Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo during the UEFA Europa League Group E match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Thursday September 8, 2022.

The 10 most followed footballers on Instagram in 2022: Ronaldo, Messi…

Social media is established as an important tool for self-promotion and gives footballers a large platform to communicate with their fans across the world.

Some use their platform to achieve good, such as Marcus Rashford and his Twitter campaign to end child hunger, whilst others may use it in a more negative way, such as Joleon Lescott ‘pocket tweeting’ a picture of a new car just hours after his side lost 6-0.

Footballers are increasingly addicted to Instagram, and the top players in the world have built up followings bigger than the clubs they play for.

Here are the top 10 most followed footballers on Instagram, past and present.

10. Gareth Bale

A player who was often criticised by the Spanish press for a lack of focus at Real Madrid, the Welsh superstar has 48million followers, and regularly posts content of himself on the golf course.

Bale will no doubt expand on his current fan base while playing out in the United States for Los Angeles FC.

9. James Rodriguez

The former Real Madrid and Everton star is a household name across the globe and has an impressive 50million followers on Instagram.

These days Rodriguez is playing for Olympiacos in a move that in no way indicates that his career is winding down…

8. Sergio Ramos

The Real Madrid legend, who joined PSG in the summer of 2021, has 54million followers, but endured a difficult first season in France, with just 13 appearances in all competitions.

One of the greatest defenders of all time, the idea of him playing with Lionel Messi seemed impossible. Until now.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sergio Ramos (@sergioramos)

7. Paul Pogba

Of course Pogba appears on this list; the midfielder has seemingly spent more time self-promoting himself on social media than kicking a ball around for his various clubs.

Having rejoined Juventus from Manchester United over the summer, the France international will expect to grow his 56million followers on Instagram over the coming months.

6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

A striker who continues to defy his age, Ibrahimovic has 57million followers, and even at the age of 41, just can’t resist using Instagram to show off his enormous ability (and ego).

There’s self-confidence, then there’s Zlatan.

40-year-old AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic

READ: Zlatan’s thunder-kick: The goal of a man who’s almost as good as he says

5. Marcelo

Widely regarded as the greatest and most decorated left-back to ever wear the white Real Madrid jersey, Marcelo has amassed an impressive 60million followers on the social media platform.

The veteran defender left Spain this summer and signed for Olympiacos, the most popular club in Greece, and remains an incredibly popular figure in the footballing world.

4. Kylian Mbappe

One of the best teenagers ever, Mbappe has developed into one of the best players in the world at just the age of 24, since his breakout at AS Monaco in 2017.

The French star almost won his second World Cup this year but lost in the final despite scoring a hat-trick himself. Mbappe currently has 90million followers on Instagram.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Kylian Mbappé (@k.mbappe)

3. Neymar Jr

One of the best players of his generation, and the most expensive footballer of all time, Neymar has become a household name all over the world since his emergence as a teenager at Santos FC.

With a whopping 199million followers, the Brazil superstar is enjoying life at PSG, but has been plagued by injury for the last few seasons.

If you want to feel old, Neymar is now 30. Yes, 30. The teenager from Santos is now 30. Where has the time gone?

2. Lionel Messi

Arguably the greatest player of all time, the seven-time Ballon D’or winner Lionel Messi has 410million followers. That’s higher than the population of most countries.

Messi also now holds the record for the most-liked Instagram picture of all time with his victory post after the World Cup final. The record was previously held by a picture of an egg.

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Yet another record for Ronaldo, the Manchester United star has an astonishing 524million followers, which is more than anyone else in the world, football or otherwise.

There was serious hype when he made his unexpected return to Old Trafford in the summer, but Ronaldo now finds himself as a free-agent and in search of his next club.

READ MORE: The most valuable XI in world football: Foden, James, Mbappe…

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 25 most expensive transfers of all time?