Social media is now the most powerful tool for marketing products and services. For celebrities and world-class athletes, social media plays an important role in engaging with fans. As social media becomes more and more commercially influential, it only makes sense that the more followers they get, the more income they'll receive.
Here are the footballers with the most followers on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter)
#18: Marcelo (43 million followers)
#17: Gerard Pique (46 million followers)
#16: Karim Benzema (47 million followers)
#15: Luis Suarez (50 million followers)
#14: Wayne Rooney (50.4 million followers)
#13: Sergio Ramos (51 million followers)
#12: David Luiz (51.1 million followers)
#11: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (56 million followers)
#10: Mesut Ozil (59 million followers)
#9: Andres Iniesta (61 million followers)
#8: Kaka (69.6 million followers)
#7: Gareth Bale (69.8 million followers)
#6: Ronaldinho (72 million followers)
#5: James Rodriguez (76 million followers)
#4: David Beckham (92 million followers)
#3: Lionel Messi (162 million followers)
#2: Neymar Jr (163 million followers)
#1: Cristiano Ronaldo (274 million followers)
Marcelo registered 10 assists throughout the 2016-17 La Liga season with Real Madrid. He played a massive role when Real won 4-1 against Celta Vigo to essentially clinch the title. His performance was also outstanding when Real beat Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals. Last March, Los Blancos were reportedly set to offer the Brazilian full-back a new contract.
After marrying Latin pop star Shakira, who is 10 years older than the footballer, the Spaniard has been constantly under the spotlight in both worlds. Pique is one of the members of the Spanish national team that won the 2012 UEFA Championship and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. In addition, he just starred in the latest music video for Shakira. It seems that Pique will have a new option to explore after retiring from professional football.
Karim Benzema's blackmail incident with international teammate Mathieu Valbuena in 2015 has not helped the striker's public image, and Didier Deschamps has since excluded him from the French squad, but his Real Madrid teammate Marcelo has praised the French striker for his role during this season's UEFA Champions League matches.
He is most widely known for biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup 2014 (as well as Branislav Ivanovic in the Premier League) when his country played against Italy. Both stars have since buried the hatchet and are friends again. Jordan Henderson, Suarez’s former teammate in Liverpool, praised the Uruguayan as a great leader and hard-working player on the pitch.
He has won eight trophies during his service in Barcelona, including one UEFA Champions League trophy.
He still has a year on his contract at Manchester United, but his former club Everton are interested in bringing him back to Goodison Park. In addition, some Chinese clubs are rumored to have shown interest in signing the 32-year-old striker. The Red Devils have postponed talks about Rooney’s future until next month.
Sergio Ramos is arguably one of the best defenders in the world. The Spaniard has scored seven goals during the 2016-17 La Liga season, more than many midfielders and strikers. Ramos gives his fans a proper look into his life through his accounts, showcasing his day to day activities with his kids as well as his fashion sense. Ramos and Pique have also been talking smack to each other, so we suggest following both of them for future reference.
His unique curly hair makes him easily recognizable, and few expected he would return to England with so much success after playing with Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain. However, he has shown maturity since returning to Chelsea. Luiz has snubbed critics who said that his contribution is largely overshadowed by his propensity for mistakes.
The result? Chelsea won the Premier League title this season and still have a chance to win the FA Cup against Arsenal.
He is one of the world’s most successful footballers — trophies follow wherever he goes. The Swedish striker is currently sidelined with a serious knee injury. During his debut season in England, Ibra scored 28 goals for Manchester United (17 in the Premier League alone).
Mesut Ozil is known for his passing accuracy and ability to create from midfield. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that the German wizard won’t be leaving Emirates this summer, despite Julian Draxler’s effort to lure Ozil to join him in PSG.
When he was a teenager, he once felt reluctant to leave his hometown to join Barcelona. Iniesta said he was hesitant as he couldn’t imagine living that far from his family. But his decision was the right one as he became one of the greatest living legends at Barcelona, winning eight La Liga titles and several other titles (including four UEFA Champions Leagues).
This year, Barcelona still has a chance to win Copa del Rey. Also, his contract still has a year to go, and many are beginning to wonder who will replace Iniesta in the heart of Barca's midfield.
Unlike other Brazilian footballers who've come from the favelas of Brazil's largest cities, Kaka was born in a family that was able to afford to send him to a football academy. Kaka has since proven to be one of the finest footballers on Earth.
Now, Kaka is the highest paid player in MLS (he earns an annual salary worth $7.198 million). When he arrived in Milan in 2002, many doubted his skills as Milan was already full of midfield stars such as Rui Costa and Clarence Seedorf. However, Kaka was given full support by then manager Carlo Ancelotti. With Kaka, Milan won the UEFA Champions League in 2006-07.
His performance this season hasn't gone as expected due to continuous injury. He missed Real Madrid clinching the La Liga title this season after beating Malaga, and the play of Isco should be a genuine worry for Bale. There are questions as to the sort of role he'll play against Juventus in the Champions League final. Some reports link the former Tottenham attacker with Manchester United this summer.
The Colombian hero of the 2014 World Cup, his skills earned him a standing ovation even though his country lost to Brazil in the quarterfinals. However, despite his oustanding skill and six goals in the World Cup, he finds minutes hard to come by at Real Madrid under manager Zinedine Zidane.
Recently, he updated his Instagram status from the jersey of Real Madrid to the jersey of Colombian national team. This new status triggered speculation about his future in Madrid. He has been heavily linked with a Manchester United move this summer.
He's been retired for quite a long time, but Beckham changed the image of a footballer. He is an ambassador for some international organizations, appears in advertisements for several world-class brands and his look always becomes a trend. Winning the Premier League with Manchester United six times, as well as two FA Cups and a UEFA Champions League, Beckham is remembered for his wonderful free kicks and absurd range of passing.
Goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer in the UEFA Champions League final of 1998-99 were from Beckham’s corners. The final, when the Red Devils beat Bayern Munich in injury time, is considered one of the most dramatic finals in Champions League history.
Despite winning four runners-up medals with Argentina (one World Cup and three Copa Americas) and failing to deliver an international trophy, Messi is undoubtedly the world’s finest footballer. He is the only player to win the Ballon d’Or five times.
Messi won La Liga's Golden Boot for the fourth time this season with 37 goals. He scored his 500th goal for Barcelona during his side's El Clasico victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Perhaps the world's finest dribbler, Neymar enjoyed this season at Barcelona with 19 goals and 25 assists in all competitons. However, some reports linked him with Premier League sides such as Manchester City and Manchester United. It's reported that any club who wants to bring him in will have to prepare at least a 100 million pound bid.
The Portuguese striker is the first footballer whose followers reached 100 million on Instagram. He's proven to be the king of social media, as well as the king of the pitch. His goal against Malaga on the final match of La Liga made him the all-time leading goal scorer in Europe’s top 5 league with 367 goals.
Real Madrid won La Liga this season and could capture their 12th Champions League title against Juventus in Cardiff.