Exclusive: Ex-Liverpool star reveals he still receives social media abuse & admits ‘surprise’ at Wijnaldum’s comments

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Former Liverpool fullback Jose Enrique has expressed his surprise at Gini Wijnaldum’s comments regarding the impact of social media abuse.

The 35-year-old added that he himself continues to receive abusive messages despite his own career having ended in 2017.

“To be honest, I think every single player experiences some form of grief from social media,” the former fullback told Empire of the Kop.

“With Gini Wijnaldum leaving on a free transfer, I’m sure it will be more than the average, though.

“Even with me, although I am retired, I still receive some messages that I don’t want to tell anyone about. I don’t like to click on these messages, but sometimes people are getting in touch for other reasons and you end up reading them.

“But then you just delete it. It doesn’t affect me, but I am a little surprised Gini would come out and speak about these messages he’s received on social media.”

The Dutch international divided fans on Twitter, with Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher questioning the rationale behind the midfielder’s comments.

Enrique explained that his own surprise on the matter related to the nature of the PSG’s star’s departure from Liverpool, expecting him to point to failed contract talks.

“With Gini, I actually thought he was going to come out and say something different,” the ex-defender added. “I was expected him to say something about the owners, because we all knew he wanted to extend his contract. I didn’t think it was about money, not really.”

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Liverpool’s failure to offer the 30-year-old more favourable terms is thought to have been the leading factor behind his Anfield exit.

Regardless, one can more than understand Wijnaldum bringing the issue of social media abuse to light considering how the player was targeted at times when team performance dipped.

With those in charge of the relevant platforms failing to take effective action to protect footballers against the actions of faceless online abusers, we can certainly more than understand the former Newcastle star’s frustrations on the matter.

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