Love it or loathe it, the growth of Twitter has had a huge impact on the way we watch and discuss football.
Twitter is a great forum for discussing football with your friends and perfect strangers alike. That obscure game at 2 AM that you would watch on your own like a guilty secret? Now you can watch it with many like-minded souls all across the world.
Everyone involved in football is on Twitter these days, from footballers themselves to former pros turned pundits. Journalists, bloggers and plain old fans. We all come together to dissect, laugh, argue and give praise to the beautiful game.
We've chosen some essential people for any football fan to follow. Here're the 10 best Twitter accounts in world football.
Gary Neville is the undisputed king of the TV pundits these days, bringing a level of detail into his analysis that makes other former pros look like charlatans in comparison.
In addition he is also part of Roy Hodgson's England coaching setup. You might think that these dual responsibilities might make him a dull Twitter read, but not a bit of it.
Neville is equally as forthright in his opinions as he is on TV, while also managing to be good-humoured and generally nice to people. Often found chatting to his brother Phillip, the elder Neville brother is your go-to guy if you're looking for a knowledgable former pro on the Twittersphere.
Morning , if that's right about the Lino at Ars v city being dropped tonight it's ridiculous!!
— G.Neville (@GNev2) January 15, 2013
Where to Follow: @GNev2
When it comes to statistics we like them to be both to-the-point and illuminating. The much parodied OptaJoe account does just that.
Opta are a leading light in the world of football statistics and if you follow OptaJoe on Twitter, you can rely on them to provide you with a dozen or so statistical gold nuggets a day.
55 - This is Manchester United's best ever points tally after 22 games of a Premier League season. Benchmark.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 14, 2013
Where To Follow: @OptaJoe
Football is nothing without goals and if you want to see plenty of them from around the globe, then 101 Great Goals is the Twitter account to follow.
101 Great Goals is a website devoted to video highlights of goals and the best football clips. If you want to find a goal, no matter how obscure the match, then this is the site for you and their Twitter feed is a great way to keep apace with their latest posts.
Vote: Top 10 Goals of the Week (ft. Larsson, Hazard, Deulofeu, Inler & Matic) 101greatgoals.com/top-goals/vote…
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) January 15, 2013
Where to Follow: @101GreatGoals
Michael Cox set up his Zonal Marking blog during the 2010 World Cup and has since established himself as a journalist specialising in football tactics across a range of publications.
As well as Tweeting out links to his various articles analysing tactics, Cox Tweets during the many games he watches each week, pointing out the tactical nuances that the layman might miss.
The major issue is Benfica's very very high defensive line and the Porto attackers running beyond. Benfica been lucky with the offside calls
— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) January 13, 2013
Where to Follow: @Zonal_Marking
Twitter is full of parody accounts, in which anonymous Tweeters pretend to be famous people on Twitter for comic effect.
The world of football is no exception and there are countless examples of parody accounts of the games top players, managers and pundits.
The funniest is Not Big Sam, which channels the voice of the West Ham manager Sam Allardyce to tell surreal tales involving characters from football and popular culture. WARNING: Do not follow this account if you're offended by swearing. There's lots of it.
Leighton Baines has got a marvellous face. So much dignity. He's like one of those fascinating chaps from the opening credits of 'Cheers'.
— notBigSam (@TheBig_Sam) November 25, 2012
Where to Follow: @TheBig_Sam
If Twitter has changed the way we watch and talk about football, then Fantasy Football has changed the way we enjoy it.
When you play Fantasy League, pretty much every game has something riding on it. Fantasy Football Scout has been assisting virtual managers for some time now and their Twitter feed is a great way to keep up to date with the news that will keep you top of your league.
If you want to keep up with the latest Premier League team-news, transfer talk and tactical switches that will effect your Fantasy League team, then this is a vital account to follow.
Sandro "looks okay" according to AVB, despite fears that the midfielder may have suffered knee ligament damage vs QPR tinyurl.com/bjy3vzw
— fantasyfootballscout (@FFScout) January 12, 2013
Where to Follow: @FFScout
Football is big business these days. Football clubs are in the strange position of being run like major corporations and having to appease fans, whose investment is likely to be more emotional than financial.
Making sense of it all is Swiss Ramble, a Zurich-based blogger who specialises in the business of football. Let's face it, this is a topic with the potential to be both complicated and dry. So we need someone like Swiss Ramble to chop it up for us into 140-character bite-sized chunks.
17) Of course, CFC only achieved break-even in 11/12 after winning CL and FA Cup, so will still face financial challenges in future.
— Swiss Ramble (@SwissRamble) December 3, 2012
Where to Follow: @SwissRamble
Of all the football journalists out there, you might not consider a Southend United-supporting writer for a Singapore-based newspaper to be an essential follow.
You'd be wrong. Iain Macintosh is an extremely funny journalist who also really knows his stuff. Give him a follow and not only will you never miss one of his very amusing columns again, but you'll also be treated to the surreal observations of a football-obsessive as he watches countless games per week.
Wenger says that he's not angry with his players, he's just frustrated. That's almost as bad as, "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed."
— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) January 13, 2013
Where to Follow: @iainmacintosh
People love using Twitter to share funny pictures around and when it comes to football, Bearded Genius is the king of memes.
A Manchester United supporter going by the name of 'Noz,' Bearded Genius is always fast to turn the latest football news into Photoshopped-hilarity.
The one advantage of these pre-match stomach cramps is that I've suddenly developed a six-pack. Ish.
— Noz (@BeardedGenius) January 13, 2013
Where to Follow: @BeardedGenius
There are many footballers on Twitter who are more famous, successful and talented than the Marseille midfielder Joey Barton, but his is the feed that you can't stop reading, even if you hate him.
It's fair to say that Barton isn't afraid to state his opinion, or use Google to find quotes to make himself seem an intellectual. One moment he's spouting Morrissey or Nietzsche like a learned philosopher, the next the red mist transcends as he gets into another Twitter row.
Barton seems to have an argument with someone at least once a week and only yesterday got into a spat with his former Manchester City teammate Dietmar Hamann. It isn't big and it isn't clever, but like a fire at a carpet factory, you can't quite draw your eyes away from the action.
I've slept on it. I have no right to question a man I hardly know. I must, therefore apologise for my part in last nights heated exchange.
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) January 15, 2013
Where to Follow: @Joey7Barton