Yes, Twitter has taken the world of social media by storm over the last couple of years. It’s the new fashionable way to follow footballers and everyone seems to be getting into it at the moment.
Rather than having to swallow the usual dispassionate, post-match quotes from a generation of players who have been media trained since their teens, now we get to hear exactly what they think straight from the horse's mouth.
Some clubs have already banned their players from tweeting altogether, while others have taken a more pragmatic approach by issuing guidelines about what can and cannot be said on their players' personal feeds.
However there are always people, in this case we are talking footballers who are a law unto themselves. Deliberately or otherwise they are controversial and disparaging about everyone and anything, whether it be current players, former players, clubs, managers, coaches, pundits or the public in general.
Sergio Busquets @SergiBusquets16
The Barcelona midfielder was censured for his apparent propensity to feign injury.
Conversations about Busquets often centre on his antics rather than his skill. He is a recidivist diver, an alleged racist, an all-around loathsome pariah to some. An easy pantomime villain. Ask anyone who doesn’t like Barcelona why and somewhere in the first ten words is the name 'Busquets.'
In one of last year’s seemingly endless stream of Clásicos, Busquets was accused of calling Real Madrid left-back Marcelo a 'monkey.'
In January 2012 Sergio Ramos accused Busquets of feigning injury to get him sent against Barcelona and revealed that Real Madrid would appeal against his second yellow card. Ramos insisted that he did nothing wrong and believes that Busquets was guilty of play-acting.
In the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals against AC Milan last month it was Busquets who tumbled in a heap in the box to win a penalty for the goal that sent Barcelona into the semifinals. However others took to Twitter to defend the 23 year-old, who has won La Liga there times, the Champions League twice and the World Cup with Spain.
Luis Suarez @Luis16Suarez
The Liverpool and Uruguay striker was an obvious target for Manchester United fans on Twitter after he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra after a 1–1 draw against Manchester United on 15 October 2011
Suárez wrote on his Twitter and Facebook pages that he was upset by the accusation and denied the claims.On 16 November, the FA announced it would charge Suárez with "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour contrary to FA rules", including "a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Patrice Evra."
On 20 December 2011, the FA concluded a seven-day hearing, handing Suárez an eight-match ban and a £40,000 fine for racially abusing Evra. The 25-year-old cemented his reputation as a figure of hate at Old Trafford in February 2012 when he refused to shake hands with France international Evra on his return from his eight-game ban Evra himself saw his name trend on Twitter, although it appeared to be as a result of Manchester United fans defending the defender from criticism for his role in the Suarez affair.
Marlon King @Marlon_King_1
The Birmingham City striker was a late addition to the list of hated footballers. The controversial player has 14 criminal convictions, including drink-driving and receiving stolen goods. He was also jailed for sexually assaulting and punching a woman in a nightclub in 2009.
King, whose former clubs include Wigan, Nottingham Forest, Hull, Leeds and Coventry has been trying to repair his bad boy image, through twitter.
Robbie Savage @robbiesavage8
Robbie Savage was never a popular player, and it remains that way on twitter. The guy just winds up so many people on twitter, and always gets involved with other people’s business. I was someone who followed him on twitter until he began to annoy me. However I think his outspoken antics have helped him find his vocation – that of an entertaining and vibrant radio football pundit/presenter.
Joey Barton @joeybarton7
Few players have used the power of social networking to engineer a change in their public perception, as Joey Barton has. The former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder has spent time banned from football and behind bars for various acts of violence in the past. Using twitter Barton has attempted to show people another side to his character, as he has tried educate us into believing that he underneath it all he really is the ‘thinking man's player.’
But his attempt to repair his reputation were well and truly tarnished by his on and off field behaviour in the last game of this season, which saw him sent off and then use twitter as his outlet to rant at all in sundry. It did him no favours as he received a 12 match ban and a sizeable fine from the Football Association for his outrageous behaviour!
Joey Barton is just hated on both the football pitch and on twitter. To be brutally honest Barton is just a loud mouth and makes comments about people and things that have nothing to do with him. He has had so many arguments on twitter it is unbelievable. He is certainly another player who needs to be careful on the site.
Nathan Eccleston @NE39
Not many people will know who this young lad is, but if you watch the news, or are on twitter, you will. The Liverpool youngster caused controversy on twitter after he posted a very ‘strange’ tweet about 9/11, On the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks Eccleston posted a tweet saying: "I ain't going to say attack don't let the media make u believe that was terrorist that did it. #OTIS.” OTIS being an abbreviation for "Only The Illuminati Succeed." The tweet implied Eccleston was a member of the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Leon Knight @Leon Knight82
The London-born striker is more famous for his exploits on Twitter than anything he has ever achieved on the pitch.
The former Chelsea trainee has had a nomadic career that took him to eight different clubs including Brighton, Swansea and MK Dons before eventually ending up at Rushden and Diamonds. When the club sacked him for breaches of misconduct they held on to his registration, preventing Knight from joining another English club until the term of his contract had expired, or unless £30,000 in compensation was paid to the club.
Knight was set to return to English football with conference side Darlington after a successful trial, but his transfer was blocked by Rushden. Knight took to his Twitter account to unleash a tirade of abuse against his former club, saying that he has chosen not to buy-out his contract as a matter of principle.
"Rushden have said they don't want the money from Darlington, they want it from me – I refuse to pay them out of principle. If I wanted I could raise the money and pay them but I don't want to give them the satisfaction."
After brief stints in Greek and Scottish football Knight moved to Coleraine in N.Ireland in 2010.
In January 2012 however, Coleraine asked Knight to either live in Northern Ireland or pay his own travel costs, as he was still living in London and had to travel over to Northern Ireland for each game, which was costing Coleraine £1,000-£1,500 per month. An agreement could not be reached, and Knight joined Glentoran on 30th January 2012
Knight's use of Twitter in May 2012 caused condemnation after he posted remarks opposing US President Barack Obama's support for same sex marriage. Knight was suspended from Glentoran FC on 10th May 2012, pending investigation into the aforementioned remarks.
Knight now mainly uses his Twitter feed to rail against his 'haters' and to post pictures of bags of cash!
The Notts Country striker 35, was name-checked by tweeters for his conviction for causing the death by dangerous driving of Douglas Graham in 2004, for which he was jailed for six years. During the 2003/04 season Hughes was involved in a car crash in which his Mercedes CL500 collided with a Renault Scenic near the Warwickshire village of Meriden, West Midlands. A passenger in the Renault, Douglas Graham, was killed in the incident, whilst his wife Maureen and the driver Albert Frisby were severely injured. Hughes and his passenger left the scene, turning themselves in to the police the following day. Hughes was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and released on police bail.
On 9th August 2004, Hughes was found guilty of causing the death by dangerous driving of Douglas Graham, and of leaving the scene of an accident. The judge criticised Hughes for having a "callous disregard" for the four occupants of the Renault and he was sentenced to six years imprisonment and was banned from driving for ten years.
Following his release in August 2007 Hughes restarted his football career at Oldham Athletic spending time on loan at Blackpool before joining Notts County.
As we speak, Lee Hughes the footballer does not have a 'real' Twitter account.