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Why do so many footballers opt to sit in the virtual stocks on social media?

The delete and block buttons are major allies to most yet many players continue to expose themselves to the torrents of abuse on Twitter and Instagram

After Michy Batshuayi scored two late goals to help Chelsea beat Watford in the Premier League, the striker took to Twitter. Using the quote tweet function he re-posted a remark by user @danndude10 and then embellished it. “I’ll eat my shit if Michy Batshuayi wins us this game,” the original tweet read. “Bon appetit,” replied the Belgian, who then added a flourish of two emojis in the shape of a poo.

In recent weeks, the striker is not alone in having responded to strangers online. When Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy was injured in September the journalist Duncan Castles speculated as to the extent of the full-back’s injury. “Concern is that City’s sole specialist left back has ruptured an ACL,” Castles tweeted. “If so possible 9 months rehab process.” Four hours later, Mendy quoted Castles and replied: “Your bio says journalist so why you speak like graduated doctor? no one has test to see if ruptured ACL or not, even I don’t know lol.” Mendy was later informed the injury had been exactly as Castles – a former scientist who in fact has a PhD and so is a “graduated doctor” – had described.

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