10 Most Followed Twitter Accounts of World Football Stars
The power of social media is vast these days. If you don't have it, you're not up to date.
For those savvy with multimedia outlets, the focus continues to switch. First it was Myspace, a more personal, friend-based network. Then to Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook, which connected people worldwide.
And now, Twitter joins the likes of Instagram and Tumblr as the next generation of social media must-haves.
The growing number of footballers on the website is staggering, and increasing by the day.
Today, we rank just how popular some of World Football's stars really are.
10. Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United)
As if playing for Manchester United isn't enough, the 34-year-old former England international also owns a thriving business, selling a range of snap-back hats with the number '5' printed on the front.
And where better to advertise his new brand to his 4.5 million followers than on Twitter?
Ferdinand has caused controversy with some outspoken tweets, mostly relating to the infamous "choc ice" incident with Ashley Cole and John Terry.
But the majority of the time, he is open to speaking to fans, answering any questions and providing some humour.
If you want humour, news and some wacky hats to look at, following Ferdinand is a safe bet on Twitter.
9. Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
The Spanish media continue to list replacements for Carles Puyol. As their most suitable candidate they link Chelsea's David Luiz, calling him the man who can fill in for the veteran defender, per The Mirror.
But Puyol continues to show that he is going nowhere, and it seems that the Twitter faithful are happy with that.
Providing many pictures of himself and his Barcelona buddies, Puyol is a continued presence on the social media website.
The 35-year-old may have struggled with injuries in recent years, but after 387 La Liga appearances, he is still going strong and with a contract until 2016, it seems he won't be leaving the Camp Nou for quite a while yet.
8. Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)
He may soon be heading off to Manchester United, as David Moyes confirmed that a second bid, said to be around £30 million, has been made for the ex-Arsenal captain, per The Telegraph.
But the 26-year-old—who tweets in English, Spanish and, most interestingly, Catalan—is an extremely popular figure on all social media platforms.
And Fabregas, who has no less than 5.38 million followers on Twitter, is unlikely to see that amount slip with a move back to the Premier League.
One of five Barcelona players in the top 10 of players followed on Twitter, Fabregas gives an interesting insight into his family life, posting pictures of his sister and his teammates, with thoughts on games and his colleagues too.
An interesting follow, but more so especially if he does move to Old Trafford.
7. Gerard Pique (Barcelona)
After an agonising summer with Spain and now at Barcelona, Gerard Pique can find solace in the fact that he has millions of people dying to hear how his day went.
Don't feel too bad for him though. He does have Colombian pop singer Shakira waiting to comfort him at home...
In all seriousness, Pique endured the disappointment of being sent off in the Confederations Cup final with Spain, who eventually lost 3-0 to hosts Brazil.
And just recently, his coach at Barcelona, Tito Vilanova, resigned due to serious concerns over his health. In fact, Pique's most recent tweet was dedicated to the Spanish coach, wishing him a full recovery.
He may not be in the best place right now, but Pique will know he has the support of a whopping 6.37 million people on Twitter, and that is at least a consolation.
6. Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)
Is there a more popular player in the world right now than Andres Iniesta?
Well, in terms of Twitter followers, yes there is, as the 29-year-old comes in at number six.
Naturally, with 800,000 more followers than his teammate Gerard Pique, he has something to brag about in the dressing room.
But in terms of ability, there are only a select few who can say they are on par with the Barcelona midfield maestro. Whether it's dancing around defenders with an enviable elegance or simply slicing the opposition in half with one pass, Iniesta is one of the best playmakers around.
And he's rather interesting on Twitter, too, although his tweets are mostly in Spanish. The pictures he posts usually are post-match images after a victory, giving the fans a unique insight into the Barcelona dressing room.
5. Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)
The top English entry on the list at number five, Wayne Rooney's Twitter account is so powerful that changes to his profile can conjure up several stories about his future.
A slight change to the bio on his account prompted the tabloids to speculate Rooney wanted to leave Manchester United, per The Guardian, because he allegedly removed the text: "Manchester United Football Player".
Rooney now takes a slightly more laid-back approach to his account, focusing more on posting pictures and sponsorship updates.
And while it sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry, the 6.75 million people who follow him on Twitter must find him a little bit entertaining, right?
4. Ronaldinho (Atletico Mineiro)
Despite the fact that his glory days with AC Milan and Barcelona are way in the past, the magician Ronaldinho has forced his way up the popularity ranks.
After terrorising defenders in Europe for eight years, a move to Flamengo in 2011 before a switch to current club Atletico Mineiro has seen the 32-year-old force his way back into the limelight.
So much that in recent months, he has moved above Wayne Rooney and Andre Iniesta and settled in the fourth spot with 6.76 million admirers on Twitter.
Okay, so it may not be an inspired follow for our English readers, given that the bucktoothed genius tweets only in Portuguese. But with the help of a translator, you can stay in touch with the Brazilian international and feel like he's your friend.
Wait, is that just me?
3. Neymar (Barcelona)
A man tipped to be Barcelona's next superstar after his big-money switch is extremely popular for many reasons.
Of course, his form on the pitch has secured him a move to arguably the world's biggest club, and he is now a national hero in Brazil after a sensational performance in the Confederations Cup.
But Neymar, who was voted the most marketable sportsman in the world, per Eurosport-Yahoo, is an advertisers dream. The 21-year-old is worshiped in his homeland, and posted an emotional tribute to the Santos fans when he announced his departure to Barcelona via his Twitter account.
With over 7.5 million followers, he's not quite reached the dizzy heights of social media kingship. But he's well on his way to the top.
2. Kaka (Real Madrid)
His career may have taken a downward turn since moving to Real Madrid four years ago, but Kaka remains one of the most influential footballers on the planet.
With a remarkable total of 16.1 million followers on Twitter, the Brazilian can rest easy at night knowing that, even if the hierarchy at the club want him out, the Madridstas obviously don't.
An interesting follow, you can see just how devoted the 30-year-old is to God, and special points must go to the Brazilian for tweeting in Spanish, Portguese and English.
His situation may soon improve at the club after Carlo Ancelotti, who brought Kaka to AC Milan, where he became a worldwide star, arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu and hinted he could stay, according to Marca.
Kaka featured in the 6-0 drubbing of Bournemouth on Sunday, and after posting a picture on his account of the game, showed that perhaps he is here to stay.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Here we are folks, we've finally arrived. Number one, numero uno, the don, the king, the Ballon d...oh wait, that's Lionel Messi.
But this is something that even the Argentinian cannot match.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with a mind-boggling total of 19.9 million followers. And most likely, by the time you read this article, he will have shot through the 20 million barrier.
One of the best players to ever play the game, Ronaldo is a sensational footballer. Power, finesse, aerial ability and, most notably, goals.
In fact, despite only joining four years ago in a world-record £80 million deal, Ronaldo is already sixth on the all-time goalscorers list at Real Madrid, with an unbreakable record of 201 goals in just 199 appearances.
Over the last four seasons, he has been slightly unlucky to finish runner-up to Messi in the race for the Ballon d'Or.
But for once, Cristiano, you are number one. On Twitter.
Just forget about that Justin Bieber guy, okay?