Lionel Messi Claims Most-Liked Instagram Crown Among Athletes

These athletes definitely have a few fans.

After winning his first major international trophy, Lionel Messi posted a picture with a wide smile holding the Copa América trophy and it quickly became the most-liked photo of an athlete on Instagram ever.

While it isn’t shocking to see so many people come to support one of the greatest footballers ever in his first international trophy at the age of 34, it intrigued me in wondering what other athletes can garner this amount of attention and love on social media. 

Here we take a look through the most-liked social media posts made by athletes from all around the world. 

It took almost seven days for Leo Messi’s post to become the most-liked post by an athlete ever; he is no stranger to breaking records.

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A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

Seeing him so happy in achieving one of the biggest trophies of his career, how could you not love it? The photo stands almost completely alone on this list as not a farewell tribute but a celebration. He racked up over 21 million likes on his photo in less than a week, that seems like G.O.A.T. behavior to me. While it is the most popular post from an athlete, it settles in at the sixth most-liked post of all time on Instagram. 

You won't be surprised by the soccer star Messi passed; coming in at almost 20 million likes, a Cristiano Ronaldo post is now the second most-liked athlete photo on Instagram. In his post, he honored late soccer legend Diego Maradona with a classy photo of the two and a goodbye message. While Maradona’s legacy will forever be remembered, the photo of the two legends will be solidified on Instagram as one of the most popular photos ever. 

The remembrance posts for Diego Maradona didn’t end with Ronaldo’s, as Messi’s Instagram tribute amassed over 16 million likes as well. Only a few weeks ago the top two most-liked athletes' Instagram posts featured Maradona. Simply the sheer number of people who liked both player’s tribute’s for Maradonna illuminate just how impactful the sport of soccer and Maradona are to the world. 

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A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

The three most popular athletes’ photos on Instagram all feature soccer players, accurately displaying that soccer is the most popular sport throughout the world. With the fourth most-liked photo coming from another sport, we finally switch over to another type of athlete. Could this be evidence in declaring the next sport to be the second most popular sport in the world? 

Basketball superstar LeBron James posted a wonderful tribute honoring his late friend Kobe Bryant after his surprising death. The photo features a wonderful moment between the two as Kobe from the sideline dabs up LeBron on the court. The photo between the two basketball legends has compiled just over 15 million likes, landing in as the fourth most-liked athletes’ photo on Instagram. 

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A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames)

Kobe Bryant was one of the most influential basketball players on the planet, and his death came as a surprise to everyone around the world. His final post, which came just a day before his death, has received around 14.5 million likes and is the fifth most-liked athlete’s post of all time. The photo also features LeBron James, sending a motivational message to him to keep working hard and changing the game. It is always heartbreaking to commemorate such an influential person who is gone now, but these athletes will always be remembered and honored, especially on social media.

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A post shared by Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant)

Is having your birthday picture as one of the most popular posts ever on Instagram enough evidence to say they are the most popular athlete? Only Cristiano Ronaldo could pull off something like that as over 14 million people wished him a happy birthday in 2020. That might make you feel good inside, but he has a lot of thank yous to return. 

Coming in with the seventh most-liked post of all time is a Cristiano Ronaldo motivational video. The post features Ronaldo having a good time dancing to some music while riding an exercise bike. The happy attitude and wide smile racked up over 14 million likes on Instagram, crowning Ronaldo as the social media athlete king. 

While 14 million likes seem like a lot of attention and would be hard to beat, it isn't even close to the most-liked picture on Instagram. Messi, Ronaldo and LeBron have nothing on the leading post as it boasts more than 55 million likes. The record-breaking post doesn't come from a popular person or even a thriving company, yet an egg.

The egg blows all of these so-called "influencers" out of the water as it leads the second most popular post of all time by over 30 million likes. Who would have thought, just a picture of an egg was liked more times than any athlete's post ever.

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A post shared by The18 (@the18soccer)

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