Footballers can’t resist Twitter and fans can’t resist their tweets. With the Euro 2012 Championships kicking off within hours in Poland and Ukraine, social media agency InSocial has created a Twitter Dream Team based on players with the highest number of followers.
The team comprises a huge Spanish contingent, a quintet featuring defenders Pique, Sergio Ramos and Abeloa, and a holding midfield of the Barcelona duo Fabregas and Iniesta.
There are two further representatives from the Iberian peninsula in Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani. Wayne Rooney – the only player from England to make the Twitter Dream Team now that Rio Ferdinand has once again been overlooked by the FA – joins them in an attacking trio behind Holland’s Robin Van Persie.
Two other nationalities are represented in the team: Wojciech Szczesny, Poland’s main man between the sticks, and Italy’s defender Chiellini, playing in the team at right back instead of his usual berth on the left.
If the captain’s armband was awarded to the player with the most followers, Cristiano Ronaldo would win by a country-mile with more than ten million followers. Wayne Rooney has the second highest amount at under five million.
If, like the FA, InSocial was tasked with picking a 23-man squad based on players with the highest number of followers, the Twitter Dream Team would also include four more Spaniards: Xabi Alonso, Fernado Llorente and Chelsea’s Fernando Torres and Juan Mata, while the Dutch would be buoyed by the arrival of Wesley Sneijder, Dirk Kuyt, Van der Vaart and Van der Wiel, England would have three additional players in Glen Johnson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones, and France would have one lone representative in Samir Nasri.
Michael Saxton, director at InSocial, offered some words of advice to followers, saying: "Don’t expect a whole lot of tweeting from the players in our Twitter Dream Team over the tournament. The football associations representing the sixteen nations in the tournament have banned them from tweeting.”