These profiles have now become crucial aspects of athletes across the globe.
During the last few years, football has reached a new height of popularity in India. Not only crowded stands, but a huge social media following is another example of the burgeoning approval for Indian football. The commencement of the Indian Super League (ISL) has given players a tremendous fan-following on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
In this article, we take a look at the 10 most followed players in Indian football on social media:
10. Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem – 158.4k
The shot-stopper came into the spotlight during the FIFA U-17 World Cup, where he was the first-choice goalkeeper under Luis Norton de Matos. Then he joined Kerala Blasters, where he was a fan-favourite. This gave an obvious boost to his social media profile. The news of his trial at Scottish top tier club Motherwell FC made headlines.
The 19-year-old Manipuri custodian has 39k followers on Facebook, nearly 1.4k on Twitter and 118k on Instagram. The talented goalkeeper is yet to make his senior national team debut.
9. Ashique Kuruniyan – 162.4k
The 22-year-old Bengaluru FC winger has a bigger fan-following than many established names in the game. The Keralite got a start at FC Pune City and also had a trial with Spanish LaLiga side Villarreal.
He has appeared in 16 games for the national team. Ashique’s Twitter has around 1.4k followers, Facebook page has 44k and Instagram has 117k.
8. Anas Edathodika – 178.1k
The 33-year-old centre-back announced his international retirement in 2019, but then was recalled by Igor Stimac. The current ATK defender has gained many admirers during his stay at Kerala Blasters, Jamshedpur FC and Mohun Bagan.
His Twitter handle has 15.1k followers and Instagram has 163k. But, he doesn’t have an official Facebook page.
7. Mohammed Rafi – 189.6k
The 38-year-old striker is nicknamed as “The Headmaster” for his ability to score headers. He made his India debut back in 2009, but didn’t taste much success in national colours.
However, during his campaigns with ATK, Chennaiyin FC and current engagement at Kerala Blasters, he has seen a rise on social media. His Facebook page shows around 15.1k followers, while his Twitter handle has more than 3.5k, but is yet to receive a blue tick. His Instagram has 171k followers.
6. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 299.3k
The 28-year-old Bengaluru stalwart has also worn the armband for the national team on several occasions. From his days at East Bengal and Mohun Bagan to playing in the Europa League for Norwegian side Stabæk FC, the lanky shot-stopper has enjoyed a massive fan following.
He also has 114k followers on Facebook, 57.3k on Twitter and 128k on Instagram.
5. Jeje Lalpekhlua – 350k
The “Mizo Sniper” is the second-highest Indian goallscorer in ISL history. During his stay at Chennaiyin FC, he has led the side to a couple of ISL titles. He has also won the I-league and Federation Cup with the Mariners during different loan spells.
Although, he missed the recent edition of the ISL due to injury, his popularity among fans has always been on top. He has 41k followers on Twitter, 87k on Facebook and 222k on Instagram.
4. Sandesh Jhingan – 478k
The Chandigarh defender was with Kerala Blasters since 2014. Although, he has served several loan spells at BFC, DSK Shivajians and Sporting Clube de Goa, he was the biggest name for the Blasters for the last few years and an all-time favourite for the Manjappada, the biggest fan club in Southeast Asia.
He is only 26 and is a nightmare for strikers. Jhingan has also captained the national team in multiple games. He has 148k followers on Twitter, 330k on Instagram and doesn’t have an official Facebook page.
3. Sahal Abdul Samad – 496.4k
Another player from Kerala Blasters, Sahal Abdul Samad is being hailed as the next poster boy of Indian football by the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia, Renedy Singh and IM Vijayan.
The young midfielder made his international debut in 2019 and his performances have gained him a stupendous number of social media followers. His Twitter account has around 6.4k followers, while his Facebook page has 68k. His Instagram has 422k.
2. C K Vineeth – 1.01m
Surprised? Well, we were surprised too. The 32-year-old forward has been a regular performer in domestic football. Before his recent move from Jamshedpur to East Bengal, he played for Bengaluru FC, Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin. He was the man behind Bengaluru’s Federation Cup win over Mohun Bagan at Cuttack in 2017, with a brace that came during extra-time.
Though, he is not a regular face in the national camp, he has never disappointed his fans. This is why he is the player with the second-most Instagram followers in Indian football. His Twitter handle has 185k followers, Facebook has 351k and Instagram has a huge 475k followers.
1. Sunil Chhetri – 3.3m
Who else? During his career, he has been the man around whom Indian football has revolved. He’s the only Indian footballer to have more than a million followers on Instagram and a massive 1.6m on Twitter. His followers include cricketers, actors and many athletes.
He’s second on the list of the highest active international goalscorers, surpassing Lionel Messi and being just behind Cristiano Ronaldo. Before joining Bengaluru, he played for both the Kolkata bigwigs among others. Through his dedication towards the game, he has earned a special place among fans as Captain, Leader, Legend. His Facebook page has 617k followers and Instagram has 1.1m.