People on Twitter: There's millions of them. But who to follow? We've picked 10 sports stars that are happy to share more than just endorsements to their loyal Twitter followers
He might not be in much of a tweeting mood after Real Madrid missed out on a place in the Champions League final, but Brazilian footballer Kaka can celebrate breaking a new record this week as he became the first athlete on Twitter to reach 10 million followers, which puts the footballer up alongside the likes of Lady Gaga and Oprah Winfrey.
There are hundreds of sporting figures using Twitter to speak their mind and interact with fans, but which are the most entertaining? Here are 10 athletes worthy of a follow...
Olympic tennis pro Serena Williams has built a solid presence in the social media world, thanks to her prolific online activity. Tweets appear frequently and topics range from personal eating habits to declaring her love for Green Day. Watch out for 'Serena Fridays', where she opens the floor to a Q & A with her twitter fans.
Twitter handle: @serenawilliams (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “For the life of me I can't figure out how people did not know that Prince Adam and He-man were the same person”
Skateboard champion, video game icon, and now pro Tweeter - Hawk is a social media heavyweight, with almost 3 million subscribed to the skater's twitter feed. He recently launched his very own Tony Hawk Twitter Hunt, where followers across several countries, including the UK, were given clues to the whereabouts of hidden treasure. Prizes included autographed skateboards, bikes and video games.
Twitter handle: @tonyhawk (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “TSA agent checked my ID, matched it to my ticket, then looked up. “you look like Tony Hawk!” You mean like it says on my Driver's license?”
The ex-England Rugby Captain's observational tweets are frequent and, more unexpectedly, hilarious. Often nattering about random events from his day or replying to fan tweets, Carling has something funny to say on just about everything.
Twitter handle: @willcarling (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “not a good start when your first call of the day is a 'butt call'! & trust me, u do not want a call from this guy's butt......”
No list of athlete twitter profiles would be complete without the Shaq himself. Not just one of the all-time basketball greats, Shaquille is one of the most entertaining tweeters out there, as reflected by his 5 and a half million followers. His bio states “I perform random acts of Shaqness” and it soon becomes clear what he means, as the basketball star frequently posts pictures of himself 'Shaqing' about.
Twitter handle: @SHAQ (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “Stay off my beard chuck it's soft like yur stomach when u were pills bury do boy few months ago but yur real sexy now weight watchers baby”
Chad Ochocinco clearly enjoys using Twitter to interact with his followers. In March he extended an offer to buy 200 Twitter fans dinner in New York, writing "1st 200 people at Sylvia's Restaurant by 7 pm in Harlem. Leave ya money/credit cards at home. I got you this time.” He also rewarded one lucky tweeter who had complained that the American football star had been ignoring the fan's tweets, responding with an offer of some NFL playoff tickets.
Twitter handle: @ochocinco (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “If you're feeling down just look in the mirror and repeat... I'm the sperm that won. Repeat as many times as neccesary until u're confident.”
Undoubtedly one of the funniest sports stars on Twitter, Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison is never short of something to say. His Twitter obsession has even earned him a reputation in the sporting world, occasionally for being controversial. Not that it's damaged his reputation. In fact, his following comprises of many fans of opposing teams.
Twitter handle: @LoMoMarlins (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “Don't just bend the rules, break them in half and beat them with both pieces”
Another prolific tweeter from the tennis world, Roddick's quirky sense of humour makes him a fun one to follow. He can often be found tweeting at other professionals, making hilarious observations, or giving a live commentary on his global travels. Sometimes all at the same time.
Twitter handle: @andyroddick (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “Is a lava lamp considered an electronic?”
You can always count on Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe to speak his mind on Twitter. Frequently chatting with with fan followers, Kluwe's tweets often tickle. His twitter handle, a World of Warcraft reference, is also a reference to his love for video games, and testament to the fact he's not afraid to show his nerdy side.
Twitter handle: @ChrisWarcraft (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “Also, if anyone is thinking of putting a bounty on me, the guy who tried to collect was named Greedo. #ishotfirst”
British golfer Ian Poulter often provides a good balance of informative and entertaining tweets, usually on the topics of training or family. Ironically, he recently used Twitter to hit back at criticism from Sir Nick Faldo, who claimed the golfer was spending more time online than on the range. With just over 1 million followers, he's a popular one too.
Twitter handle: @IanJamesPoulter (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “Aimee-Leigh my 10 year old has just made me poached eggs on toast an they are perfect in the middle top effort, I've trained her well.”
With just over 250,000 followers, Brandon Phillips is one of the most underrated athletes on the list - maybe down to his obsession with using hashtags for every other word. Still, he's one of the most active and entertaining tweeters from the sporting world and actively interacts with fans. He even attended the little league game of a fan who asked the baseball star to come on his day off.
Twitter handle: @DatDudeBP (opens in new tab)
Sample tweet: “#BPCinemas: Watched #TheHungerGames and it was a COOL movie… heard the book was better but I'm not reading that mess”