There are billions of sports fans around the world and as 330 million of us actively use Twitter every month, there is a huge opportunity for fans to get closer to their favourite athletes.
At PledgeSports, we work with athletes to raise money, but also raise their online profile and make them more attractive to sponsors and endorsements. However, the list of 10 athletes below is on a whole other level to every other athlete when it comes to social media presence.
Here’s a countdown of the 10 Most Followed Athletes On Twitter as of November 2019:
10. Kevin Durant – 17.9 million
Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant is a top-scoring and renowned American professional basketball player, who is notoriously popular among fans around the world.
Heavily involved in philanthropy, writing, photography and even acting, Durant often tops the NBA for shirt sales and his popularity is reflected in his Twitter following.
9. Gerard Pique – 19.5 million
Pique’s fame comes in two parts – firstly, for being an exceptional, title-winning centre-half for Barcelona and Spain, and secondly for being married to Colombian beauty Shakira.
We’re convinced that at least half of Pique’s followers are there for his wife, but it means he ranks among the 10 most followed athletes on Twitter!
8. Mesut Ozil – 24.4 million
Following a second-place La Liga finish to rivals Barcelona in the 2012–13 season, Özil relocated to England to join Premier League side Arsenal in a then club-record deal worth £42.5 million (€50 million),making him the most expensive German player of all time. His popularity online has certainly grown since joining Twitter. Now he has over 20 million active followers on the social media application.
7. Andres Iniesta – 24.5 million
Another loved footballer to have adorned the game, Iniesta has been at the top of the sport for a decade, building an impressive Twitter following along the way.
A legendary midfield maestro, Iniesta famously scored the winning goal for Spain back in the 2010 FIFA World Cup final vs. the Netherlands.
6. Kaka – 29.7 million
One true winner of the followers’ hearts across the world, Kaka stands to be a unanimous inclusion to the list of the 10 most followed athletes on Twitter.
His finest season came in 2007 when Kaká became Serie A’s top scorer and led AC Milan to Champions League and Club World Cup titles. Subsequently, he was named European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year.
5. Sachin Tendulkar – 30.9 million
Former Indian cricketer and captain Tendulkar is an idol for millions among cricketing circles and is heralded as one of the greatest batsmen to grace the game. The 44-year-old’s Twitter following is a testament to his insane popularity and the mark he has left on cricket.
4. Virat Kohli – 32.2 million
Kohli is ranked as one of the world’s most famous athletes by ESPN and one of the most valuable athlete brands by Forbes. He is an Indian international cricketer who currently captains the India national team. A right-handed batsman, often regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world! His social media presence replicates his huge popularity amongst his fans.
3. LeBron James – 44 million
A true superstar with an enormous fan following over the world, LeBron James’ place on this list was never in doubt. James was only a senior in high school when he became eligible for the NBA draft and was promptly chosen by the Cleveland Cavaliers. In 2010 he moved to Miami Heat, before returning to his native Cleveland in 2014 and leading his hometown colours to the NBA Championships in 2016.
2. Neymar Jr. – 44.6 million
Neymar Jr. burst onto the scene through social media, where football fans around the world watched YouTube videos of the young Santos maestro majestically carving his way through a host of Campeonato Brasileiro Série A teams. Nowadays, he makes up one-third of the world’s most formidable attacking partnerships alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at Barcelona.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 81 million
Cristiano Ronaldo is used to breaking goal records for Real Madrid, then moved to Italian side Juventus, but his recent statistic is pretty impressive too.
Hookit, the website that tracks athletes on social media, report that Ronaldo has reached over 200 million followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram—the first ever professional athlete to do so.
Ronaldo enjoys more followers across the three social media platforms than the combined totals of NBA stars LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kobe Bryant, showing the Portuguese’s massive appeal worldwide.
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