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

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Lionel Messi and Neymar celebrate a PSG goal against Manchester City, Etihad Stadium, November 2021.

Social media is becoming an important tool for footballers, and gives players 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 often criticised by the Spanish press for a lack of focus at Real Madrid, the Welsh superstar has 46million followers, and often posts content of him on the golf course.

Real Madrid fans must be delighted.

9. Mohamed Salah

The Egyptian king of Liverpool, Salah’s rise to become one of the best players in the world has brought him many admirers across the world, and 48million followers.

Salah has 23 goals and nine assists in 27 games this season for his club, and is at the very top of his game.

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A post shared by Mohamed Salah (@mosalah)


8. Sergio Ramos

The Real Madrid legend, who joined PSG in the summer of 2021, has 49.4million followers, but has had a difficult first season in France, with just five appearances in all competitions.

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

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A post shared by Sergio Ramos (@sergioramos)


7. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

A striker who continues to defy his age, Ibrahimovic has 52.2million followers, and even at the age of 40, 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

6. Ronaldinho

We all love Ronaldinho. One of the greatest entertainers to play the game, the Brazilian is still enjoying the lifestyle which knocked a few years off his prime.

Ronaldinho has 63.4million followers and considering the clubs he played for, it’s no surprise that he’s one of the most popular players on the planet.


5. 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 23, since his breakout at AS Monaco in 2017.

Moving to PSG for over £120million, it is rumoured that Mbappe, who has 66million followers, will join Real Madrid upon expiry of his contract in Paris in the summer.

4. David Beckham

England will likely never have a ‘celebrity’ footballer with the aura of David Beckham again. A title winner at some of the biggest clubs in the world, Beckham is still one of the biggest names in sport nearly nine years on from his retirement at PSG, and has 71.1million followers.

Aside from his fashion choices and drama off the pitch, he was pretty good on it…

Real Madrid's David Beckham congratulates Michael Owen on scoring against Real Betis. Santiago Bernabeu, March 2005.

READ: Real Madrid’s English era: How Owen & Beckham linked up to down Barca

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 170million 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 recently turned 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 307million followers. That’s higher than the population of most countries.

Messi has had a difficult first season away from Barcelona after his shock transfer to PSG in the summer of 2021, but is finding his form as he prepares to face the old enemy, Real Madrid, in the Champions League last 16.

Lionel Messi of PSG celebrates his goal against Lille on February 6, 2022 at Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq near Lille, France.

READ: Decline? Messi’s divine nearly-assist showed he was just hibernating

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

Yet another record for Ronaldo, the Manchester United star has an astonishing 401million 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 United’s season hasn’t exactly gone to plan, despite Ronaldo chipping in with 14 goals.

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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)


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