If you were born in the 80s, you probably remember how life was before social media. You had to buy a magazine to follow the latest celebrity gossip. If you loved sports, you would always look out for the sports section of the magazine to get news on your favorite team or athlete.
Well, now, with Instagram, you do not need to wait for the next issue to find out about an athlete. All you need to do is to follow them on social media. Instagram has made it so easy that you can not only get instant news on your favorite athlete, but you can also send them a message hoping that they will not only read it but respond to them.
Many sports players are on Instagram, and because of their popularity, many have thousands if not millions of followers. We have compiled a list of the 5 most followed athletes on Instagram.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Instagram followers: 462 Million
He is known as one of the greatest players of his time, who started playing at the age of 15 years. In fact, he has the most followers worldwide, according to Statista 2022. He currently has a following of 462 Million followers on Instagram, but according to Forbes, he has hit a record of having more than 500 million followers across all social media platforms.
Christiano Ronaldo currently plays for Manchester United. In 2003, Manchester United paid £12 million, a record for a player of his age. However, this is not why he is popular. He is popular for his achievements both for his county and club.
He became the best player in the world after scoring 84 goals in 196 appearances while playing for the red devils. Additionally, he has won several league titles, including two league cup titles, three premier league titles, the UEFA champions league trophy, the FA community shield, and the FIFA world cup trophy, among others.
He has also established his fashion brand known as the CR7, where he sells diamond-studded belts, patented buckled loafers, and jeans with leather pockets. Not forgetting he is the third highest-paid athlete in the world (2022).
2. Lionel Messi
Instagram followers: 344 Million
Lionel Messi is the second most followed athlete on Instagram. He is an Argentina professional footballer who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain but previously played for FC Barcelona. According to Forbes, he is the world’s highest-paid athlete and collectively earns about $990 million a year.
He has scored over 750 goals for his county and club, hitting the record of the most goals scored by a player for a football club. In addition to playing football, he has a clothing retail outlet called the Messi store which he launched in Barcelona in 2019.
3. Virat Kohl
Instagram followers: 205 Million
Virat Kohl is an Indian and an international cricketer who has set the record of being the first Indian to have more than 200 million Instagram followers. He plays as a right-handed batsman for the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi cricket team.
He is also considered the best batsman of his time and, in history, the best-limited overs batsman. He comes from a region that is obsessed with cricket, and the region includes countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and India. Because cricket is not popular in the rest of the world, it is assumed that most of his followers are from his region.
He is also popular on other social media platforms, with 47 million Twitter followers. His following is an indication that he is loved by his fans. That is why he is the 3rd most followed athlete on Instagram, following Messi and Ronaldo.
4. Neymar Jr.
Instagram followers: 175 Million
Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior is a Brazilian footballer who currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain. He is famously known for his amazing dribbling skills, speed, and acceleration. He is so good at playing that fans and critics alike have compared him to the famous footballer Pele.
Neymar has been ranked as the second most goal scorer for his national team after Pele after scoring 74 goals in 119 games. He has received so many awards, including the UEFA team of the year, FIFA FIFPro World 11, and the UEFA champions league squad of the season, among others. He is ranked as the world’s fourth-highest athlete by Forbes.
5. Lebron James
Instagram followers: 126 Million
Lebron James, also known as King James, is a professional basketball player from America considered one of the greatest players. He currently plays for Los Angeles Lakers but has previously played for Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami heat.
He has won several awards, and he has been awarded NBA championships, NBA Finals MVP, and NBA awards four times. He also has two Olympic medals and three all-star MVP awards. King James is also the only player with 30,000 points, 7,000 rebounds, 7,000 assists, and is an 18-time all-star.
He is also the second highest-paid athlete who earned $121.2 million per year before taxes. He also joined the list of a few athletes who are billionaires. He owes his wealthy status not only to playing basketball but to the endorsement with deals such as Walmart and PepsiCo. King James is also a lifetime sponsor of Nike.
In 2020 he was also included in the 30 under 30 hall of fame. His humble beginning and charitable status have earned him a place in the hearts of his fans, making him the 5th most followed athlete on Instagram.
Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites, and a huge following on Instagram is an indication of popularity and love from fans. Fans follow their favorite athlete on Instagram to get to know more about them. It allows the fans to get to know more about their favorite athlete.
In fact, when you follow an athlete, it is very easy to understand their secret to success. While athletes have many fans, the 5 most followed athletes on Instagram have been listed. Which of these five athletes do you follow on Instagram? Which ones are you planning to follow after reading this article?