The Effects of Social Media Abuse on Footballers: A Closer Look at João Cancelo’s Experience

The world of professional football is not just about scoring goals and winning matches, it is also about dealing with the harsh realities of social media abuse. Recently, João Cancelo opened up about the extent of the abuse he received following Barcelona’s Champions League elimination at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain. The abusive comments he received not only targeted him but also extended to his family, including his unborn child.

Cancelo shared in an interview that the comments wishing death upon his family, particularly his unborn child, were extremely hurtful and crossed a line. He expressed his disbelief at the cruelty of people who hide behind their screens to attack him and his loved ones. The abuse extended to his partner as well, highlighting the personal nature of the attacks footballers face online. Despite having thick skin, Cancelo admitted that the comments took a toll on him, making it difficult to find the right words to respond.

In addition to facing abusive comments, Cancelo was also subjected to criticism from former footballers like Rio Ferdinand. While Cancelo accepted constructive criticism of his performance on the field, he emphasized the difference between criticizing his game and attacking his family. Despite acknowledging that everyone makes mistakes, Cancelo found it hard to accept the personal attacks on his loved ones.

The pressure of performing at the highest level in football is already immense, but when coupled with social media abuse, it can become unbearable. Cancelo shared that the night after the match against PSG, he couldn’t sleep due to the weight of the defeat. As a professional athlete, he takes his job seriously and feels personally responsible for losses. The added stress of online attacks only intensifies the emotional burden he carries as a footballer.

As Barcelona looks ahead to their upcoming LaLiga match against Real Madrid, Cancelo sees it as an opportunity to put the recent events behind him. Despite the turbulent week, he remains focused on the game and the chance to make a statement on the field. The rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is a chance for Cancelo to regain his confidence and show resilience in the face of adversity.

The case of João Cancelo sheds light on the harsh realities of social media abuse in the world of football. It underscores the importance of addressing online hate and recognizing the human beings behind the athletes we watch on TV. As Cancelo continues to navigate the challenges of professional football, it is crucial for fans and critics alike to remember the impact their words can have on the mental health and well-being of players.

Soccer

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