Victor Anichebe’s copy and paste nightmare, Christian Benteke announcing he’s signing for the WRONG club and Wayne Rooney offering to give Rio Ferdinand a lift to training… the best social media gaffes after Harry Maguire’s Cristiano Ronaldo howler
- United captain Harry Maguire liked an Instagram post about Cristiano Ronaldo
- The post said that Ronaldo was unhappy at United players’ 25 per cent pay cut
- Fans were furious with Maguire and called for him to be dumped as captain
- Maguire has ‘admitted it was him – but insists he clicked the button in error’
- Sportsmail looks at other social media blunders made by footballers and clubs
Social media has bridged the gap between footballers and their fans. But, not all players understand the power their posts have and frequently find themselves in trouble for using the platforms inappropriately.
Harry Maguire is the latest player to fall into this trap, and it’s safe to say the Manchester United faithful are furious with their captain for his latest social media gaffe.
The England defender liked an Instagram post about Cristiano Ronaldo’s anger at United’s reported 25 per salary cut – before quickly backtracking and insisting it was done in error.
United fans have hit out at Maguire (left) after he liked a post about Ronaldo’s frustrations
Harry Maguire says he accidentally liked an Instagram post about Cristiano Ronaldo
There had already been calls for Maguire to lose the armband at Old Trafford after a difficult 2021-2022 campaign, and those cries increased significantly after his social media faux pas.
However, Maguire is not the only footballer to have landed himself in hot water after engaging controversially on social media. There have been a host of top-flight stars that have been left equally as red-faced.
Sportsmail have taken a look at other occasions where football players, managers and even club staff have made fundamental – and hilarious – social media errors…
Supporters argued Maguire is ‘not fit to be Manchester United’s captain’ after the blunder
JOE HART’S ‘JOB DONE’ TWEET
Joe Hart was forced to apologise for his ‘unacceptable’ and ‘sloppy’ social media gaffe after posting ‘job done’ in the wake of Tottenham’s humiliating Europa League exit against Dinamo Zagreb in March 2021.
Hart was the Tottenham reserve goalkeeper and travelled to the Croatian capital to watch from the bench as the Premier League giants were dumped out of the competition following a 3-0 loss.
After the game Hart took to Instagram to post a photo of the game with the accompanying caption: ‘job done’ with a big green tick. It’s safe to say the post angered the club’s fanbase.
Joe Hart apologised for his social media gaffe (right) after Tottenham’s Europa League exit
The goalkeeper was forced to apologise shortly after and blamed a member of his social media team for wrongly thinking that Tottenham had won the match.
‘Morning guys I feel like I need to come on and make an apology on behalf of my social media team,’ Hart said in a video on Instagram.
‘It’s just been brought to my attention, I’ve literally just woken up. Someone thought that we had won 3-0 last night. As sloppy as that sounds, it’s the truth.
‘I posted ‘Job done’. That’s unacceptable and I’m sure it’s annoyed a lot of people and I’m sorry it’s come to that. It’s obviously not come from me, I’ve got nothing but love for the club and support for the club and I’m just as down as the boys are.
‘Apologies again, unfortunately stuff like this happens and just know that it didn’t come from any other place than a typo.’
WAYNE ROONEY OFFERING RIO FERDINAND A LIFT
Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand were team-mates at Old Trafford for 10 years, between 2004 and 2014. They enjoyed successful careers at the club – winning five Premier League titles and a Champions League trophy as team-mates.
Football was instinctive to the pair but Rooney didn’t take quite so naturally to social media. The Liverpool-born footballer struggled to get to grips with Twitter in the early days.
Seemingly unaware of how the social media platform worked at the time, Rooney’s first ever tweet in 2011 read: ‘Hi Rio do u want picking up in the morning pal’ and several football fans piled in on the conversation on social media.
Rooney continued to have problems with social media for the rest of the calendar year. While conversing with a Liverpool fan online, the striker appeared to say ‘bring ur sandwedge girl’ following criticism.
Wayne Rooney (right) and Rio Ferdinand were close friends at Manchester United and England
Rooney accidentally posted a private message to Ferdinand in what was his first Twitter post
OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN LIKES ‘WENGER OUT’ TWEET
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sparked controversy and confusion in equal measure after appearing to favourite a tweet from Arsenal Fan TV in 2017. The Tweet was titled: ‘Wenger needs to go’ and was posted shortly after Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea.
It soon emerged that Oxlade-Chamberlain had pressed the heart-shaped button on Twitter by mistake and quickly issued an apology. However, by that time it had already been snapped and shared across the social media platform.
Speaking about the incident on Sky Sports, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: ‘It was a complete and utter accident. I think people know me as a character and if I’d meant to have done that, it would have been out of character for me.
‘The title of the tweet I accidentally liked wasn’t ideal but we’ve sorted it out. I spoke to the manager about it and explained the accident. I might not go on Twitter again too soon after games.’
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (right, in blue) liked a tweet calling for former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (middle) to leave in 2014
BLAISE MATUIDI GOOGLE’S WIFE’S PHOTO
Declarations of love can come in various forms such as letters, speeches and now even Tweets. They are romantic gestures that are designed to express one person’s love for another.
However, they don’t quite have the same impact when you have to use google to source a picture of your wife because you don’t seem to have any available on your phone to use.
That’s what happened to French midfielder Blaise Matuidi. The former PSG star took to Twitter to share a heartfelt post about his wife on Valentine’s Day in 2017. However, he resorted to Google to help him find a photo of her.
He shared a Tweeti in French which translated into English means: ‘To my beloved wife. Happy Valentine day’.
The Frenchman tried to provide a reason as to why he made the mistake – saying: ‘We had just beaten Barcelona, 4-0, and I was so euphoric that I forgot to wish a Happy Valentine’s Day to my wife.
Blaise Matuidi (right) had to Google a picture of his wife (left) for a Valentines’ Day post
PHIL NEVILLE’S GOOGLE TRANSLATE NIGHTMARE
It is not just players who struggle to get to grips with their new surroundings after securing a transfer. Managers and coaches also suffer embarrassing moments after moving jumping ship too.
Phil Neville – who was the coach of Valencia at the time – wanted to show fans that he was embracing the language and culture of his new home while keeping his fitness levels high despite retiring from playing a few years before.
The former Manchester United and England left-back chose to reach out to his new Spanish followers on Twitter and tried to say: ‘Early morning run on the beach to start the day’.
Phil Neville tried to show off his Spanish while he was working as a coach for Valencia
Neville’s vocabulary was interpreted differently by Spaniards in a risky social media post
Neville translated that sentence into Spanish and posted it on Twitter. However, little did he know, there was one fundamental mistake in the translation.
The Valencia boss used the word ‘corrida’ to describe his run. The term does mean ‘sprint’ or ‘dash’ – but it is colloquially translated as ‘ejaculate’.
It’s safe to say the Spanish fans certainly had a chuckle at the expense of the former England international…
REY MISSES OUT ON DREAM DEAL DUE TO TWEET
Spanish winger Julio Rey found his life turned upside-down after old Tweets resurfaced following his transfer to Deportivo La Coruna in 2015.
The forward made a dream move from fourth-tier side Pobla de Mafumet to one-time LaLiga champions Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2015.
The contracts were signed, the player was photographed in the club’s colours and details of his transfer were posted online.
Julio Rey (right) completed a dream move to Spanish side Deportivo La Coruna in 2015
But days after his Deportivo arrival, the club found abusive messages sent by Rey in 2012 which criticised the Spanish side.
Deportivo cancelled the 20-year-old’s contract immediately and his dream move had died.
‘The club have decided to cancel the transfer after analysing an unfortunate comment on the player’s social media profile,’ said a club statement. ‘A player deserves to wear the shirt if he’s an example of sportsmanship.’
It’s safe to say this is not the first time a footballer has lived to regret one of his previous Tweets and it will not be the last.
Rey was sacked shortly after signing as the club found he sent abusive tweets to Depor in 2012
CHRISTIAN BENTEKE ANNOUNCES WRONG CLUB
The transfer window can be a confusing and chaotic time for footballers as they decide their futures while under the watchful eye of each team’s fanbase.
However, when you agree terms with a club… you really should remember who you have signed for. That’s right, I am referring to Christian Benteke.
When Benteke joined Crystal Palace from Liverpool at the start of the 2016-17 season, many were confused by the Belgian’s Twitter bio which stated he played for Burnley.
Not only did Benteke and his social media team get his club wrong, but they also spelt ‘Burnleyl’ incorrectly. The striker was forced to come out and apologise after the error – before confirming that it was Palace he had signed for.
A tweet from the striker read: ‘Oops my bad lol Yes I signed for cpfc and not burnley. Sorry for the little mistake the person that manages my Twitter got a little confused’.
Christian Benteke apologised after ‘signing for Burnley’ after his 2016 Crystal Palace move
ADAM CLAYTON EXPOSES HIMSELF
What happens in the changing room, stays in the changing room… unless you’re Adam Clayton – who experienced an unfortunate social media gaffe in 2016.
After Middlesbrough won away at local rivals Sunderland in the 2016-2017 season, the visiting players grouped together for a group photo to celebrate their victory.
Midfielder Adam Clayton, who was changing back into his regular clothes, posed for the photo – but one of his testicles was poking out of his shorts.
Fellow Boro player Adam Forshaw appeared to be pointing at it in the photo suggesting the ploy was deliberate, but forward Christian Stuani was forced to come out an apologise for the gaffe as they ‘didn’t realize it’.
Middlesbrough posted an image of Adam Clayton (far left) with his testicle out after beating local rivals Sunderland in 2016
ANICHEBE AND WALKER COPY AND PASTE BLUNDER
Victor Anichebe is not the only player to put out the wrong message after a game but it didn’t make it any less embarrassing.
The former Sunderland star and his social media team appeared to overuse the copy and paste buttons when reacting to a 1-0 defeat at West Ham in October 2016.
Footballers don’t tend to write their own tweets unless for special reasons, meaning they are often in dialogue with their various representatives who send out the classic post-match ‘thanks for your support’ messages.
Victor Anichebe simply copy and pasted a message from his social media team on his Twitter
After the defeat at Upton Park, Anichebe and his team forgot to cut out their comments advising the tweet, as the post read: ‘Can you tweet something like… Unbelievable support yesterday and great effort by the lads! Hard result to take! But we go again!’
Anichebe is not the only Premier League player guilty of such as act. Former Tottenham defender Kyle Walker and his team also just copy and pasted a private message to promote an interview with Soccer AM in 2015.
Walker posted on Instagram: ‘So could go something like: Good to see @tubesocceram earlier for this Saturday’s @socceram. Always good to catch up.’
JOLEON LESCOTT’S POOR TIMING
There is a reason why they say ‘timing is everything’. If your side is beaten 6-0 at home, it may be wise to stay away from social media.
Joleon Lescott failed to do so when Aston Villa were humbled by Liverpool in 2016 and it certainly led to some bizarre scenes.
Soon after Villa were thrashed by the humiliating scoreline, a picture of a flashy car was posted from Lescott’s Twitter account which angered the club’s supporters who were already left reeling from the day’s events.
Yet the drama was not over. In apologising for the tweet and the heavy defeat, the defender sensationally claimed that the tweet was an accident and was sent from inside his own pocket.
Joleon Lescott’s Aston Villa were thrashed 6-0 by Liverpool in their 2015-16 relegation season
Lescott tweeted an image of a flashy sports car just minutes after the crushing Villa Park loss
EVERTON EMPLOYEE USES CLUB ACCOUNT AS PERSONAL
In the 2015-16 season, Everton posted out a tweet in early January which did not quite fit in with the club’s content plan.
The day before the Toffees were due to play Tottenham in the Premier League, the official club Twitter page posted ‘Best day out with the best sis in the world’ which baffled both Everton fans and football supporters in general.
It appears one of the social media team wanted to post that message on their personal account but forgot they were still logged into the Everton social media account.
A member of the Everton media team accidentally tweeted a post fit for their personal account
RYAN BABEL PHOTOSHOPS HOWARD WEBB
Ryan Babel was one of the footballers to land himself in trouble after taking to Twitter to slate a well-known match official.
The former Liverpool forward posted a doctored picture on Twitter of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt after their 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the 2011 FA Cup.
He also wrote the accompanying caption: ‘And they call him one of the best referees. That’s a joke. SMH.’ [SMH is an abbreviation for ‘shake my head’].
Babel later apologised for the post and admitted a charge of improper conduct at an FA hearing. But it was not enough for the Dutchman to escape punishment and he was subsequently handed a £10,000 fine.
Babel photoshopped Howard Webb into a Manchester United shirt as a dig at him being biased
ASHLEY COLE CALLS THE FA ‘T***S’
Ashley Cole hit the headlines for a number of different reasons throughout his career. One of his most memorable social media moments came in 2012 when he called the FA a ‘BUNCHOFT***S’.
His outburst came after the FA announced their judgement following a four-day hearing at Wembley into whether Terry racially insulted Anton Ferdinand.
The report said there was ‘considerable doubt’ over the evidence provided by the former England left-back – who erupted on social media.
The former Chelsea player took to the social media platform to share the following Tweet: ‘Hahahahaa, well done #FA I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT***S,’.
Cole was forced to give a personal apology to FA chairman at the time David Bernstein.
Ashley Cole called the FA a ‘BUNCHOFT***S’ following their judgement after a four-day hearing at Wembley into whether Terry racially insulted Anton Ferdinand
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