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  • Alisha Lehmann Leads Instagram Influencers Top 10 List At Women's World Cup
  •  Aston Villa and Switzerland's Alisha Lehmann is the top ranking Instagram influencer among Women's World Cup players, according to data analysts Gracenote Nielsen.

    Players from nine different countries are represented in the top 10 with only the USA having two players.

    England captain Leah Williamson would have been fourth, but an anterior cruciate ligament injury means she will miss the World Cup.

    Nielsen's InfluenceScope evaluates followers, follower growth, engagement rate, audience reachability and average brand value per post on Instagram to determine which players deliver the most social media value to their sponsors.

    Jon Stainer, global managing director of Nielsen Sports, said: "The soccer players participating at World Cup 2023 are not only exceptional sportswomen but also social media powerhouses, capable of driving impactful conversations and fostering genuine connections with their followers."

    Germany have the most influential national team account above France and European champions England, all more than doubling their followers in the last year.

    Here are the top 10 Instagram influential players at this summer's Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand...

    1. Alisha Lehmann (Aston Villa/Switzerland)

    Followers: 13.4 million

    In the past year, Aston Villa forward Lehmann has overtaken Alex Morgan as the female football player with the most followers on Instagram.

    Lehmann's follower numbers have increased by 75% in the past 12 months, to nearly 13.5 million. She has also overtaken Roger Federer, making her the most popular Swiss sportsperson on Instagram.

    The 24-year-old has won 38 caps for Switzerland, although she made herself unavailable for Euro 2022 because she did not feel "mentally ready". She played in 43 of Villa's 44 Women's Super League matches over the past two seasons, scoring seven goals.

    2. Alexia Putellas (Barcelona/Spain)

    Followers: 2.8 million

    Barcelona and Spain midfielder Putellas has attracted more than a million new followers in the past year despite being injured for most of it. Her posts each deliver more than $100,000 of media value to brands.

    In 2022, the 29-year-old became Spain's first women's footballer in Spain to reach 100 caps, although she also suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury which saw her miss the European Championship.

    She has won the Uefa women's player of the year, the Ballon d'Or and the Best Fifa women's player awards for the past two seasons.

    3. Alex Morgan (San Diego Waves/USA)

    Followers: 10 million

    Morgan has helped the United States win the past two World Cups and finish third in 2011. The striker, who won Olympic gold in 2012 and bronze at the delayed 2020 Games, has earned more than 200 caps and scored over 120 goals for her country.

    4. Jordyn Huitema (OL Reign/Canada)

    Followers: 1.6 million

    OL Reign and Canada forward Huitema already has over 1.6 million followers on Instagram and a media value per post of more than $75,000.

    Aged just 22, Huitema, who is the youngest player in the top 10, made her international debut for Canada aged 15. She won Olympic gold two years ago, playing the whole of extra time in the final against Sweden in Japan.

    5. Marta (Orlando Pride/Brazil)

    Followers: 2.6 million

    The 37-year-old forward has played at the past five World Cups for Brazil, scoring 17 goals in 19 matches at the tournament, having first appeared at the 2003 tournament.

    Brazil's all-time top scorer has been named Fifa's world player of the year six times and could become the first player of any gender to score at six World Cups.

    6. Megan Rapinoe (OL Reign/USA)

    Followers: 2.1 million

    Rapinoe, who has been involved in the USA squad since 2006, was part of the USA teams which won the previous two World Cups and the 2012 Olympic gold.

    The 37-year-old won the Golden Boot at the 2019 World Cup, beating team-mate Morgan and England's Ellen White on fewer minutes played after they each scored six goals.

    7. Jule Brand (Wolfsburg/Germany)

    Followers: 198,000

    Brand has increased her Instagram following by 517% over the past year, the highest growth by a player in the top 10. Her average engagement rate on Instagram is above 30%, the highest engagement of anybody on the list.

    Brand was part of Germany's Euro 2022 team, who lost 2-1 in the final to England. The 20-year-old has already scored seven international goals for Germany, while at club level for Wolfsburg she finished as runners-up in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.

    8. Alessia Russo (Manchester United/England)

    Followers: 457,000

    Russo was used as a substitute in every Euro 2022 match for England, scoring four goals and winning goal of the tournament, and has since established herself in the starting line-up.

    She scored 22 league goals in 46 appearances for Manchester United, although she is set to leave the club this summer. As one of the biggest names in women's football, Russo has attracted the attention of some big sponsors.

    9. Sakina Karchaoui (Paris St-Germain/France)

    Followers: 726,000

    Left-back Karchaoui has played for France since 2016 and won more than half a century of caps for her national team. She played for Montpellier and Lyon before joining Paris St-Germain in the summer of 2021.

    Karchaoui impressed at Euro 2022 where she helped France reach the semi-finals, providing two assists and winning a place in the team of the tournament.

    10. Sam Kerr (Chelsea/Australia)

    Followers: 1.2 million

    Captain of Australia since 2019, she is their all-time top scorer with 63 international goals - the last one coming in Australia's impressive win against European champions England in April.

    Kerr joined Women's Super League side Chelsea in 2020 where she has scored 54 league goals in 67 appearances.

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