By 90Min
November 30, 2017

Football has changed beyond recognition in the age of social media. Twitter is now a premier source for new, views, stats and so much more, as well as direct access to players, pundits, clubs and other personalities related to the beautiful game.

With an astounding 248.7m combined followers, this hypothetical starting XI is made up of the most followed footballers in the world...

GK - David de Gea - 8.65m followers

Joined Twitter: March 2011

The Manchester United goalkeeper has been active on Twitter for nearly seven years and uses the platform before and after games, while also often sharing training snaps with fans.

DF - Sergio Ramos - 13.1m followers

Joined Twitter: June 2010

Just this week, Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos took to Twitter to wish a speedy recovery to international colleague Santi Cazorla after his latest injury setback, while he was also tweeting his support for Los Blancos at the recent Copa del Rey clash with Fuenlabrada.

DF - Gerard Pique - 16.9m followers

Joined Twitter: December 2010

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is a prolific user and loud voice on social media, with a viral tweet about Neymar during the summer leading many people to believe that the Brazilian might snub the advances of Paris Saint-Germain to stay at Camp Nou. He didn't.

DF - Marcelo - 9.32m followers

Joined Twitter: November 2012

Marcelo's Real Madrid squad number has become an integral part of his personal brand and features in his Twitter handle and display name. While tipsy during last season's duodecima Champions League celebrations, the left-back apparently thought chants of '12' were for him.

MF - Andres Iniesta - 20.1m followers

Joined Twitter: November 2009

Logging in for the first time in 2009, Andres Iniesta was on the Twitter scene relatively early, with the platform only launching three years earlier. The Barcelona captain is one of only four footballers in the world with at least 20,000,000 followers.

MF - Kaka - 29.1m followers

Joined Twitter: July 2009

On Twitter even earlier than Iniesta, 2007 Ballon d'Or winner Kaka is contemplating his next move after leaving Orlando City. He has been visiting former club AC Milan this month amid speculation of a behind-the-scenes role, but there is also talk of him playing in China.

MF - Mesut Ozil - 19.9m followers

Joined Twitter: March 2012

With Manchester United relatively slow to tap into the Twitter-verse, Arsenal were for a long time the most popular Premier League club. Mesut Ozil remains the Gunners' most followed player. In fact, he is the fifth most followed footballer in the whole world.

MF - James Rodriguez - 14.8m followers

Joined Twitter: April 2011

James Rodriguez may have seen his career stall in recent years after struggling to establish himself at Real Madrid and having limited impact since moving to Bayern Munich, but the Colombian can call upon an army of South American Twitter fans.

FW - Cristiano Ronaldo - 64.7m followers

Joined Twitter: June 2010

Cristiano Ronaldo is by far the most followed footballer in the world. His personal account is more popular than all of Real Madrid's official club accounts combined, with every single post resulting in thousands upon thousands of 'retweets' and 'likes'.

FW - Wayne Rooney - 16.7m followers

Joined Twitter: April 2011

Wayne Rooney is the only Englishman to feature in the top 50 most followed footballer accounts and is the only Premier League player in the top 10 player accounts worldwide. His wife, Coleen, is also a social media heavyweight, with over one million followers of her own.

FW - Neymar - 35.4m followers

Joined Twitter: June 2010

Such is the popularity of Neymar, Paris Saint-Germain were at risk of running out of replica shirts to sell after completing their €222m capture of the Brazilian in the summer. That popularity is reflected in his Twitter numbers, with only Cristiano Ronaldo commanding more followers.

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