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World Cup 2014: Social ‘tiki-taka’

LiveMint logoLiveMint 10-06-2014 Vishal Mathur

“Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that,” said Liverpool legend Bill Shankly.

Football is serious stuff, and more so the world cup.

The US-based research firm Statista scoured the world of Twitter to come up with a list of the most followed football players on 5 June. Cristiano Ronaldo is the undisputed leader, with 26.5 million followers, even though the Portuguese star has posted less than 2,000 tweets (at the time of writing). Brazil’s Neymar Júnior is a distant second, with 10.7 million followers. England’s Wayne Rooney sneaks in third, with 8.8 million, pipping Spain’s Andrés Iniesta (8.7 million).

The Spanish players seem to be quite active on Twitter—Iniesta, Gerard Piqué (8.4 million), Xabi Alonso (7.3 million), Cesc Fàbregas (6.6 million) and David Villa (5.9 million) are all active users. Along with Germany’s Mesut Özil (5.8 million) and Argentina’s Sergio Agüero (5.6 million), they make up the top 10.

On the same day, 5 June, instant messaging giant Nimbuzz released the “Pulse Of The Nation Football World Cup” report. The company says it pushed out a string of questions every day through its feature Chat Buddy, which appeared as a regular contact on the chat roster of over 25 million Nimbuzz users in the country. According to the report, 22,235 people responded to the question of who will win the Golden Boot, and 47% believe it will be Lionel Messi.

When it comes to the coolest hairstyle, 54% of 28,987 users plumped for Italy’s Mario Balotelli, while Stephan El Shaarawy, again from Italy, came second with 24% of the votes. Ronaldo made it to the third spot (22%). According to the survey, Russia are considered the underdogs who could go on to win the world cup—they got 62% of the 34,866 votes. Belgium, widely tipped by many analysts as the underdogs, garnered only 21% votes.

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