With the 2012 European football championships now in full swing, the good folk at social media monitoring company Brandwatch created this neat little data visualization Web tool, which reels in what people on Twitter are saying about each of the England players.

The “listening tool” tracks millions of tweets to show what tweeters have been saying about the England squad, updating the chatter in real-time as people take to the microblog to voice their opinions.

You simply hover over a player to see what people are saying about him, as I’ve done here with Andy Carroll. Kudos to the folk at Brandwatch for attempting accurate illustrations of each player, as you an see with Carroll’s ponytail here:

Users can also bring the referee character to life by tweeting a message with the hashtag #betheref, while the commentator icon contains the latest news from the tournament. Brandwatch has also created an equivalent that monitors the Germany national football team.

If nothing else, this is a good example of how, with the right presentation, social data can be aggregated and used to give a good overview of national sentiment around an event. Though the one flaw with such tools is that those who use Twitter are still only a fraction of the overall football-loving public, and thus may not be entirely representative.

Euro 2012 Data Visualization