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The Most Popular Athletes on Instagram: Soccer Remains A Global Force

Soccer is known as the global game, and that currently applies to the world’s most popular active athletes on Instagram.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, two of world football’s greatest players ever, have, by far, the most followers among not just pro athletes but every account in the world besides the @Instagram account. Ronaldo’s 614 million followers is just 50 million shy of the OG IG handle, while Messi’s 494 million followers is 65 million ahead of the most followed non-athlete, Selena Gomez.

In all, only five of the top 20 most followed athletes aren’t soccer superstars. That’s two cricketers, two NBA players, and one MMA fighter, with everyone on the list topping 40 million followers. Cricketer Virat Kohli, Neymar, and LeBron James round out the top five.

Without further ado, here is the complete list of the most popular athletes on Instagram.

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The Most Followed Pro Athletes on Instagram

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 614 million followers
  2. Lionel Messi: 495 million
  3. Virat Kohli: 265 million
  4. Neymar: 217 million
  5. LeBron James: 159 million
  6. Kylian Mbappé: 110 million
  7. Karim Benzema: 76.2 million
  8. Marcelo: 66.2 million
  9. Sergio Ramos: 64.2 million
  10. Mo Salah: 63.2 million
  11. Paul Pogba: 61.5 million
  12. Paolo Dybala: 57.9 million
  13. Stephen Curry: 55.5 million
  14. James Rodriguez: 52.1 million
  15. Luis Suarez: 48.1 million
  16. Conor McGregor: 47.1 million
  17. MS Dhoni: 46.6 million
  18. Vinicius Jr.: 43.5 million
  19. Andres Iniesta: 43.3 million
  20. Antoine Griezmann: 41.4 million

It should come as no surprise that if you played for Real Madrid (149 million followers), FC Barcelona (125 million), or starred in the UEFA Champions League (112 million), you’re more likely to be high up on this list. Interestingly, two Inter Miami players and three Saudi Pro League players made the top 20. And if Formula 1 continues to grow in popularity, look out for Lewis Hamilton and his 35.5 million followers to approach the top 20.

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