As the World Cup approaches, Ronaldo remains Instagram’s superstar

By our News Team | 2022

Manchester United and Portugal striker has more followers than anyone else on Instagram. But his marketing endorsement comes at a price.

As the 2022 FIFA World Cup approaches in the latter part of this year, an increasing number of brands are putting the finishing touches to strategies that capitalise on the global sporting spectacle.

In recognition of this, Nielsen Sports has just published its Top 10 Most Influential Footballers on Instagram at the 2022 World Cup listing.

Unsurprisingly, Manchester United and Portugal superstar striker, Cristiano Ronaldo, heads the list in terms of both the number of followers he has on Instagram and the media value per post. Ronaldo’s followers total 480-million and the media value per post is US$3,6-million.

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Photo credit: Анна Нэсси via Wikimedia Commons

Ronaldo’s Instagram stats also show a 47% increase in followers in the past year.

In second place – once again, unsurprisingly – is Paris Saint-Germain and Argentina striker Lionel Messi, with 360-million followers and $2.6-million of media value per post.

Three of the top five are from Paris team

In third and fourth place are two other PSG players: Neymar of Brazil and Kylian Mbappe of France. 

Fifth is Vinicius Junior of Brazil and Real Madrid. After he scored the winning goal in last season’s Champions League final for Real Madrid against Liverpool, his followers increased by a massive 90%.

It’s worth noting that Ronaldo is not just the biggest soccer or sports star on Instagram, but the biggest star, bar none. In the overall follower rankings, he beats reality TV’s Kylie Jenner by a margin of 110-million followers. He is also well ahead of Messi, musician and actress Selena Gomez, and actor and professional wrestler Dwayne Johnson.

Notes the Influencer Marketing Hub website: “Almost all brands and marketers have, at some point, worked with an influencer or have plans to. And most prefer working with smaller influencers who are more authentic and affordable.

“However, if you have a large enough budget and want to reach millions of people via just one post, then celebrities are your best bet. No one can beat the power and influence of a celebrity or match their follower bases.”