Footballers are some of the most recognizable athletes in the sporting world, as football is one of the most popular and widely played sports in the world.
With the advent of various social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram, fans now have unfettered first-hand access and information about their favorite footballers. These platforms, in turn, also enable footballers to earn revenue by posting updates and tidbits about their daily lives.
As per a social media analytics firm, Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly earns a cool $1.6 million per Instagram post, which is $80,000 more than the second-most popular celebrity on social media, Dwayne Johnson.
So without further ado, let's have a look at the five footballers with the most followers on Instagram.
#5 Zlatan Ibrahimovich - 48.3 million
Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be almost 40, but he is one of the most popular footballers on Instagram.
The Sweden and AC Milan star has more Instagram followers than the likes of Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Paul Pogba.
Since his return to the Serie A in 2019-20 after eight years, Ibrahimovic has racked up 25 goals in the competition, helping Milan to sixth and second-placed finishes, respectively.
Ibrahimovic came out of international retirement earlier this year, but failed to make Sweden's team for Euro 2020 due to injury. In his absence, Sweden did well to top a group containing eventual semi-finalists Spain before going out to Ukraine in the Round of 16.
#4 Kylian Mbappe - 54.1 million
Kylian Mbappe endured a forgettable outing at Euro 2020. He failed to score a goal and missed his penalty in the Round-of-16 shootout against Switzerland, which sent world champions France tumbling out of the tournament.
Nevertheless, the 22-year-old happens to be one of the best young players in the game and has a sizeable presence on Instagram.
Mbappe has tallied more than a goal-contribution per game for PSG (132 goals and 61 assists in 171 games in all competitions). He has won four Ligue 1 titles, three of them with PSG.
The 22-year-old has also dazzled in French colors, becoming the first teenager since a certain Pele to score in a FIFA World Cup final. Mbappe scored in Les Bleus' 4-2 victory over Croatia in the title match of the 2018 edition of the competition.