Young stars turn to social networks
© Getty Images

Social networks are now an accepted part of everyday life, and the number of people using them is constantly increasing. These users form a vast online community that transcends national borders.

It is therefore not surprising that the young performers involved in the ongoing FIFA U-17 World Cup have been turning to these modern tools in order to send photos back from the United Arab Emirates to their loved ones between matches. Prior to the culmination of UAE 2013 on Friday, FIFA.com took a closer look at players’ activity on social media throughout the tournament.

These days, social networks are an essential part of life.
Slovakia's Hromada from UAE

The distance between Abu Dhabi and Sao Paolo didn't prevent Brazilian right-sided defender Auro and his team-mates from staying in touch with their nearest and dearest. “Modern technology makes life a lot simpler for us,” he said.

The enthusiastic user of FaceTime and other video chat services added: “Before leaving Brazil, we were given information about the Emirates so that we weren’t travelling into the unknown. I’ve taken lots of photos, but I’m going to wait until I get home to show them to my friends and family.”

Auro and Co had hoped to remain in the UAE for as long as possible, but they were eliminated by Mexico in the quarter-finals. El Tri’s victorious players received online support from their families and Mexican Formula 1 driver Sergio Perez, who met them in person and encouraged them via Twitter in the run-up to their semi-final duel with Argentina on Tuesday.

Staying connected
Slovakia, meanwhile, exited the competition in the Round of 16, but team captain Jakub Hromada and his team-mates are not likely to forget their time in Abu Dhabi, having apparently enjoyed themselves immensely both on and off the pitch.

The Juventus midfielder also benefited from easy access to Internet-based tools. “I sent loads of photos from the UAE to my family and friends. I generally communicate with them by video chat or by Facebook. These days, social networks are an essential part of life,” he explained.

While the family of New Zealand’s Zac Speedy were already by his side in Abu Dhabi, the young goalkeeper still frequently made use of social networks during the U-17 contest. “Like others, I’m lucky to have my family here supporting me at each match. I’ve been using Facebook to stay in touch with my friends, who’ve been following my progress on TV. I also check the U-17 World Cup Facebook page every day to stay up-to-date with what’s happening,” he said.

Elsewhere, Canadian custodian Marco Carducci has also been very active online, especially on Twitter, where he's been describing the amazing experience he and his team have been having in the Emirates over the past few weeks.

All of these promising footballers are hopeful that this experience will represent an early boost to their professional careers; they will certainly not be slow in keeping the watching world informed of their progress via Twitter and Facebook.