixó malgrat la boira cal caminar so,                       in spite of the fog, we must walk

Si vens amb mi                                                                          If you come with me

no demanis un camí planer                                                 don’t ask for a plain road

ni estels d’argent                                                                      nor silver stars

ni un demà ple de promeses,                                              nor a tomorrow full of promises

sols un poc de sort                                                                  just a bit of luck

i que la vida ens doni un camí més llarg                        and may life give us a longer road

I així pren                                                                                  And so, take

I així pren                                                                                  And so, take

tot el fruit que et pugui donar                                           all the fruit that it could give you

el camí que poc a poc escrius per demà,                      the way that you write little by little for tomorrow

que demà, que demà,                                                           as tomorrow, as tomorrow

mancarà el fruit de cada pas                                             we will lack the fruit of each step

per aixó malgrat la boira cal caminar                           and so, even the fog, we must walk


Source: Lluis Gene, El País.

Source: Manu Fernández, El País

Source: Josep lago, El País

Source: Lluis Gene, El País

Source: Gustau Macarino, El País.

Source: David Ramos, El País

Source: David Ramos, El País

Video: Pep Guardiola in the pitch with family after his last match in Camp Nou (in Catalan)

Watch the video here