Marcus Rashford & Jesse Lingard, Neymar & Kylian Mbappé: Soccer's best bromances

Being a professional soccer player means committing yourself to your craft; be that on the training pitch, in the gym or by working with your team-mates day-in, day-out.

It's no surprise, then, that soccer stars become such close friends and bromances blossom. In the age of social media, we're able to get a peek behind the curtain to see who spend their time with who and what hijinks they get up to.

In the build-up to Valentine's Day, we've picked out six of the strongest bromances to celebrate the most romantic day of the year. 

Jesse Lingard and Paul Pogba

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Black Panther🐾🤴🏾 #wakanda

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Theirs is an unlikely tale. A local lad made good and a French superstar who left a boy and returned a man. When Pogba traded Manchester for Turin in 2012 Lingard was on loan at Leicester City.

But a lot has changed since then and as well as Pogba's stock rising considerably, Lingard has become an integral squad member at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and now Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Their mutual appreciation for – above pretty much anything else – dancing and dabbing seems as solid foundation for a friendship as anything and these two are rarely seen apart.

Eric Dier and Dele Alli

From making their England debuts together against Spain in 2015, Dier and Dele have been virtually inseparable and if their social media accounts are anything to go by they are constantly trying to one-up one another.

Dier has had plenty of fun with Dele's signature wave while the former MK Dons man attempted to set his friend up to fight British heavyweight Anthony Joshua. Dele also got the better of the man he calls his 'big bro' in a game of Mario Kart. 

Mario Götze and Marco Reus

Even in the biggest moment of his professional career one of Götze's first thoughts was his close friend and Borussia Dortmund team-mate.

The moment, of course, was Götze's winner in the 2014 FIFA World Cup final against Argentina. At full time the hero of Die Mannschaft's victory removed his shirt to reveal a 'Reus 21' jersey underneath which he'd had printed in honour of his injured friend.

The duo were reunited at Dortmund in 2016 after Götze spent three years away at rivals FC Bayern and with Reus now over the worst of his injury problems expect their on-pitch output to match their off-pitch fun.

Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard

Already on this list thanks to his friendship with Paul Pogba, Lingard is evidently just a social being as he is similarly close with fellow Mancunian and Manchester United youth product Rashford.

The duo both made their breakthrough under former coach Van Gaal and have become increasingly vital members of the side in the years since the Dutchman departed. 

Lingard even has a nickname for his pal, revealing in an interview with Goal that he calls the Wythenshawe native 'Beansprouts'. "I like to look after him when he gets into trouble on the pitch I'm always there to back him," Lingard said. "Whether it's with Man United or England I've always been there and I'll always back him no matter what." 

Sergio Agüero and Lionel Messi

This is a friendship which has blossomed despite the fact the two players in question have never shared a dressing room at club level. Yet the two Argentines actually came together in tragic circumstances.

While rooming together at the 2005 Under-20 World Cup Agüero's childhood friend Emiliano Molina was killed in a car crash. The Argentina coaching staff attempted to shield the young forward from the news by turning off the WiFi at the hotel the team were staying at but when Messi found out he told the forward and consoled him.

Today Agüero plays his soccer for Manchester City and Messi for FC Barcelona. While they compete for the UEFA Champions League they are unlikely to play together at club level but their bond is secure and Messi is godfather to Agüero's son, Benjamin.

David de Gea and Juan Mata

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Happy birthday @d_degeaofficial. Time flies 😂😂

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International team-mates with Spain and club-mates at Manchester United since 2014, it was Mata who was there to pick up the pieces when De Gea's proposed move to Real Madrid fell through, according to the Manchester Evening News.

 “I’ve talked with him a lot," Mata revealed. "There have been hectic and stressful days but he is such a quiet, centred person, nothing changes.

And like any good friend, Mata pulled out an embarrassing photo of the goalkeeper to celebrate his birthday in 2016. 

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