With less than 10 days to go, the countdown is well under way to the 2014 @FIFAWorldCup in Brazil, and the conversation is building on Twitter. In fact, there have already been more World Cup-related Tweets this year than during the entire 2010 tournament.
The #WorldCup will happen on the pitch, but also on Twitter, giving people the chance to get closer to the action than ever before. Fans can get real-time updates on Twitter from their favourite teams, players, coaches, journalists, celebrities and fellow fans. It is the global viewing party, where fans can experience every second of the World Cup, on and off the pitch.
Twitter Dream XI
If Twitter users were picking their starting lineup, the eleven players below would be a good place to start. This team is made up of the most-mentioned players on Twitter in the past three months, forming an XI that would surely be the envy of any manager in football. Flying the flag for England is @WayneRooney:
World Cup teams
Thirty of the 32 nations competing in this year’s World Cup have official accounts on Twitter. You can follow all 30 here; this graphic shows the top six most followed teams:
World Cup players
More than 300 of the players from the 32 competing nations are on Twitter, with representatives of all the competing teams having a presence the platform — follow them here. The top six most followed players at the 2014 World Cup are:
Follow England on Twitter
Twitter and football go hand-in-hand — seven of the ten most talked-about moments on Twitter in 2013 were football related. So England fans will be pleased that they are able to follow more than half of the final 23-man squad while they are in Brazil. A full list of @England players on Twitter can be found here. The top five most-followed members of the final 23-man squad are:
- Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) — 8.75M
- Phil Jones (@philjones4) — 1.49M
- Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (@Alex_OxChambo) — 1.46M
- Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) — 1.27M
- Glen Johnson (@glen_johnson) — 972K
Twitter is increasingly used as a tool for breaking news and sharing of exclusive content. 54% of football fans said that news breaks fastest on Twitter:
- News of the provisional England squad announcement was shared first on Twitter before anywhere else, through the official @England account. Within half an hour, the message had been retweeted more than 16,000 times, with now more than 25,000 RTs to date.
- The official England team hashtag for Brazil was chosen and confirmed on Twitter. Fans took to Twitter to suggest a fitting term to organise the conversation around England, and the result was #3Lions.
- The England players are using Twitter to share exclusive content too. Moments after receiving a disappointing call from coach Roy Hodgson, Ashley Cole (@TheRealAC3) confirmed he had not been selected. In the same Tweet, sent the day before @England’s official announcement, he confirmed his retirement from international football.
- And @England first choice centre back Phil Jagielka joined Twitter with a matter of days to go until the World Cup, joking that he had ‘plenty of time this month’ to start tweeting. He’s @PJags06 on Twitter.
The official hashtags for the 2014 World Cup are #WorldCup and #Brazil2014, and #3Lions is the hashtag chosen by @England’s fans. Hashtags join conversations together on Twitter, so follow along to keep close to the action, or use them in your own Tweets to join the global conversation.
To be sure you’re receiving the most reliable, up-to-the-minute World Cup news, this selection of verified accounts is a great place to start. You’ll see real-time updates from organisations including:
- @FifaWorldCup — The official source for all things World Cup
- @Fifacom — Follow for news from the international football federation
- @Brazuca — The official match ball
- @England — Get closer to the England team with updates from the team in Brazil
- @FA — Follow along for news from the UK governing body
Other UK accounts to follow
Throughout the tournament, fans will flock to Twitter to join in the live conversation. Bring your Twitter timeline to life with updates from UK media outlets, journalists, broadcasters and other voices that will create the roar of the crowd on Twitter, including:
- BBC Sport (@BBCSport)
- ITV Football (@ITVFootball)
- Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5)
- Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker)
- Ian Wright (@IanWright)
Twitter and Sport
When big events happen in the real world they happen on Twitter — and never is that truer than with big televised sporting events. For sports fans watching the match, Twitter is the second screen to TV broadcast. It creates a space for live commentary in the moment, from fans and expert alike, across sports. Recent research from @Nielsen reveals that:
- 50% of Tweets about TV in 2013 were sport related
- 492 million Tweets sent in 2013 were about sports events
- 12 of the top 20 tweeted events on Twitter in 2013 were sporting events
- There were 1.7 million Tweets about the World Cup draw globally in two hours
In the UK specifically, research from @globalwebindex shows that Twitter and football go hand in hand:
- 90% of Twitter users in the UK will be watching the World Cup
- Over two thirds of UK users use Twitter for something football related
- 43% of people on Twitter in the UK follow football clubs, with all 20 @PremierLeague clubs active on Twitter
- 54% of football lovers say that news breaks fastest on Twitter
- 40% of UK users tweet when there is a goal, and 61% tweet post-match
The first England game will take place on June 14 against Italy, with group matches to follow on June 19 and 24. So be sure to tune in with Twitter this World Cup. All the drama of #Brazil2014 will unfold on the pitch, but also on Twitter, bringing you closer to the action than ever before, so that you never need miss a kick.