The World Cup is nearly here! The tournament kicks off on June 14th, when host country Russia will play Saudi Arabia. The squads are nearly finalized and training camps are starting. Whether you’re a diehard football fan or a casual spectator, we all like seeing players off the field and getting a glimpse into their lives. Lucky for us, plenty of players have active social media accounts and share pictures and videos. We’ve compiled a list of some World Cup players social media accounts you ought to know about, with links to their Twitter or Instagram – follow them and you’ll get to see interesting behind the scenes content on and off the pitch.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is only 19 years old, and played fullback for Liverpool this year. His stellar play this past season earned him a callup to the Three Lions squad.
Danny Welbeck plays on the wing for Arsenal and for England. A versatile and skilled ballhandler, Danny is both a goalscoring threat and a creative buildup attacker.
Matthew Jurman has a small account for a footballer but is projected to be one of Australia’s starting XI. He plays for Suwon Samsung Bluewings club in Korea.
Mile Jedinak is the captain of the Socceroos, and plays defensive midfielder for the recently promoted Aston Villa in the UK. If he brings the momentum from promotion to the World Cup, Australia may just cause a few upsets.
Ola Toivonen doesn’t always tweet in English. A Swedish international who plays for Toulouse in France, this striker has big shoes to fill with Zlatan Ibrahimovic retiring from international soccer.
Victor Lindelof is a rising star for Manchester United and a key defender for Sweden. His ball skills launching attack out the back will be key for Sweden.
David Guzman plays for the Portland Timbers of the MLS. Costa Rica are a small upstart team, with a suffocating defense – Guzman plays in the midfield, and if he can support his attackers, Costa Rica might upset a few teams in the tournament.
Keylor Navas is a world class goalkeeper for Real Madrid. He is a huge part of Costa Rica’s chances and can potentially win them games on his own.
William Troost-Ekong plays as a central defender for Bursapor in Turkey. He was born in the Netherlands, but plays for Nigeria. His shutdown play in defense can give Nigeria’s potent attack a chance to win them some games.
Leon Balogun just signed for the Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion, after playing for German side FSV Mainz. He will partner at the defense with William for the Super Eagles.
Xherdan Shaqiri is a top notch winger who plays for Stoke City. Xherdan no doubt is hoping Switzerland’s campaign goes better than Stoke’s disastrous season, which saw them get relegated from the Premier League.
Yann Sommer is the goalkeeper for BMG in Germany. Switzerland will be relying on him to keep scores low if they will have a chance to advance in the tournament.
Alireza Jahanbaksh plays for Dutch club AZ and led the Eredivisie in scoring this past season. He will be the main attacking threat for Team Melli, and can lead them to some upset success in the tournament.
Mohamed Salah set the Premier League season goals record, led Liverpool to the Champions League Final, and his stellar play and attacking threat has inspired multiple songs. Egypt’s team, and their hopes for the tournament, rest on his shoulders – and hopefully, the shoulder injury he sustained in the Champions League Final will have healed by then.
Edinson Cavani is a world class striker for PSG. He has appeared for Uruguay over 100 times. Uruguay isn’t as star-studded as fellow South American sides Argentina or Brazil, but Cavani is a global talent and can lead Uruguay to success.
Luis Suarez is another world class striker, who plays for Barcelona. Suarez is Edinson’s partner in front of goal, and the two of them together are the main thrust of the team’s attack. Suarez can win games on his own, and Uruguay can go far on the backs of these two attackers.
Denis Cheryshev plays on the left wing for Spanish side Villarreal. His play from the left wing will determine Russia’s chances at success. He’ll have the home crowd behind him, though, as Russia is the host country of the World Cup.
Omar Hawsawi has appeared 41 times for the Saudi Arabian national team. He plays in the central defense and will occupy a position of leadership for the side. This is likely his last chance at any World Cup glory, as he is already 32 years old.
Goncalo Guedes is an up and coming star for PSG, who played for Spanish side Valencia this season on loan. He is only 21 years old and will be a key player for Portugal for years to come.
Ronaldo….is arguably football’s biggest star, and a social media sensation to boot. Fresh off winning the Champions League with Real Madrid, Ronaldo can bring a team deep into the tournament all on his own.
Sergio Ramos is a world class central defender for Real Madrid. He will be coming to the World Cup with the momentum of winning the Champions League.
Koke is the heart of the midfield for Atletico Madrid, and a young up and coming global star. His energy and linking play in the midfield will be instrumental in Spain mounting a challenge to win the World Cup.
Nordin Amrabat plays for English side Watford, though he played for Spanish club Leganes on loan this past season. Nordin is an accomplished international, having been capped 23 times for Morocco.
N’Golo Kante is a one man midfield wrecking crew for London-based Chelsea. He shuts down opponents’ attack and wins back the ball better than any other midfielder. He is a huge part of France’s team.
Samuel Umtiti plays in the central defense for Barcelona, having joined them from French side Olympique Lyonnais in 2016. He is just 24 years old, but already one of Europe’s better defenders. With Laurent Koscielny left off the France team due to injury, Umtiti will be relied upon at the back and will need to produce for France to be successful.
Sergio Pena plays for Spanish club Grenada. An attacking midfielder, he will be one of Peru’s main scoring threats.
Christian Eriksen is a world class attacking midfielder for English club Tottenham. His play right outside the box, especially on free kicks, is key for Denmark’s attack.
Kasper Schmeichel is the goalkeeper for Premier League side Leicester City. Kasper is the backbone of Leicester City, having joined them in the Champions League and backstopping them all the way to Premier League title. He has been between the sticks for Denmark 31 times.
Lionel Messi is perhaps the best football player in the world. He may be the best known sports player on the planet today! Any team featuring Messi is automatically a contender for winning trophies – though Messi recently said he doesn’t think Argentina’s squad is good enough to win in 2018.
Gonzalo Higuain is a world class striker for Juventus. Signed from Napoli in 2016 for the highest-ever Italian transfer, Higuain is a threat to dominate matches all on his own. Gonzalo’s father Jorge was also a footballer, and the two share the nickname Pipa.
Gylfi Sigurdsson plays for Mancunian club Everton. He has scored 18 international goals over 55 caps for Iceland, and is the focal point of their attack. Iceland have perhaps the most fanatical national fan base in Europe, and Gylfi is the key to their hopes.
Mario Mandzukic plays for Juventus. He is a two way player – the rare goalscoring threat who also contributes heavily on defense. He has appeared for Croatia 82 times already.
Ivan Rakitic plays in the midfield for Barcelona. He has 90 international caps. Together with Mandzukic, Rakitic gives Croatia a potent attack. Croatia are a trendy Cinderella pick for World Cup glory.
Gabriel Jesus is a young phenom for Premier League winners Manchester City. Always a threat to score, he made 39 appearances this season for City and notched 20 goals.
Roberto Firmino is the false nine striker for Liverpool. Perhaps overshadowed by teammate Mo Salah, Firmino contributed 15 goals for Liverpool this season, and a further 11 goals for Brazil in only 14 appearances.
Nemanja Matic patrols the defensive midfield for Manchester United, shutting down opponents and winning the ball back for his team regularly. He has appeared 38 times for Serbia.
Mesut Ozil is a creative force in the attacking midfield for Arsenal. His silky dribbling and passing prowess serves up tap in chances for attackers. His play in the center will create the goals for Germany.
Manuel Neuer may be the world’s best goalkeeper. He mans the sticks for Bayern in Germany. Manuel is the prototypical “sweeper keeper” – he does so much more than just stop shots, as his breakout play helps launch counterattacks for his team. You can find him dribbling the ball outside the box fairly often!
Jonathan dos Santos plays midfield for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS. He has made 29 appearances for Mexico, and his link up play will be a key part of their transition from defense to attack.
Hirving Lozano is a winger for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. A goalscorer from the wings, Hirving has 7 goals in 25 international appearances for Mexico.
Koo Jacheol is a midfielder for German side FC Augsburg. Even though he is a midfielder, he has an uncanny knack for scoring goals – in 65 international caps, he has 19 goals for South Korea. He used to be captain for the South Korean national team.
Thomas Vermaelen is a defender for Barcelona. He usually plays in the middle, though he can contribute at left fullback at times. He has donned the Belgian jersey 63 times.
Eden Hazard is a world class forward for Chelsea. His ability to both create chances for teammates and score on his own gives his team multiple options at the front. Eden can play in the middle or off the wing, and is acknowledged as one of the best players in the world.
Roman Torres is a defender for the Seattle Sounders of the MLS. He is the key player for the Panamanian national team, and his ability to limit opposing goalscorers will be key to the upstart nation’s campaign.
Anibal Godoy is a midfielder, and vice-captain, for the American team San Jose Earthquakes. He already has 55 appearances for Panama.
Yohan Benlouane plays in the defense for Leicester City. Yohan was eligible to play for both France and Tunisia internationally, but chose to be part of Tunisia’s international setup.
Ali Maaloul will be Benlouane’s partner in the defense for Tunisia. He plays for Egyptian club Al-Ahly.
Robert Lewandowski may be the world’s best striker. He spearheads Bayern’s nearly unstoppable attack. Robert is the captain for Poland, and has scored an impressive 52 international goals in 93 caps.
Wojciech Szczesny is the goalkeeper for Juventus. His father was also a professional goalkeeper. Wojciech has backstopped Poland 33 times.
Sadio Mane is a member of Liverpool’s attacking “Fab Three” and scored Liverpool’s lone goal in the Champions League Final. He has 14 goals in 49 appearances for Senegal.
Idrissa Gana Gueye is a shutdown defensive midfielder for Premier League side Everton. His ball winning ability in the midfield will be key for Senegal to stay off their back foot during matches.
David Ospina is a goalkeeper for Arsenal. He has backstopped Colombia 85 times, and isn’t even 30 years old! He was the second youngest goalkeeper ever to appear for Columbia’s national team.
James Rodriguez played for Bayern on loan from Real Madrid this season. James contributed 7 goals and 11 assists to Bayern’s title season. He is the captain of the Columbian team, and their main creator on the attack.
Maya Yoshida is a defender for English club Southampton. He has 10 international goals across 80 appearances for Japan.
Hiroki Sakai may well partner with Maya in the defense for Japan. He plays for French side Olympique Marseilles. He has 41 caps for Japan.