In the real world, players become superstars due to incredible on-field performances that are often paired with captivating or admirable off-field personalities.
In the thrilling parallel universe that is social media, however, everything changes.
Today we honor some of the biggest social media superstars—and as a tribute to the World Cup, I've chosen XI.
To clarify my selection process for this list, let me provide a brief but comprehensive definition of "social media superstar":
A social media superstar is one who exists as a hero or legend in the world of social media, and oftentimes only in the world of social media.
The list will include some figures who have simply amassed millions and millions of devoted Twitter followers or created singularly unique online personas.
It will include athletes whose spectacular plays or intriguing lifestyles have made them viral sensations.
It will include those players who, for whatever reason, are far more beloved online than they have any right to be in real life.
Indeed, these superstars are sources of comedy, tragedy, romance and everything in between.
Without further ado, let's move along to my starting XI.
Note: For the sake of variety, I have deliberately excluded anyone who was already a part of my All-NBA Social Media Team, which explains the absence of players like Metta World Peace and JaVale McGee, two of the all-time Internet greats.