Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire were the two main targets of insults on Twitter, according to a study carried out by Ofcom (the telecommunications regulatory authority in the United Kingdom) and relayed by the BBC. The two Manchester United players are not the only ones from their team to be particularly targeted: lhalf abuse identified were directed at just 12 players, including eight from United.
Ofcom’s analysis of 2.3 million tweets in the first half of last season revealed nearly 60,000 abusive messages, affecting seven in ten Premier League players. The report identified two spikes in the frequency of abusive tweets.
The first came the day Cristiano Ronaldo joined Manchester United. On August 27, 2021, three times as many tweets were written as on any other day (188,769), of which 3,961 were abusive. That day, the five-time Ballon d’Or was mentioned in 90% of all tweets aimed at Premier League footballers and 97% of abusive tweets.
Harry Maguire’s apology
The second peak was reached on November 7, when Harry Maguire apologized after Manchester United lost 2-0 at home to Manchester City after a missed performance. 2,903 abusive tweets were sent to him, or 10.6% of the total for the day, with many users reacting to the Mancunian captain’s message with insults or degrading remarks.