Lionel Messi Has More Followers On Instagram Than All NFL Players Combined

The NFL may be the crown jewel of North American sports, but it pales in comparison to the worldwide popularity of the sport of soccer. Argentine superstar Lionel Messi has spent his football career becoming one of the most recognizable people on the planet, and his following proves it. He has been arguably the world’s most popular athlete for more than a handful of years, and has now reached a milestone that only one other human being has had the honor of.

More Messi Followers On IG Than Every NFL Player Combined

Messi has just become the second person ever to hit 500 million followers on Instagram.

The first was longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo, currently at 622 million.

3️⃣ Selena Gomez (429 million followers)

4️⃣Kylie Jenner (400 million)

5️⃣ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (397 million)…

— Sportico (@Sportico) February 25, 2024

Social media followings are today’s barometers of general popularity. The king of Instagram, the person with the most followers, is Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. The 39-year-old has an incredible 622 million followers as of late February 2024, exponentially more than pretty much anyone else.

But Messi has the second-most, and hit an impressive mark recently. The current Inter Miami FC member now has over 500 million followers on Instagram, becoming just the second person to ever hit the mark after Ronaldo.

The facts that come with the following are incredible. Messi has over 70 million more followers than Selena Gomez, who has the third-most of anybody. Kylie Jenner has 400 million, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has 397 million to round out the top-5. Messi’s following represents over 20% of all Instagram users worldwide, and is more than followers than every NFL player combined.

Messi Effect Has Been Real In Miami

Messi is now followed by 20% of the 2.5 billion monthly active Instagram user base and has more followers than all NFL players combined.

— Sportico (@Sportico) February 25, 2024

Messi’s move to Miami last year saw an extreme boost in both popularity and economics for his new team. Inter saw ascending growth in their social following, and ticket prices at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale have skyrocketed. The effect is felt on the road, as well, as fans have flocked to their local stadiums when Messi and company come to town.

Messi’s true boom on Instagram came following Argentina’s World Cup win back in 2022. He added 49 million new followers in November and December of that year, which is when he passed the 400 million milestone.

His following is listed as predominantly male (72%), and Brazil is the country with the most followers, representing 12% of the entire base.


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