June 4, 2018 was a big day for Indian football. All 7,000 tickets at the Mumbai Football Arena had been sold out as India took on Kenya at the Intercontinental Cup 2018. Days before, Captain Sunil Chhetri had made a video appeal on Twitter, asking fans to fill the stadium. “Abuse us, criticise us but please come to watch the Indian national team play,” Chhetri had said with folded hands. The tweet went viral and the Blue Tigers beat a profligate Kenya side 3-0 in a rain-marred tie in a jam-packed stadium. His famous tweet has now been recognised as the most “retweeted tweet” of the year from India.
The video Tweet from @chetrisunil11 has been retweeted almost 60,000 times, according to Twitter India.
In his video message, Chhetri had said: “To all of you, who have lost hope or don’t have any hope in Indian football, we request you to come and watch us in the stadium.”
This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. pic.twitter.com/fcOA3qPH8i
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018
What had prompted Chhetri to make the appeal were the empty stands at the previous game. Only around 2,500 fans had came to watch that match.
As the year 2018 draws to a close soon, Twitter India released a list of the topics and accounts tweeted about the most in India.
The most liked tweet of 2018 was Virat Kohli’s (@imVkohli) tweet featuring a picture with Anushka Sharma (@AnushkaSharma) on the occasion of Karvachauth.
The tweet showcasing the celebrity couple in ethnic wear has over 215,000 likes.
The year also saw regional entertainment conversations generating massive engagement on Twitter.
South Indian films #Sarkar, #Viswasam, #BharatAneNenu, #AravindhaSametha, #Rangasthalam, #Kaala and TV show #BiggBossTelugu2 clinched seven of the top 10 hashtags.
Also dominating the top hashtag trends were Chennai Super Kings with #WhistlePodu and #MeToo.
2018 was also the year when Twitteratti reacted en masse to the Kathua rape-murder case, and engaged in political debates on #KarnatakaElection and #Aadhaar.
Global sporting occasions like #AsianGames as Indian athletes, including Bajrang Punia (@BajrangPunia), Hima Das (@HimaDas8) and PV Sindhu (@Pvsindhu), won laurels also dominated conversations through the year.