Carlos Cuellar of Sunderland

Leading the new breed

by Stuart Vose

Carlos Cuellar is helping to lead footballers into the social media age.

Sunderland’s Carlos Cuellar is helping to lead the charge as Britain’s footballers embrace social media.

Sites such as Twitter have revolutionized the way we communicate and brought fans of professional sports of all types closer to their heroes.

Twitter has quite literally changed the world – how many of us were thinking about the merits of micro-blogging way back in 2006?

A quick browse shows Real Madrid star Kaka is the world’s most-followed footballer with 5.3m people following his every move.

Summer signing Cuellar is closing in on 200,000 followers – small fry by comparison – but it’s the content he produces which really shows how he has mastered the social media space.

My first day of training, there r a good people in the dressing room I am looking forward to start my new adventure ;)

- @Cuellar24

As well as his Twitter account, the Spaniard also has his own official website ( and Facebook page, both of which are regularly updated.

Football fans love Twitter, particularly when it is used by players to give them an insight into the life and times of the figures they love.

Clubs’ players often avoid the limelight but Twitter is helping them to connect with supporters in a new and exciting way.

Cuellar endeared himself with the red and white army soon after joining – a flurry of retweets and personal replies to fans saw to that – and he’s kicked things up a notch since.

Images of his travels around the north east are constantly appearing, including a mini tour of the region which featured the defender standing on the sea front at Roker.

Far from being shy and retiring, Carlos seems to constantly have a camera to hand and gives the fans an exclusive peek into his life, tweeting in both English and Spanish.

It’s a uniquely personal experience and one which has been embraced across the region and beyond.

Carlos has slotted into a Sunderland squad which is increasingly using Twitter – midfielder David Meyler, for example, has almost 150,000 followers, while a number of other players are also using the site.

There’s been a number of examples in the media of players getting into trouble for making comments on Twitter, with several having been fined by the FA.

But, used in the right way, the site’s a great tool for players and fans alike – and it’s here to stay.