The advent and subsequent proliferation of social media has been undeniably widespread and is further enhanced by relatively easy access to the internet. These platforms have become a part of day-to-day lives and their general influence in the world is extraordinary.
Among these platforms, Instagram has quickly become a crowd favorite, especially in the world of sport as it allows fans to get a closer look than ever at their beloved sport stars. This has also opened up an entirely new facet of marketing because of the sheer reach one can get on Instagram. When a popular sport star endorses a product, brand or service on Instagram, it gains immense traction in a remarkably short time, thereby enhancing its potency.
Among celebrities and influencers, Instagram is now a lucrative source of revenue, and top footballers are often atop the food chain. To explain just how lucrative this particular platform can be, consider this: Cristiano Ronaldo earns more revenue by posting on Instagram than he does by playing club football.
Naturally, players with the most number of followers are bound to get the best deals and bring in the big bucks, providing players an additional incentive to be present on social media, to engage with their fans, and to constantly build their respective fan bases.
In this listicle, we take a look at the top 10 active footballers with the most followers on Instagram. The figures are as per Transfermarkt, and are as of the end of 2020.
#10 Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid, Spain)
Number of Instagram followers (end of 2020): 42.5 million followers
Sergio Ramos is one of the most popular footballers in the world at the moment. The Real Madrid and Spain captain has established himself as one of the best defenders of this generation, while also contributing in attack far more frequently than most other defenders.
A holder of several club and national records, the 34-year-old is currently playing his 16th season at Real Madrid and has helped Los Blancos win 22 major trophies including 5 LaLiga titles and 4 UEFA Champions League titles.
Ramos has represented the Spanish national team since 2005, holding the record for most appearances (178) by a player for the country's national team. With Spain, Ramos is a FIFA World Cup winner and a two-time Euros winner.
#9 Paul Pogba (Manchester United, France)
Number of Instagram followers (end of 2020): 42.6 million followers
Paul Pogba is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world despite failing to be as consistent as he would probably like. A talented and entertaining player, the 27-year-old holds the record for being the most expensive incoming transfer to the Premier League after Manchester United paid €105 million for him.
Pogba has represented France 75 times so far and was instrumental in their 2018 FIFA World Cup victory. He subsequently received the Legion of Honor - the highest honor of merit given to someone in French society - alongside the rest of the team.