NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - When men get together with their mates soccer is the main topic of conversation, not their wives and girlfriends or even work.
Nearly 90 percent of men questioned in a global survey said they talked about their favorite football teams and players when they got together with friends, significant others came in a distant second at 45 percent and work trailed behind with 34 percent.
“It might not be the news women wanted to hear but it appears men really do only think about one thing when they get together with their mates -- and that’s football,” said Tim Ellerton, of Heineken International which sponsored the poll.
Soccer most dominated male conversations in China and Russia, for 94 percent and 93 percent of men, according to the survey that spanned 15 countries and included 5,300 men.
Women slipped to third place as a conversation topic behind second-placed work and top-ranked soccer in Germany and France.
But England was unveiled as the most football-mad country in the world. Men discussed and watched their favorite sport there more than anywhere else. They watched an average of two hours and 22 minutes of football each week and spent even more time discussing the results, goals, tackles and gossip.
Brazil came in a close second with an average of 92 minutes of football watching a week, followed by Thailand, Ireland and Mexico.
South Africa, which is hosting the World Cup next month, was dubbed the most social nations because 20 percent of men watched their favorite sport in group of 10 or more.
The survey by OnePoll included men in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Russia, Thailand, Ireland, China, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa and the Netherlands.
Fifty-seven percent of men questioned in the poll said they were more excited about the European Champions League tournament, which is organized by regional soccer body UEFA than the World Cup.
The tournament’s final match is in Madrid on Saturday, pitting Italian league winners Inter Milan against Germany’s top team, Bayern Munich.
Reporting by Walker Simon; Editing by Patricia Reaney