I was a little late to the party when it came to Instagram, joining just last September. But now I’m all in, not least because Instagram is highly addictive — and a fun way to follow many of the 736 players who will be participating in the upcoming World Cup.
In fact, the good folks at Instagram were kind enough to give SI.com the first look at their comprehensive list of World Cup players and squads. The list below contains players from 30 of the 32 World Cup teams, 13 official national team accounts and 17 of the 23 players on the U.S. World Cup team. And that's not including the official FIFA World Cup account.
There are some real hidden gems here. Who knew, for example, that Russian defender Sergei Ignashevich had amazing taste in photography? Following players on Instagram is great for a couple reasons. One, in a global sport like soccer you don’t need to speak 20 different languages in order to understand a photograph. And two, athletes tend to feel more comfortable sharing on Instagram than on more word-driven platforms. (U.S. women's forward Alex Morgan has told me exactly that.)
So enjoy these Instagram follows for the World Cup, and if there are any player accounts we should add, feel free to notify us in the comments section. Finally (shameless plug), check out SI’s Planet Fútbol account, which will be chronicling this summer's competition from the scene in Brazil.