Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese football star who is a world icon today. (Image Credits: Google Images)

Cristiano Ronaldo: The football legend who rules the internet

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Cristiano Ronaldo, the name, the brand and the player, is omnipresent. His reach seemingly knows no bounds as it is hard to find a place in the world today where people do not know of his exploits as a football player.

Like other legends of the game before him, Ronaldo has moved beyond being a mere player and has become an icon of his time. He will indubitably live on in the memories of future generations as well, having cemented his position as one of the greatest players the sport has ever seen.

Whether it is his knack for scoring brilliant goals, his ability to break records or his dynamic and charming personality, he has become one of the most revered personalities in the world today.

This is reflected in his fan following, not just at matches and press events but also online. He has a dedicated following on internet platforms such as Instagram, where he has the highest number of followers in the world (608 million).

What is even more astonishing, is that since May 2023, his account has gained an awe inspiring 150 million followers.

As expected, for the third time in a row, Ronaldo was also named the top earner on Instagram. To put things into context, Cristiano Ronaldo earns a whooping $3.43 million from a single Instagram post.

These are not the limits of his popularity and approach though. Ronaldo has been a regular feature atop the Forbes list, maintaining his spot as the highest earning athlete in the world for the third time since 2017.

He has also shattered the Guinness World Record for accumulating the highest earnings by an athlete in a single year, for the 2023 calendar year.

An intriguing fact is that his rival, Argentine football star Lionel Messi is tailing him closely with 482 million followers on Instagram, charging $2.6 million per post.

The only other athletes who made it onto the list are Indian cricket phenom Virat Kohli, who boasts of 265 million followers on Instagram and Brazilian football star Neymar Jr who has 211 million followers.

Virat Kohli is quite an interesting personality himself, charging $1.38 million per post, a mind-boggling number to say the least.

The popularity of these sports personalities knows no bounds as they are followed by pop stars, rock stars, actors, influencers, politicians etc.

In fact, their popularity is a small glimpse into the value and reach of sports which have shown the ability to influence people around the world, knowing no barriers, bounds or borders.