There are billions of sports fans around the world and as 700 + million of us actively use Instagram 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 Instagram.
10. Luis Suarez – 26.5 million
Famous for his strange behaviour on the pitch at times and his incredible goal scoring ability, it’s Luis Suarez who comes in at number 10 on this list.
It just goes to show you, even if you bite fellow athletes, fans will always have a place for you in their hearts. Comforting.
9. Ronaldinho – 30.1 million
The former Ballon d’Or winner’s popularity will never die.
The enigma that is Ronaldinho is perhaps one of the more surprising entries on our list of most followed athletes on Instagram, but just like in his prime, the tricky Brazilian has a habit of sneaking into spaces many other could not.
8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 30.4 million
The man. The myth. The legend. Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Zlatan The Great has given a boost to every league he has played in.
A fan favourite at each of his past clubs, it’s no surprise the big Swede has made our most followed athletes on Instagram list. Here’s hoping the 35-year-old’s career isn’t over just yet.
7. Gareth Bale – 32.7 million
Who ever could have predicted a Welshman would be one of the most followed athletes on Instagram?!
With over 30 million followers, Bale is an example of what it means to be a great pro in today’s game. He was worthy of his big-money move to Madrid back in 2013 and his hard work has continued to boost his profile worldwide.
6. James Rodriguez – 35 million
Like Ronaldinho, James Rodriguez’s entry at No.6 on our list of most followed athletes on Instagram may raise a few eyebrows, but believe us, it’s true.
Rodriguez has been the topic of transfer speculation after being left out of Real Madrid’s squad for the 2017 Champions League final, but at least he has nearly 35 million fans to console him.
5. LeBron James – 35.7 million
King James may have just missed out on his fourth NBA Championships but he’s certainly not missed out on a place among the most followed athletes on Instagram.
Since his days as a high school internet sensation, LeBron has been insanely popular and that trend has continued right through his career.
4. David Beckham – 42 million
I guess relatively new to the Instagram scene is a man we all know for both is footballing skills and his iconic personal brand, it’s of course David Beckham. With 42 million active followers and one of the few athletes with incredibly high post engagements, Beckham is a man that will be forever popular amongst men and women alike.
3. Lionel Messi – 87.8 million
Probably one of the few times, if only time, Messi has finished 3rd during his illustrious Barcelona career. The Argentine is a world renowned footballing legend and a very charismatic character on and off the pitch. It’s no wonder he ranks so highly on our list.
2. Neymar Jr. – 90 million
Similar to LeBron James in that his rise to fame came during his teens, Neymar’s fanbase has been rapidly expanding ever since he left Brazilian outfit Santos for the bright lights of Camp Nou and more recent french side PSG, he grew his brand with the companionship of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at his side. A nailed-on future Ballon d’Or winner, we don’t expect Neymar’s ranking on our list of most followed athletes on Instagram to drop anytime soon.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 121 million
There are no words to describe Cristiano Ronaldo’s career, his talent, his work ethic, or his popularity. Ronaldo coming in on top of the most followed athletes on Instagram list is the least shocking piece of news you’re likely to hear today. In the same way that the grass is green and the sky is blue, Cristian Ronaldo sits pretty on top of the sporting world.
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