Sports fans are some of the most fanatical in the entirety of entertainment – they are one of the most interactive and engaging audiences, undyingly loyal to their favorite athletes, and display the kind of fanaticism that just isn’t found in the music or film worlds.
if you enjoy watching sport, the chances are you’ll have your favorite teams, favorite players, and an insatiable need to keep up with what they are doing. If this sounds like you, then Instagram is the social media platform you belong on.
The Top Athletes on Instagram
So just who are the most popular athletes on the Instagram platform? Sorry to say there won’t be too many surprises here, although sadly women barely even register – perhaps the result of NFL, MLB, and NBA in the United States and Football in the rest of the world being 100% dominated by male players. Nevertheless, we feel the women deserve a mention too, so we’ll tell you about a couple of those later too.
1. Cristiano Ronaldo – 295 million
Well, who could have guessed that Portuguese Soccer Star Ronaldo would top the list? Whatever your favorite sport, you can’t fail to know his name, even if you know little about his phenomenal talent and career.
Ronaldo has displayed the kind of work ethic that every athlete aspires to emulate – he sits firmly atop the world of sport, a near-favorite to be the top goal scorer in the 2021/2022 British Premier League despite the tournament having only started a month ago, with hundreds of matches left to play. Even US-based PA online gamblingproviders are swamped with bets for this player, despite Soccer’s low popularity in the States.
There are many great football players. But Ronaldo may well be the greatest of all time.
2. Lionel Messi – 214 million
Another soccer player with a simply stratospheric reputation – Argentina’s Lionel Messi is regarded by some as being even better than Ronaldo, but the betting odds say different, and so does Instagram. Messi is known to have been severely frustrated at his team Barcelona finishing third in last year’s La Liga, which could have influenced his move to Paris Saint Germain.
3. Neymar Junior – 151 million
Quite a drop from Messi’s impressive 214 million followers, Neymar’s fanbase is expanding rapidly ever since he left the Brazilian side Santos. Now with the companionship of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the future looks bright for this young soccer player. Expect his follower numbers to rise dramatically throughout 2022.
4. Virat Kohli – 124 million
Finally, we leave the world of Soccer – and not for where you might expect! Virat is an Indian Superstar, the current captain of their national Cricket team. And if you know anything about India, you know Cricket is seriously big in this enormous country of 1.36 billion people – only a pinch behind China, with 1.4 billion citizens.
Regarded as the best Batsman in the world today, he also plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League and has captained that team for an amazing eight years, too.
A professional business publication has also featured Kohli as the world’s best cricketer in its own list of the world’s best athletes, positioning him above Neymar, Lewis Hamilton, and Mo Salah. That’s an impressive achievement if there ever was one.
5. Lebron James – 87.2 million
Finally, the US gets some love, and who else but Lebron James to fill the spot? Is he the greatest basketball player of all time? Sadly, Michael Jordan’s career ended too early to make him a contender for the Instagram rankings, so the debate will likely rage on for the rest of eternity.
Either way, Lebron’s career began as high school sensation –his popularity has only continued to skyrocket since. Selected for the All-NBA First Team a record 13 times andpicked for the All-Defensive First Team five times, as well as being named an All-Star 17 times including three All Star MVP selections.
He’s also the third most popular athlete on the US-centric Twitter platform.
The Top Female Athletes on Instagram
It’s only fair to show the ladies some love before we conclude this article – UFC fighter Ronda Rousey tops the list with 9.7 million followers, followed by WWE star Nikki Bella with 6.2 million, Tennis master Serena Williams with 6 million, another WWE favorite Brie Bella with 5.1 million and female Soccer player Alex Morgan just trailing behind with 4.9 million
It does seem a little unfair that the women lag so far behind the men, but this is no indication of their ability – all five of these are formidable athletes that deserve our respect.