Being a footballer in the age of social media is proving to be a taxing affair. While footballers gain a massive following online which helps in building their brand and subsequently in drawing large moolah, often they bear the brunt of online trolls. A study by Ofcom and The Alan Turing Institute analyzed 2.3 million tweets from August 13 2021 to January 24 2022 to understand online hate directed towards footballers. Here are the top 10 most abused footballers according to the study. Note that CNBCTV18.com does not support abuse of footballers in any form and the following work is only for informative purposes only.
Being a footballer in the age of social media is proving to be a taxing affair. While footballers gain a massive following online, which helps in building their brand and subsequently in drawing massive moolah, often they bear the brunt of online trolls. A study by Ofcom and The Alan Turing Institute analysed 2.3 million tweets from August 13, 2021, to January 24, 2022, to understand online hate directed towards footballers. Here are the top 10 most abused footballers according to the study. Note: CNBCTV18.com does not condone the abuse of footballers in any form and the following work is only for informative purposes only. (Image: AP)
No. 10 | David de Gea | Club: Manchester United | Abusive Tweets Received: 1,394 | Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is one of the consistent performers of the team but frequently finds himself at the receiving end of online abuse when he concedes goals. The Spanish goalkeeper was again ridiculed after his erratic goalkeeping led to Manchester United's shocking 0-4 loss against Brentford in the Premier League. (Image: AP)
No. 9 | Paul Pogba | Club: Juventus | Abusive Tweets Received: 1,446 | French midfielder Paul Pogba has moved on from Manchester United to Juventus in Italy, but during his six-year stay at Old Trafford, he failed to win over the Mancunian crowd. Often injured, sometimes played out of position and at times for his antics, Pogba has consistently received abusive tweets.
No. 8 | Jack Grealish | Club: Manchester City | Abusive Tweets Received: 1, 538 | English midfielder Jack Grealish attracted all the media attention after his high-profile move from Aston Villa to Manchester City in 2021. Grealish was expected to score a bucketful of goals but he failed to live up to the expected standards in his first season at the Etihad, leading to his online trolling. (Image: AP)
No. 7 | Jesse Lingard | Club: Nottingham Forest | Abusive Tweets Received: 1,605 | Now with Nottingham Forest, Jesse Lingard has also played for Manchester United and West Ham United during his stay in the Premier League. As recently as gameweek 2 of the 2022-23 season of the Premier League, Lingard was mocked by the West Ham United fans as they threw fake money at him during the two teams clash. West Ham fans did this as they believe Lingard chose to follow the money rather than join West Ham on a permanent basis. As a United player too he received flack for his inconsistent show. (Image: AP)
No. 6 | Fred | Club: Manchester United | Abusive Tweets Received: 1,924 | Brazilian midfielder Fred who plays for Manchester United has been racially abused online. One incidence particularly stands out when he received vile abuse from online trolls after Manchester United's FA Cup quarterfinal defeat to Leicester City in the 2020-21 season. (Image: AP)
No. 5 | Harry Kane | Club: Tottenham Hotspurs | Abusive Tweets Received: 2,127 | England and Tottenham Hotspurs striker Harry Kane also finds his name in this unfortunate list of Premier League footballers. One of the most infamous moments for Kane was when the internet trolled the Tottenham Hotspurs striker for claiming then teammate Christian Eriksen's goal in a Premier League match against Stoke City in 2018. Kane has also been targeted online for not winning a trophy for Spurs or for England despite being a prolific goal-scorer. (Image: AP)
No. 4 | Bruno Fernandes | Club: Manchester United | Abusive Tweets Received: 2,464 | Manchester United and Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes despite being a player of calibre often bears the brunt of online trolling. The most infamous moments during Fernandes's stay at Manchester United came last season when he missed two crucial penalties, once against Aston Villa and on another occasion against Arsenal. Both time Fernandes was brutally trolled. (Image: AP)
No. 3 | Marcus Rashford | Club: Manchester United | Abusive Tweets Received: 2, 557 | Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has come a long way from being a promising teenager to being sidelined waiting for his chance. Injuries have not helped Rashford's cause as the online world has targeted him for being inconsistent. One of the most horrible moments in Rashford's career arrived when he along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka suffered racist abuse on social media in the wake of England's Euro 2020 final loss to Italy after the three players misfired in the penalty shootouts. (Image: AP)
No. 2 | Harry Maguire | Club: Manchester United | Abusive Tweets Received: 8,954| Manchester United centre-half Harry Maguire has failed to impress since his big-money move from Leicester City to Old Trafford. Maguire is often criticised for his shoddy defending and being slow on the field which has led to United conceding goals. Maguire also faces the wrath of the people online more so because he is the captain of the club. Maguire is a favourite of memers. (Image: AP)
No. 1 | Cristiano Ronaldo | Club: Manchester United | Abusive Tweets Received: 12,520| Fat pay cheques bring with them the chance of getting brutally trolled online on a consistent basis. Fans of Manchester United's rival clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool leave no opportunity to abuse Ronaldo online when he fails to deliver. The burden of expectation on Ronaldo is so enormous that at times he faces abuse from United's supporters too. Manchester United fans showed their anger online when during the off-season Ronaldo had expressed his desire to move away from Old Trafford. (Image: AP)