Italy players to have free rein on social media

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 21, 2014 at 11:51 am •  Published: May 21, 2014

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Italy coach Cesare Prandelli is letting his players use social networks freely during the World Cup.

Forward Ciro Immobile said Wednesday that Prandelli discussed the matter with captain Gianluigi Buffon.

Immobile says, "The coach is giving us free reign. ... But with a recommendation not to send too many (potentially controversial) tweets before and after matches. We need to be careful to choose our words well. It's up to us not to fall into any traps."

Prandelli at one point considered banning players from using social networks but he said Tuesday that, "by nature, I'm not a person who bans things."

Among Italy's squad, Mario Balotelli has the most Twitter followers with 2.11 million. Defender Giorgio Chiellini is next with 1.05 million, while United States-born forward Giuseppe Rossi has 789,000.

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