[UPDATE] A new official ‘Di Maria’ page has appeared on Facebook. And it’s verified!!! Take a look at https://www.facebook.com/officialdimaria. Whoever runs this page might’ve unpublished it during the commotion, but what puzzles me is the number of Likes the new page has. The old one, as you can see in the screenshot below, had a little over 250,000 Likes, while the new page, one that appeared on Facebook last night, has close to 6 Mil Likes. It will be interesting to see what happens next!
After El Clasico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona, and after Florentino Perez supported Rafael Benitez as the coach of Real Madrid, people started to talk about Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid.
Not only fans and the media, but Ronaldo’s former teammate Angel Di Maria, on his verified Facebook page! He posted a photo with Cristiano Ronaldo and a message: “Soon my friend. Cristiano Ronaldo”
Everyone thought Cristiano’s love affair with Real Madrid is over and his transfer to PSG is imminent until…..Jorgelina Cardoso, Di Maria’s wife, has written on her Instagram profile that Angel Di Maria does not have an official Facebook page. Nor Twitter. In fact, Angel Di Maria is active only on Instagram, as her profile states.
After that, even PSG released an official statement about this Facebook case:
A really strange situation that Facebook never encountered until this case. They removed this page and they will probably send out their statement really soon. Can’t wait to hear their response!
I can think of three scenarios that could explain this:
1. DI MARIA MADE A MISTAKE
Angel Di Maria, someone from his team, or a friend or a fan who he gave permission to run the page, made a huge mistake. They know Cristiano is unhappy at Madrid right now and they linked him with PSG by posting something like this on Facebook.
What is Di Maria’s manager or PR team doing to salvage this situation? Does he have anyone to take care of this before it escalates? Maybe. Maybe not. But, this could’ve been fixed pretty quickly from his side if they (if he actually has a team) reacted promptly and issued a statement about the incident.
2. FACEBOOK MADE A MISTAKE
What if Facebook has made a big mistake and verified a page based on a last name of a person requesting verification, just by assuming that this is the ‘real’ Di Maria? As you can see, the name of page is only ‘Di Maria’, not Angel Di Maria. How can this happen to Facebook?
3. ADMIN UNPUBLISHED THE PAGE
Another reasonable explanation would be that the page admin, seeing the commotion he stirred up, decided to lay low and unpublish the page until the drama is over. It’s not the right way of doing things, but if they’re not professionals, it’s possible.
Who, in your opinion, made a mistake? Take part in our Twitter poll and voice your opinion.
Who made a mistake? #DiMaria #smsports #digisport #RealMadrid #PSG Details in our article: https://t.co/ERC9tY3hVi
— Overtime Sport (@promo_overtime) November 26, 2015
WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
Every player, especially a high quality player, needs to be on social media. If he had an official Facebook page, even without any posts, people would know that this is the real page. PSG wouldn’t need to issue a statement about the incident, and Angel would not get this bad publicity.
There will always be people who will try to take over some famous pages. I remember when Enzo Perez singed for Valencia, on what looked like his ‘official’ Facebook page, he posted something like: “Thank you Valencia!”. But it wasn’t official, even if it looked like that with the blue verification tick (but only on profile photo).
In this moment, the page has 35.456 likes. But it isn’t Enzo’s official page. These situations are very dangerous for the player, club, and even sponsors.
Angel Di Maria has many false Facebook pages and people probably know that, but even these pages can pose a threat.
If you play professionally, you also need professionals to develop & run your communication, branding and digital presence. You can draw a parallel with injuries. When player is injured, he is going to see the best doctor, not a family friend doctor. But players prefer to have people who are not professionals, such as their friends, run their social networks because “anyone can do that”. And then this happens…
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What do you think?
Despite this obvious stuff up I’m still of the opinion that athletes should be the primary providers for content for their social channels. Yes it helps having a consultant to teach the ropes and assist them with larger campaigns but it it is completely outsourced then it will lose the authenticity that fans crave. I’ve trained numerous athletes on social media and once they know a few simple guidelines most can handle it.