Becoming European Through Football Media? Representations of Europe in German Football News Coverage

Jonas Biel, Tobias Finger, Vincent Reinke, Jennifer Amann, Arne Niemann, Marc Jungblut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent decades, the administrative and competitive structures of men’s elite club football in Europe have undergone a profound transformation toward Europeanization. As a result, football fans are increasingly exposed to European influences. These dynamics shape fans’ perceptions of and orientations toward Europe and contribute to constructions of collective identities. Because football is a highly mediatized sport, fans’ exposure to European influences and their constructions of identity are highly dependent on the representation of Europe in football media. To analyze this, we conducted a quantitative analysis of text-based online news media. Using selected German media outlets, we examined the extent and the patterned variation of media representation of Europe in football news articles. Our results indicate a highly selective media environment focused on a limited set of countries with high sporting relevance and a presence of German national-team players, while other countries rarely enter the media discourse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-214
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Communication
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding was provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (grant no. 01UG2119). The authors thank Bertus De Jong for proofreading. Supplementary Material available at or

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Human Kinetics, Inc.


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