Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire most abused players on Twitter as Manchester United dominate report

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 (Manchester United via Getty Imag)
(Manchester United via Getty Imag)

Manchester United players suffer by far the worst abuse on Twitter when compared to other Premier League stars.

According to new Ofcom analysis, Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire were the two players with the most abusive messages directed at them last season, with more than 20.000 between them.

United team-mates Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes were next on the list, with Harry Kane behind those two. Of the ten players to receive the most abuse on Twitter, eight were United players. Jack Grealish was the only other player in the top ten not playing for United.

The report reveals that the messages peaked at two points during the season. Ronaldo was a particularly target on the day he rejoined the club last summer, while Maguire was heavily abused following defeat in the Manchester derby.

A study of 2.3 million messages directed at Premier League players revealed that nearly three quarters of top-flight footballers received abusive messages. Some received them on a daily basis, while almost ten per cent of the total abuse was aimed at a protected characteristic, such as race or gender.

Approximately half of the abusive messages were aimed at just 12 players, the vast majority of which were United stars.

Of those tweets analysed, 3.5 per cent were abusive and just over half were considered to be of a positive nature.

“These findings shed light on a dark side to the beautiful game,” said Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom’s group director for broadcasting and online content.

“Online abuse has no place in sport, nor in wider society, and tackling it requires a team effort.”

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