Kaka and Diego Maradona’s son-in-law tweeted their love. Sepp Blatter tweeted his enthusiasm for South Africa.
Cristiano Ronaldo said he didn’t have time for tweeting because he was too busy training.
The popular social networking and microblogging service Twitter has wrapped its growing tentacles around the World Cup with a vengeance.
Users include the German Football Association (DFB), which has been giving fans an inside look at the German national football team via Twitter.
“The players are gradually waking up. Shortly after 3 a.m. this morning the team was back in their hotel,” read a DFB tweet on the morning after the team’s 4-0 thrashing of Australia on Sunday.
While DFB tweets are rather sedate, the Latin Americans’, as might be expected, are more passionate. “I love you,” Brazilian superstar Kaka tweeted his wife, Caroline.
Earlier, she had texted her hubby longingly with the message, “You’re the love of my life.” Argentine footballer Sergio Aguero, who is Maradona’s son-in-law, also tweeted loved ones back home. “Had a great birthday but miss my family,” Aguero wrote.
As the World Cup got under way, Uruguay’s goal-getter Diego Forlan tweeted: “We’re Uruguay. All Urus have long awaited this day. Let’s enjoy it.” His message ended with 14 exclamation points.
Ronaldo, however, has had to disappoint his many Twitter followers: “Because of all the preparations, I’ve hardly been able to tweet,” the Portuguese heartthrob tweeted.
Some national team coaches have put their foot down hard on social networking. England boss Fabio Capello has banned his players from using either Twitter or Facebook, as has his no-nonsense counterpart for Spain’s side, Vicente del Bosque.
The Mexicans have been slapped with a tweet ban too. Chile’s coach, Marcelo Bielsa, has even forbidden his charges from surfing the Internet at night.
The coach of the Netherlands, Bert van Marwijk, banned his squad from using Twitter after winger Eljero Elia appeared to insult Moroccans in a live video stream of himself and teammate Ryan Babel.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, meanwhile, has discovered the benefits of cyberbabble.
“We are on the verge of the first FIFA World Cup, in which social networking sites will play a major role in enabling all those interested in football to share their impressions. I am also very happy to share my own experience of FIFA World Cup 2010 to the worldwide fans, tweeted Blatter, 71.
Within days, Blatter’s Twitter account had gathered more than 20,000 followers. Blatter has so far tweeted about, which stadium he was in at the moment, that he is against banning the loud plastic trumpets called vuvuzelas and about how moved he has been by the football atmosphere in South Africa.
Thousands of fans are also sending their World Cup impressions via Twitter, making the 2010 World Cup one of the top-10 Twitter topics.
“The sound of vuvuzelas is the only noise that can also be heard in space,” one user tweeted. A female World Cup tourist from London chirped, “I’ve fallen in love in South Africa.”
The veritable stampede of messages has caused unprecedented traffic on Twitter. Site operators warned at the opening of the World Cup that load times could be longer and outages were even possible.
Keywords: 2010 FIFA World Cup