Understanding fandom in the multilingual Internet: A study of "El clásico" fans' commenting behavior on Youtube Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2017

start page

  • 17

end page

  • 33


  • 1


  • 10

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1936-3915

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1936-3907


  • El Clásico, the soccer competition between Real Madrid and Barcelona FC, is one of the most fervent events in Spanish popular culture. Over the years, the related fandom has acquired an increasingly global reach, in part due to the availability of Web 2.0 technologies that allow for the sharing of content and the creation of multilingual spaces for discussion. The structural and communicative affordances of Web 2.0 technologies allow scholars to investigate multilingual fandom irrespective of geopolitical boundaries; yet scholarly research on such soccer fandom behavior is limited. By analyzing 2,343 Spanish and English fan-posted comments on YouTube related to El Clásico, this study compares the similarities and differences between 2 distinct fan communities surrounding the same context. The findings indicate that, aside from some similarities, both communities differed in their degree of identification with teams and the presence of political references. Implications of the findings and limitations of the study are discussed.


  • social media; soccer; web 2.0