Marcelo Vieira is a member of Brazil's national team. He has a Twitter account at @12MarceloV and roughly 2.13 million followers. He was responsible for an own goal that gave Croatia a brief one-goal lead over Brazil in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
Marcello Ferri, meanwhile, is a muscle-bound Europe-based model who keeps a Twitter presence at @Marcello and has roughly 58K followers to his name. He has one more "l" in his first name than Vieira and, well, he most certainly did not score an own goal against Croatia.
Nevertheless, some of the world's less astute Twitter users did not appreciate the subtle differences between the two men, leading Marcello Ferri to tweet the following plea:
To all those hurling abuse at me for scoring an own goal, please re-direct your anger to @12MarceloV. Thank you
— Marcello (@Marcello) June 12, 2014
Ah, the shrapnel that blind Twitter rage can produce. It just goes to show you that there are few winners when it comes to the world of social media. Here are a few of the @Marcello mentions that we can actually embed on a family site:
"@Marcello: So when does the World Cup finish?" For me, when you die.
— Steve Maclean (@Koqology) June 13, 2014
The good news is that Marcello Ferri is far from the first victim of mistaken identity when it comes to online hating. Twitters users with names similar to David Moyes, Robin Van Persie and Andre Villas-Boas bonded together over the abuse they've received. And Marcello Ferri had a simple request for his new pal Marcelo going forward:
It's not the first time that an innocent bystander has been targeted while minding their own business on social media during or after a big sports event.
British cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has been accidentally targeted on Twitter by football fans on several occasions as a result of having a vaguely similar name to Premier League referee Chris Foy.
Whenever Foy has made a few unpopular and high-profile decisions, fans have mistakenly written to Olympic champion Hoy expressing their displeasure, rounding on the oblivious Olympic legend.
"Getting some rather amusing grief from Spurs fans!" Hoy said on Twitter after one such occasion.
"Just for the record 1) I don't need glasses and 2) I do not lead a double life as a ref. That's Chris Foy."
The 35-year-old Scot, who has won four Olympic gold medals, started the hashtag "#FoyNotHoy" and it has since become a trending topic in the UK.
"On the plus side I've learned some new 4 letter words today," wrote Hoy on the social networking website.
"Try typing in 'chris hoy' into the search and scroll down a bit to see the post match reactions! Hilarious!"
With thanks to Yahoo! US's Dirty Tackle blog
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