World Cup: Uruguay Star Striker Luis Suarez Draws Twitter Buzz, U.K. Headlines

4:43 AM PST 06/20/2014 by Georg Szalai
AP Images

The player gets 1.5 million mentions on the social media platform by scoring two goals against England, whose second tournament game drew fewer tweets than its first.

LONDON – England's second World Cup match against Uruguay on Thursday night drew 6.7 million tweets, down from more than 7.2 million sent during the team's first game against Italy, according to the social media company.

Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez, who has played for English club Liverpool, drew about 1.5 million mentions, meaning he was referenced in more than a fifth of all tweets, according to estimates.

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As usually happens, the Twitter activity peaks happened around goals. Suarez's winning goal drew 214,246 tweets per minute, up from 147,428 for his first. In between that, the 1:1 equalizer from England's Wayne Rooney averaged 207,730 tweets per minute.

Suarez's two goals, which have put England on the brink of elimination, also dominated the U.K. newspaper headlines.

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News Corp's The Sun went with a tongue-in-cheek, counterintuitive headline: "We're through!" It used a picture of Rooney's wife and four-year-old son and an imaginary conversation between them about how England may still manage to make it past the group stage.

"Don't cry, Kai," The Sun imagined Rooney's wife saying. "If Italy beat Costa Rica today ... then Suarez & Co lose to Italy ... and Daddy scores a couple (or maybe more) against Costa Rica ..."

Free local paper Metro led with a picture of Rooney wiping his eyes and the title "On their Wayne home."

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The Daily Mail similarly went with "End of the World ... nearly," while the Express titled: "Now England's fate is in the hands of the gods."

Other U.K. papers used puns about Suarez's teeth. "All bite on the night," The Guardian said, while The Times headlined: "Twice Bitten." And The Independent's headline said: "Luis Suarez (of course) takes a huge bite out of England's hopes."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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