American psychologist Abraham Maslow has his theory on a human’s hierarchy of needs, but when it comes to soccer fans in the United States, our needs are quite different. In fact, according to a new scientific study of soccer fans, we rate winning a World Cup more important than marriage.

In the study commissioned by NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, it describes the growing passion for soccer in the United States. With the multicultural habits of the country, the report broke down both Hispanic and non-Hispanic viewing habits and overall enjoyment for the sport.

The importance of winning the World Cup

Yet, one of the most outstanding things revealed in the report comes down to how Hispanic audiences value a potential World Cup win. Remember, no team in North America has won a World Cup. Only eight countries from Europe and South America claim that honor.

Perhaps that only adds to the excitement of the elusive honor.

Telemundo’s report asked ‘enthusiasts’ what major moments they would put in their top-three most important moments in their lives. This metric does not measure what IS the most important in their lives, just what cracks the top three.

In the end, 38% of respondents said ‘your country winning the World Cup’ would be in their top-three most important moments of their lives. Remarkably, this ranked higher than getting a dream job, buying a car or even getting married. The only thing topping your country winning the World Cup is the birth of a child.

Most important life events among Hispanic enthusiasts:

Life Event Hispanic soccer enthusiasts
Birth of your child 43%
Your country winning the World Cup 38%
Getting your dream job 36%
Getting married 34%
Buying a car 24%


The fact that winning the World Cup is more important than marriage is just one of the many insightful findings in the report. In another example of an interesting fact,
Telemundo, which broadcasts Spanish-language games at the upcoming 2022 World Cup, revealed scans that show watching games in Spanish gets viewers more excited than it does for the same game in English-language.

The Future is Fútbol‘s goal is to define and characterize the fundamental shift in the importance of soccer in mainstream American sports and the role Latinos are playing in this economic, cultural and media phenomenon. The Future Is Fútbol report draws on primary and secondary research and data collection, including quantitative surveys and an innovative neuroscience study among bilingual Hispanics.

The quantitative phase consisted of a national survey fielded among World Cup viewers ages 16 and older using a hybrid online and intercept in-person sampling framework to ensure representation of the hard-to-reach population. The sample consisted of 1,351 completed interviews among 967 Latinos and 384 non-Latinos, representative of soccer followers in the U.S. Estimates of soccer fandom and World Cup viewing were derived from a national pre-survey screener. Fieldwork was conducted in February 2022.

In the neuroscience study conducted by the firm Neuro-Insight, fluent Latino bilinguals were the target because they could watch the game in Spanish or English. This study measured the activity in different brain regions responsible for guiding viewing behavior. Metrics included the desire to watch certain content longer and the feeling of strong emotions during the experience.

Additional reporting by Christopher Harris