Major League Soccer is a league on the rise – and its players’ social media pages seem to be trending the same way.
The likes of Gareth Bale and Gonzalo Higuain may have retired, but there is certainly no shortage of big names remaining in the division.
Indeed, MLS could potentially even soon see the arrival of Lionel Messi, who has been linked with a move to Inter Miami. It would make an already compelling league an even bigger draw for fans – and you can watch every single match from wherever you are in the world with an MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
Instagram seems to be the platform of choice for most players at the moment. So, here are the top 10 most followed MLS players on the platform.
10. Talles Magno – 439k followers
One of The Guardian’s ‘Next Generation’ players in 2019, Magno hasn’t quite hit the heights many thought he would just yet.
But the Brazilian has found a welcoming home at New York City FC, which is reflected in his 439,000 followers on Instagram.
9. Sebastian Driussi – 1m followers
Having played for River Plate and Zenit Saint Petersburg, two of the biggest clubs outside of the big five leagues, it’s not a shock that Driussi has built up a substantial online fanbase.
Now at Austin FC, the attacking midfielder scored a remarkable 25 goals in the 2022 season. Fair play.
Oh, my Sebastián Driussi AGAIN from outside the box. 😲🎯 pic.twitter.com/MHqBKQHAMZ
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 25, 2022
8. Thiago Almada – 1.4m followers
Almada made history in December 2022 by becoming the first active MLS player to win the World Cup as part of Argentina’s squad.
Having joined Atlanta United earlier that year, the forward has scored 14 times in 46 appearances and is fully established as one of the league’s best players.
7. Carlos Vela – 1.7m followers
As one of Mexico’s most famous footballers, it’s hardly surprising that Vela has a huge army of followers on his Instagram account.
6. Lorenzo Insigne – 2.2m followers
After signing a bumper contract with Toronto FC in January 2022, Insigne has so far made just 24 appearances for his MLS side – albeit scoring 10 goals when he has taken the field.
But that hasn’t stopped the European Championship winner from accumulating over two million followers on Instagram.
5. Federico Bernardeschi – 2.8m followers
Bernardesechi is only 29, yet the winger who has shone for Juventus and Italy is currently playing for Toronto FC. We’re genuinely shocked.
But we’re less surprised to learn he’s taken MLS by storm, scoring 11 times in 32 appearances for his new club. Or that he’s extremely popular on social media.
Playing for Italy’s best-supported club for five years will do wonders for your standing.
Is Federico Bernardeschi officially a ‘Toronto Man’? 🇨🇦
Which reaction is your favourite? 😂 pic.twitter.com/GAoRGOry43
— TLN TV (@TLNTV) September 26, 2022
4. Xherdan Shaqiri – 2.8m followers
A player Premier League fans will be very familiar with, Switzerland winger Shaqiri has played for Chicago Fire FC since February 2022.
The 31-year-old has won 18 trophies throughout his career with FC Basel, Liverpool and Bayern Munich.
Indeed, Shaqiri was part of a superb Liverpool squad that won both the Premier League and the Champions League.
3. Riqui Puig – 3m followers
Once dubbed ‘the next Xavi’ by pundits, Puig has never really lived up to his sky-high potential.
The Spanish midfielder signed for Los Angeles FC on a free transfer in 2022 after failing to break into Xavi’s starting XI.
Since, he has made 28 appearances for the MLS side, scoring five goals and making three assists.
2. Giorgio Chiellini – 5.3m followers
Another ex-Juventus player, the legendary Chiellini signed for Los Angeles FC in 2022.
The 38-year-old won an incredible 19 major trophies during his time at the Allianz Stadium. Since arriving in MLS, he has featured 21 times, scoring one goal in the process.
1. Douglas Costa – 6.2m followers
Former Bayern Munich, Juventus and Shakhtar Donetsk winger Costa is the most-followed MLS player on Instagram in 2023.
The Brazilian was widely touted to be the next big thing early in his career. But, he has suffered several injuries that limited his development
He now plays for LA Galaxy, where he has scored four goals in 33 appearances.