Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney has cemented his place as the most popular British athlete on social media by going past the 10 million followers mark on Twitter.

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The social network released the figures on Monday to mark Rooney hitting the milestone, which also revealed that 74 per cent of his followers are based outside the UK.

The United and England number 10 is now the fifth most followed footballer globally, with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo leading the way with 30 million followers of his official account.

Rooney is the first Premier League player to reach 10 million followers.

Despite playing for Manchester United, London is the city with the highest volume of Rooney followers, and Twitter revealed that 29 per cent of those following Rooney’s official account also do the same with pop star Katy Perry.

The US singer remains the most popular account, with more than 58 million followers.

Rooney now sits ninth on the list of most followed British Twitter users, with One Direction’s Harry Styles top with just over 22 million followers.

Also in the top five are Adele and actress Emma Watson, as well as Styles’ One Direction bandmates Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.

Rooney is around 500,000 followers behind X Factor boss Simon Cowell, with comedian Russell Brand completing the top 10, which also includes another member of One Direction in Zayn Malik, and fellow musician Ed Sheeran.

As of March this year Twitter had around 240 million monthly active users worldwide, 15 million of which are based in the UK.

The site is still working to keep pace with rival Facebook, which boasts more than one billion active users around the world.

Both sites are said turning their attention to mobile payments, with Twitter already trialling a Buy Now button, where users will be able to make purchases directly from tweets.

New screenshots also seem to suggest Facebook is preparing to introduce a peer-to-peer payment feature to the Messenger app, which would enable users to send money to friends.