Football and social media can be more closely correlated than perhaps we realise. Whilst we don’t care so much what they say, the fact we now have the option to hear our idols has helped bridge the gap between fans and footballers like never before.

Players from across the globe take to social network sites – mainly Twitter – to express anger, rage, happiness, exchange “banter” with their celebrity ‘mates’ & ultimately boost their profile even further, with our very own Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) a prime example of this.

This year sees Euro 2012 head to Poland & Ukraine of which there are seven Manchester United players involved. So how do Nani, Rooney, Young, Evra, Jones, Lindergaard & Welbeck stack up on the social media front? All players apart from Wellbeck have Facebook pages and Nani, Rooney, Jones and Lindergaard have Twitter accounts.

Nani – @luisnani

Nani currently has 1.2m Twitter followers and since Euro 2012 started has acquired 30,587 more. In the previous 8 day period before Euro 2012, Nani acquired 21,382 more followers – meaning the influence of the Euros has resulted in 9,005 more than his general growth. Nani’s “growth trend” – fluctuation in TW followers – results in an average increase of 300 new followers per hour.

However, when he plays for Portugal and the eyes of the world are upon him, this jumps to over 1,000 / hour! Check it out.

Lindegaard (@ALindegaard) & Jones (@ph1lj0nes)

Unfortunately both Lindegaard and Jones are yet to feature in the Euro’s so far this year. Lindegaard has 114,000 followers with Jones way ahead on 480,000. Given their limited appearances both on and off the pitch, actually being in Poland/Ukraine has done little to boost their social profiles. Besides a small jump for Jones after the England-Sweden game, both follower levels have remained very similar to before the tournament. Lindegaard’s follower levels are quite erratic, and he acquired more followers in the 8 days prior to the Euros than he has at the tournament itself.

The diagram below shows these fluctuations, also viewable interactively for Jones and Lindegaard.

Rooney (@WayneRooney)

Some players are special both on, ability-wise, and off, commercially, the pitch. Owing to his ability on the pitch, Wazza’s commercial value off it is huge. With a Twitter following of over 4.3m and an average increase of around 7,000 new followers a day, Wayne Rooney’s voice in the social space carries massive weight and is arguably one of the reasons why he is the highest paid United player by some distance.

Despite not doing a full press conference and playing 0 minutes at the tournament so far, he is the most followed player, as well as having the fastest follower increase rate of any England or United player.

Rooney’s graph shows a gigantic increase of around 76,000 more followers in just 8 days. Only Cristiano Ronaldo can boast a faster growth rate.

Essentially, the more playing time our boys get in Poland/Ukraine the higher their, and ultimately Manchester United’s, presence and influence is.

If only Danny Welbeck had a Twitter account after his winning goal for England on Friday. Watch this space…


The Euros 2012 was created by Chris Jones and the team at VIVA Aspire. The site houses every Twitter (official) & Facebook page (official & tributes) for all players at this year’s European championships. The site tracks differences in the social interest levels for all players, enabling actions/exposure from footballers on the pitch to be directly attributed to social interest off it. Check out the interactive graphs of any player from the Social Listings page on their site & follow them on Twitter for regular social media stats at this years European Championships!