Image courtesy of Zimbio
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35 Women’s World Cup Players You Should Be Following on Instagram

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Image courtesy of Zimbio

Even though the Women’s World Cup is in full swing and the American women are set to take on China in primetime on Friday, games in the U.S. have been virtually hidden on television to this point. A point astutely noted by Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler when the two Saturday Night Live alum got together to bring back on Late Night to bring back an old classic: “Really!?! With Seth and Amy.”

The reason for the revival/reunion was a response to tweets by Sports Illustrated writer Andy Benoit, who unilaterally decided that “Not women’s soccer…..women’s sports in general not worth watching.” Naturally he’s not only an asshole, but also a coward who deleted the tweet soon after. This is one of those times you’re thankfully nothing on the internet can ever be undone.

Image courtesy of a complete and utter jagoff.

Image courtesy of a complete and utter jagoff.

Despite what certain jagoffs over at SI think, there are plenty of sports fans that think women’s soccer is worth watching. And if you can’t catch all the games, many of the women competing are compelling athletes worth following on social media, particularly Instagram.

Which is why I’ve put together a list of 35 World Cup women you should definitely be following on Instagram.

35. Tobin Heath, United States 

Instagram ID: tobinheath

American midfielder Tobin Heath has a megawatt smile and strangely pinchable cheeks (even to an adult stranger) that her cuteness may actually possess its own gravitational pull. (Just a theory.) Yet for some reason, this photo of Heath doing some extreme packing is what made the cut—like “athletes, they’re just like us!”

34. Hege Hansen, Norway

At the risk of generalizing Norway and it’s beautiful blonde ice people, Norwegian forward Hege Hansen would be exceptionally difficult to pick out of a crowd in downtown Oslo—let alone her own team.

Honestly though, it’s not a bad thing—there are worse things than being blonde, beautiful, athletic and tolerant of the cold. If any of those qualities appeal to you, following Miss Hansen—or any of her teammates—on Instagram will too.

  1. Lena Goessling, Germany

German midfielder Lena Goessling may be the only member (or one of the very few) of her team with a social media presence, which means she makes the list by default. Not that she’s totally unworthy of a follow on Instagram, but the experience thus far is a C-plus at best.

  1. Renae Cuellar, Mexico

Instagram ID: renaecuellar10_

Mexican forward Renae Cuellar seems to have some friends in high places. Well at least one such friend: aging Lakers great Kobe Bryant. Cuellar also has a friendly smile and a positively fetching French Bulldog, which I considered posting instead of Kobe.

  1. Kyah Simon, Australia

Australian forward Kyah Simon is all about the smiles and the behind-the-scenes fun at the World Cup. Doesn’t get much more behind-the-scenes than hanging out in your hotel with scantily clad teammates.

  1. Stephanie Labbe, Canada

Instagram ID: stephlabbe1

Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe has traveled to all corners of the world with the Canadian national team, generously documenting the best bits and pieces of her journey for us to gawk at via Instagram. Sand-surfing, camel rides, beach bikini time, boat rides and a trip to the Taj Mahal were among the many activities the ladies engaged in during a trip to the United Arab Emirates a few months back.

  1. Marta Corredera, Spain

Instagram ID: corredera7

Spanish midfielder Marta Corredera spends most of her downtime becoming one with nature. Her Instagram page is awash with scenic, serene photos of Corredera relaxing in what is obviously her most natural environment.

  1. Olivia Schough, Sweden

Instagram ID: oliviaschough

Swedish midfielder Olivia Schough is the go-to gal for anyone who wants to keep up with the goings-on of Sweden’s women’s soccer team through the eyes (or iPhone lens) of a single Norse goddess.

  1. Rosie White, New Zealand

Instagram ID: rosiewhite

New Zealand forward Rosie White doesn’t slow down off the pitch—she looks to be an adrenaline junkie with a passion for all things fast or flying. Oh, and if you like pictures of people jumping in the air in unison, you’ll love following White on Instagram.

  1. Kelley O’Hara, United States

Instagram ID: kelleyohara

American defender Kelley O’Hara is yet another female footballer who may exist simply to make the rest of us feel bad about ourselves.Surely she’s not doing it on purpose, but the fact that O’Hara has model good looks and could probably beat you at just about anything, well that can be rough on the ego.

With that said, if you’ve got solid self-confidence, you definitely need to be following this sun-worshiping stunner.

  1. Eniola Aluko, England

Instagram ID: eniinstagram

English forward Eniola Aluko’s Instagram page is an impressive insight into just how hard female footballers train. She’s a workout warrior that would put just about any of us to shame.

  1. Isabella Echeverri, Colombia

Instagram ID: isabellaecheverri11

Colombia midfielder Isabella Echeverri is one of the team’s shutterbugs, documenting the team’s World Cup experience. Although her photos aren’t quite as exciting as some of the others on this list, Echeverri posts regularly, and her captivating and contagious smile will lure you in quickly.

  1. Caroline Seger, Sweden

Instagram ID: segercaroline

Swedish midfielder Caroline Seger has been bouncing about the globe with her beautiful blonde teammates for just over a decade now. (Her first international was against Germany in March 2005.)

But just because she’s an established veteran on a relatively young team, doesn’t mean Seger doesn’t have her share of fun too. And like many people in their early 30s, the dream of making it in the music industry still flames eternal.

  1. Christina Murillo, Mexico

Instagram ID: xtinamurillo10

Mexican defender Christina Murillo and her teammates know how to take advantage of that sun-drenched weather they’re known for south of the border. That’s in addition to being on a national level with her footballer skills.

  1. Lauren Sesselmann, Canada

Instagram ID: lsesselm

Canadian defender Lauren Sesselmann, without intentionally trying to sound dismissive or superficial, is uncomfortably stunning—like the kind of beauty men think they want in a woman, but in reality it would just make them nervous.

Even though Sesselmann could’ve coasted through life on looks alone, she’s a world-class athlete who somehow comes off as approachable and friendly in photos—like one of those women you would totally hate, if you didn’t totally love her.

  1. Ashlyn Harris, United States

American backup goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris, who may or may not be living in constant fear of notoriously hostile Hope Solo, obviously isn’t ready to steal the starting job from Solo. But it’s hard to imagine she’ll give U.S. women’s soccer the same kind of headaches when she does.

Always smiling and surrounded by friends and family, the laid-back Harris might be Solo’s complete and total opposite—a good thing and worth a follow!

  1. Tameka Butt, Australia

Instagram ID: tamekabutt

Australian midfielder Tameka Butt is a beautiful beachy blonde who doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously off the pitch. You’ve got to have a good sense of humor if your last name is “Butt,” right?

  1. Julie Johnston, United States

Instagram ID: juliejohnston2

American defender Julie Johnston is a feisty blonde with an adorable dog and a man in her life who cannot keep his hands off her. Though she posts plenty of soccer-related photos, Johnston’s enviable love story seems to be where her heart (or at least her camera) is at. Sorry, fellas.

  1. Laure Boulleau, France

Instagram ID: laureboulleauofficiel

French defender Laure Boulleau is absolutely adorable, and it’s admirable that she’s embraced her inner cat lady at such a young age. Actually, she doesn’t have that many cat photos on Instagram—she has just enough.

  1. Celia Jimenez Delgado, Spain

Instagram ID: celiajimenezdelgado

Spanish defender Celia Jimenez Delgado’s Instagram page is a mishmash of teammates, travels and tiny bikinis. And every now and then she jumps off a cliff!

  1. Megan Rapinoe, United States

Instagram ID: mrapinoe

American midfielder Megan Rapinoe has a standout sense of humor on the U.S. team, assuming Instagram photos are the accurate personality indicator I generally trust them to be. (Let’s assume they are, for arguments sake.) Rapinoe’s posts are fantastically random—you seriously never know what you’re gonna get—and gloriously short on sultry duckface selfies.

  1. Yoreli Rincon, Colombia

Instagram ID: yorelirincon

Colombia midfielder Yoreli Rincon has nearly 2,000 posts on Instagram, which basically means she posts around the clock. Sometimes the quantity overwhelms the quality, but even though it’s largely a mixed bag, more often than not, her photos are worth a look. Rincon is so dedicated to Instagram that she even has people watching her when she sleeps!

  1. Kaylyn Kyle & Jonelle Filigno, Canada

Instagram IDs: kaylynkyle, jfiligno16

Canadian forwards Kaylyn Kyle and Jonelle Filigno, like so many of their teammates, are both so gorgeous and athletically gifted that it’s legitimately confusing. Like maybe they’re some sort of mutant strain of females that are the result of a magical glacier melting?(Climate change silver lining?) Anyway, they’re both great individual follows on Instagram, but it didn’t seem right to separate these besties.

  1. Christen Press, United States

Instagram ID: christenpress

American forward Christen Press is a fitness fanatic who posts on the regular to Instagram. Her photos with friends and teammates, which document her travels around the world, are always great for a glance, but don’t look too long, lest you get too caught up in coveting her seemingly glorious life. Press is also a dog lover and, apparently, a fan of The Lion King.

  1. Hannah Wilkinson, New Zealand

Instagram ID: hwilkin17

New Zealand forward Hannah Wilkinson is another Kiwi with an impressive zeal for life, although she’s at least part-time American these days, playing college soccer for the Lady Vols at Tennessee. Wilkinson also makes time for snow sports, water sports and skateboarding. She even plays the guitar too. Seriously, it’s just impressive.

  1. Elin Rubensson, Sweden

Instagram ID: erubensson

Swedish defender Elin Rubensson will appreciate you (and I) refraining from making any creepy references to the Swedish bikini team. Based on the photo above, it doesn’t actually take much restraint, because one Swede in a bikini does not a team make. That’s why it was chosen over this photo.

  1. Ali Krieger, United States

Instagram ID: akrieger11

American defender Ali Krieger is a fitness fanatic with a big bright smile and a ton of friends in her life. With a distinct lack of silly selfies and stupid motivational sayings polluting her page, Krieger is one of my favorite athlete follows in all of sports. And seriously, how out of control cuddly and delightful is that pic of her and that massive dog napping together?

  1. Laura Alleway, Australia

Instagram ID: lauraalleway

Australian defender Laura Alleway may be a word-class footballer, but she says she’s really a surfer at heart. As such, she spends an awful lot of time on the beach, although she seems to spend time all over the world. It’s certainly worth keeping up with her adventures.

  1. Onome Ebi, Nigeria

Instagram ID: onosky5

Nigerian defender Onome Ebi is one of few competitors from Africa and Asia that I was able to find on social media. Language barriers and different social media platforms make things difficult. That’s exactly why Ebi, who plays professionally in Belarus, is a must-follow on Instagram. She offers a rare glimpse into the Nigerian team.

  1. Maria Thorisdottir, Norway

Instagram ID: mariathorisdottir

Norwegian defender Maria Thorisdottir actually doesn’t post all that regularly on Instagram, with just 64 pics and counting. But we all know that it’s about quality not quantity.

  1. Ali Riley, New Zealand

Instagram ID: rileythree

New Zealand defender Ali Riley is the perfect Instagram follow. She posts interesting things regularly, some of which are borderline overshares. In addition to an good sense of humor, she seems to be running on everlasting batteries and never slows down, which is impressive, because the girl is always on the move!

  1. Emily Zurrer, Canada

Instagram ID: emme_z

Canadian defender Emily Zurrer is basically the coolest girl you know, assuming you know any. She’s got girl-next-door good looks, loves dogs and the outdoors and probably has a great sense of humor because she’s always surrounded by friends. Off the pitch, you might find Zurrer living dangerously by cliff-diving or chilling at the bowling alley.

  1. Monica Alvarado, Mexico

Instagram ID: moni_alvarado8

Mexican midfielder Monica Alvarado is the standout, must-follow member of her team.

Among her recent Instagram shenanigans: an encounter with an aggressive ostrich (is there any other kind?), a friendly meet-and-greet with a giraffe, a photo op with Kobe Bryant, a festive group swim, a religious journey and embracing the opportunity to fiddle with military-grade assault weapons.

Seriously, that’s just in the last month.

  1. Alex Morgan, United States

Instagram ID: alexmorgan13

Team USA forward Alex Morgan is America’s sweetheart and a certified national treasure, so of course she’s going to make this list. That being said, her Instagram isn’t quite as interesting or regularly updated as that of bestie Sydney Leroux for instance. But either way, you should already be following Morgan.

  1. Sydney Leroux, United States

Instagram ID: sydneyleroux

Speaking of Alex Morgan’s BFF, American forward Sydney Leroux is a woman whose Instagram game—not to mention everything else about her game—is on-point. Outgoing and boasting a welcoming smile, she shares a lot more of her private life on social media than most athletes. Leroux is also beautiful and not the least bit body conscious, based on the amount of skin she’s comfortable showing.

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