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As Kaka hits 10m followers: the world’s 20 most popular sportsmen on Twitter


By Sportingintelligence 

25 April 2012

Kaka has become the first sportsman in the world to amass 10 million followers on the micro-blogging website Twitter.

As this report from the Associated Press detailed when the Real Madrid footballer passed the landmark, he tweeted: ‘Thank youuuuu. To celebrate I’ll make a twitcam’.

Whatever that means.

Love it or hate it, Twitter has soared into the media mainstream in the past year and is routinely used by millions of people as a primary source of breaking news, as well as a platform for promotion.

Sportingintelligence has compiled a list of the world’s 20 most followed sportsmen on Twitter (and they are all men aside from the athlete in 20th place, Serena Williams). See graphic below for details.

Eleven of the top 20 are footballers, which is indicative of what most people already know – that the beautiful game is the world’s most popular sport.

Basketball players (5) are next best represented, which is apt given that basketball is football’s closest challenger in team sports, primarily thanks to the NBA.

One cyclist, one NFL star, one boxer and Serena Williams make up the 20.

Six of the 11 footballers are from two clubs in Spain: Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo in the No1 and No2 slots are from Real Madrid, while four others are from Barcelona.

Manchester United contribute two players, Wayne Rooney in sixth place and Rio Ferdinand at No19.

Globally iconic figures of sport who are bubbling under this list with between 2m and 2.5m followers include Sachin Tendulkar, Tiger Woods and Mike Tyson, while Uruguayan footballer Diego Forlan is among those just outside the top 20.

As with all social media, things can change extremely rapidly.



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