From Cristiano Ronaldo to Ronaldinho or even Joey Barton, Twitter is full of profiles – real and fake – of football players with an interesting story.
But with all the abundance of information travelling through the world-wide-web it is very hard to keep track of everything. In this short post, we make a quick overview of the top list of the most followed and most interesting (even a bit bizarre) accounts out there.
Although Kaka (@KAKA) was the first ever athlete to gain more than 10 million followers on Twitter, it is his team mate Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) who has the most followers at the moment – over 18 million. Kaka, even though he is far away from his best days at AC Milan, became a social media celebrity by actively engaging with fans – especially in the beginning, he was good at replying to their messages –, while Ronaldo’s account looks like a well planned marketing tool from the start. Writing only in English (Kaka also uses his mother tongue), he is easier to follow for most fans around the world and doesn’t let the world too much into his private life. He – like most top players – probably does not write his own tweets. Both mentioned players also have a lot of “fake” followers – according to Mashable around 40%! It should be noted that most people on Twitter have a significant share of “fake” followers: profiles made online with whatever reason that does not exist in the real world.
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Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) is surely a gifted football player, but far away from being one of the best out there. But if there is one thing he is better than a vast majority of professionals around the world, it is controversy. He has got a lot of points to prove not only on the field but also on Twitter. Sadly for him, he often posts tweets and says things he later regrets. Later on, he may try to compensate with apologies or even with promoted tweets – like he did after receiving a red card while still playing in England; he also just recently described the late British PM Margaret Thatcher an “old witch” and polarized the public once again. With over two million followers, it is clearly visible that there are also people who value his virtue, sharing genuine thoughts of a well-known athlete with the world.
One of the best parodies
While it is not even somebody from his PR team writing tweets for him, Mario Balotelli has a strong presence on Twitter anyway. The platform is full of his parodies, made as a tribute to the talented, but troublesome player. @MarioBaloltelli is one of the best parody accounts on Twitter. It has more than half a million followers as the person running the account keeps posting funny posts, with “Balotelli-like” comments, such as the rumour that Gonzalo Higuain was born offside, or his famous good night wish from a few weeks ago: “Night night, sleep tight, don’t let the Suarez bite.”
It has been years, since he has played in Europe and done magic with the ball, but people have not forgotten him. Although Ronaldinho (@10Ronaldinho) is now playing in Brazil, where he continues to produce goals only he is capable of, and only tweets in Portuguese, he has one of the most accessed accounts on the world with almost 6 million followers. Even if you don’t understand a bit what he writes, the “behind-the-scenes” photos give excellent added value. At the age of 33 it is obvious that he is still not only a very charismatic, recognized and loved footballer, but he can still score wonderful goals.
What about clubs?
Except for fans, clubs are not as fun to follower as individual players, as they (obviously) do not really have the most important thing to be attractive on Twitter – a personality. Most clubs are very careful and use Twitter strictly as a PR tool, but are not equally successful even at that. While Spanish outfits FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) and Real Madrid (@realmadrid) predictably lead the chart, there are also two very successful Turkish clubs on Twitter – Galatasaray (@GalatasaraySK) and Fenerbahce (@Fenerbahce) are 3rd and 5th on the chart. Right among them is Arsenal FC (@ArsenalFC) who has a very important and innovative role when it comes to the web – and not only on social media. Unlike some other clubs, they know what the fans want and they deliver it to them.
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