Follow the 2014 Football World Cup

With less than two days to go, the countdown is well under way to the 2014 @FIFAWorldCup in Brazil, and the conversation is building on Twitter. In fact, there have already been more World Cup-related Tweets this year than during the entire 2010 tournament.

The #WorldCup will happen on the pitch, but also on Twitter, giving people the chance to get closer to the action than ever before. Fans can get real-time updates on Twitter from their favorite teams, players, coaches, journalists, celebrities and fellow fans. It is the global viewing party, where fans can experience every second of the World Cup, on and off the pitch.

Twitter Dream XI: If Twitter users were picking their starting lineup, the eleven players below would be a good place to start. This team is made up of the most-mentioned players on Twitter in the past three months, forming an XI that would surely be the envy of any manager in football.

World Cup teams: Thirty of the 32 nations competing in this year’s World Cup have official accounts on Twitter. You can follow all 30 here; this graphic shows the top six most followed teams:

1. Brazil @CBF_Futebol
2. Mexico @miseleccionmx
3. Columbia @FCFSelccionCol
4. United States@ussoccer
5. Spain @Sefutbol
6. Japan @jfa_samuraiblue

World Cup players: More than 300 of the players from the 32 competing nations are on Twitter, with representatives of all the competing teams having a presence the platform — follow them here. The top six most followed players at the 2014 World Cup are:

1. Cristiano Ronaldo @cristiano (Portugal)
2. Neymar @neymarjr (Brazil)
3. Wayne Rooney @waynerooney (England)
4. Andrés Iniesta @andresiniesta8 (Spain)
5. Gerard Piqué @3gerardpique (Spain)
6. Xabi Alonso @xabialonso (Spain)

Breaking news: Twitter is increasingly used as a tool for breaking news and sharing of exclusive content. 54% of football fans said that news breaks fastest on Twitter:

• As coach of @ussoccer, @J_Klinsmann makes the majority of his squad announcements on Twitter. The team’s account is packed with videos, images and live-tweets from warm-up matches with more of the same expected during the tournament.

• The England players are using Twitter to share exclusive content too. Moments after receiving a disappointing call from coach Roy Hodgson, Ashley Cole (@TheRealAC3) confirmed he had not been selected. In the same Tweet, sent the day before @England’s official announcement, he confirmed his retirement from international football.

Hashtags: The official hashtags for the 2014 World Cup are #WorldCup and #Brazil2014, and as an example, #3Lions is the hashtag chosen by @England’s fans. Hashtags join conversations together on Twitter, so follow along to keep close to the action, or use them in your own Tweets to join the global conversation.
Official accounts: To be sure you’re receiving the most reliable, up-to-the-minute World Cup news, this selection of verified accounts is a great place to start. You’ll see real-time updates from organizations including:

• @FifaWorldCup — The official source for all things World Cup.
• @Fifacom — Follow for news from the international football federation.
• @Brazuca — The official match ball.
• @Sefutbol — Get closer to the Spanish team with updates from the team in Brazil.





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