The Most Popular Athlete In The World

He just passed Selena Gomez on Instagram

There is plenty debate as to who is the best player in the history of soccer. 

Is it Pelé, the man with the most World Cups? Or perhaps Diego Maradona, who almost single-handedly brought Argentina to glory? Maybe it’s a goalkeeper like Gianluigi Buffon or a defender like Franz Beckenbauer? Do modern players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo deserve to be mentioned among the all-time greats?

You could argue forever for any one of these players.

But when it comes to popularity, one footballer stands above all the rest.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the absolute king of the soccer world when it comes to the player with the largest social media following — and it’s not even close. 

In total, Ronaldo has 344.3 million followers across the three major platforms, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, making him by far the most popular athlete in the world. 

In comparison, Lionel Messi has 195 million followers across the same three platforms. Neymar comes closest, clocking in at 208 million. 

LeBron James, the most famous basketball player, can’t compete with Ronaldo, with 110 million followers. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has about 195 million followers. 

None are in the same stratosphere as Ronaldo. 

By each account, Ronaldo has:

149 million followers on Instagram

120 million followers on Facebook

75.6 million followers on Twitter

No one has more Instagram followers than Ronaldo, who has four million more than second-place Selena Gomez. 

So while the Messi vs. Ronaldo, Pele vs. Maradona debates will never end, we can officially declare Cristiano Ronaldo is the king of social media. 

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