There are approximately 2.8 billion social media users worldwide and there is no sign of that decreasing. It has become such a big part of the modern world and people can make a living off it. Therefore inevitably this means some of the worlds biggest footballing stars are going to use sites such as Instagram and Twitter for example. Ballon D’or Winner Cristiano Ronaldo has 69.2 million twitter followers; the most of any player in world football.
With players always tweeting and sharing photos with their followers it allows for interaction between the players and fans. From this interaction it means that some great things can happen. On the flip side however players and supporters can get themselves into trouble with what they have said.
Most recently was newly appointed England Women’s manager Phil Neville; after his appointment some controversial tweets he posted in 2012 emerged. One of them said, “When I said morning men I thought women would have been busy preparing breakfast/getting kids ready/making the beds – sorry morning women!” Since then Neville has deleted his twitter account and apologised for the tweets.
This is not the first time players have got into trouble for what they have posted. In the 2012 olympic games Swiss footballer Michael Morganella was expelled by the Swiss olympic committee for posting racist tweets about Koreans following Switzerlands 2-1 defeat against Korea in the Olympics. Fans have also got in trouble before for things they have posted online; recently a Derby County fan was banned for life for comments he made regarding Sheffield United striker Billy Sharp’s son who passed away.
People will always find old tweets of footballers, so players have always got to be careful what they post online because it can always come back to bite them. But the majority of players post good content that allows interaction between themselves and the fans.
However some players disagree with social media and think it is harming the beautiful game with World Cup winner Daniel De Rossi saying he would like to ‘take a baseball bat to the teeth’ of players who use Instagram and Rio Ferdinand has previously criticised Manchester United duo Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard’s use of social media. There are still obviously players who don’t use social media, an example is James Milner who is known for being ‘boring”, however there is a parody twitter account called Boring James Milner with over 550,000 followers.
In conclusion social media is always growing and such a big part of some people’s lives and many jobs are created from it with clubs employing people to run social media accounts for the club. Many football players use social media daily and have a big following and want to stay in touch with their fans. It can be a nightmare for players though due the fact that if they post something offensive or controversial it will harm there reputation, such as Watford striker Andre Gray who had some tweets emerge that were homophobic. If social media is used appropriately it can be great but if it used irresponsibly it can be a players worst nightmare.