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Top 10 Instagram’s most influential footballers revealed

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The most influential footballers on Instagram have been named and it includes players like Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

According to research from analysts Nielsen Gracenote (via BBC ), Ronaldo’s following grew by 48 per cent over the past year.

The Portugal captain averages more than £3million in media value per post according to the analysis. The 37-year-old has 480 million followers on Instagram and regularly posts updates from matches and training on the platform, as well as advertising promotions.

His giant following is 80 million more than that of his rival Lionel Messi.

The Argentine superstar has seen his own following grow by 38 per cent over the past 12 months, but it is still well short of Ronaldo’s.

It still places Messi second in Nielsen’s rankings, which looked at the players who are expected to feature in this winter’s World Cup.

They evaluated total followers, follower growth, engagement rate and average brand value per post on Instagram to give a media value total.

Messi’s following on Instagram earns him more than £2m in media value per each of his posts.

There is only one other Premier League player in the top 10, Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, with no English star making the cut.

Paris Saint-Germain team-mates Neymar and Mbappe are third and fourth respectively, with the former having over 100 million more followers than the Frenchman.

The duo earn nearly £1m per post, well behind Ronaldo.

Real Madrid star Vinicius rounds out the top five with 23 million followers, a yearly increase of 90 per cent, and £600,000 in media value per post.

His team-mate Karim Benzema is sixth and, while he has 35 million more followers than the Brazilian, he brings in £170,000 less than him in media value per post.

Paulo Dybala and Kante are close behind the Los Blancos stars, with the latter having the highest engagement (11%) of those in the top 10.

It is a list completed by Paul Pogba and Sergio Ramos, meaning PSG are the highest represented team.

Instagram’s most influential footballers
(Based on Nielsen’s media value total rankings)

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 480m followers
  2. Lionel Messi – 360m followers
  3. Neymar – 178m followers
  4. Kylian Mbappe – 72.5m followers
  5. Vinicius Jr. – 23m followers
  6. Karim Benzema – 58m followers
  7. Paulo Dybala – 49m followers
  8. N’Golo Kante – 14m followers
  9. Paul Pogba – 55m followers
  10. Sergio Ramos – 53m followers

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