Manchester City and Belgium captain Vincent Kompany has just joined the growing list of professional footballers on Twitter, and to celebrate he is encouraging fans to contact him with words of encouragement via the social networking site before the forthcoming Manchester derby FA Cup match on Sunday.

The competition is open to all, and the winning tweet, selected by the man himself, will earn its creator Kompany’s match day shirt and captain’s armband from the game - a mighty prize for any Man City supporter, not so for a humble Liverpool fan who just so happened to watch him give a storming man-of-the-match performance last night when City won 3-0. Pah.

To enter, Twitter users should send their inspirational team talks to @VincentKompany, including the hashtag #followthecaptain by 10AM Friday 6 January.

Kompany himself is pleased to have joined the Twitteratti, regardless of the problems other footballers have faced, including run-ins with their clubs and the FA over tweeted comments: "I just hope that by joining twitter I can get closer to the people that are prepared to support me in the good and bad times by giving them an insight into what it means to be playing for the fastest growing club in the world and a young promising national team," he says.

He joins an ever growing list of Man City players who tweet, including Adam Johnson (@AJohno_11), Nigel De Jong (@NDJ_Official), Samir Nasri (@SamNasri19), Sergio Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) and Micah Richards (@OfficialMR2).

What footballers do you follow on Twitter? Let us know in the comments below...