Most Followed Athletes on Instagram – Top 10 Social Media Stars

Top 10 Most Followed Athletes on Instagram


Most Followed Athletes

Number of Followers (Millions)


Cristiano Ronaldo



Lionel Messi



Virat Kohli



Neymar Jr.



LeBron James



Kylian Mbappe



David Beckham






Marcelo Vieira Jr



Zlatan Ibrahimovic


Explore our Top 10 articles and immerse yourself in a world of information, and elevate your reading experience and discovering the most engaging articles online, exclusively on NEWSTARS Education!

Most Followed Athletes on Instagram

The “Most Followed Athletes on Instagram” is a list that showcases the sports world’s biggest stars and their popularity on the social media platform, Instagram. These athletes have amassed millions of followers, making them influential figures not only in their respective sports but also in the digital realm. From soccer legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to cricket sensation Virat Kohli and NBA superstar LeBron James, this list highlights the athletes who have captured the hearts and attention of fans worldwide, both on and off the field, through their engaging posts and updates on Instagram.


1. Cristiano Ronaldo (607)

Cristiano Ronaldo, often hailed as one of the greatest footballers of all time, is not only a powerhouse on the field but also a social media phenomenon. With a staggering 607 million Instagram followers as of my last knowledge update in September 2021, Ronaldo tops the list of the most followed athletes on the platform. Born in Portugal, Ronaldo’s career has been marked by numerous records and accolades, including five Ballon d’Or awards. His Instagram account provides fans with a glimpse into his life, showcasing his dedication to training, his luxurious lifestyle, and his philanthropic endeavors. Ronaldo’s move to Manchester United in 2021 further increased his popularity, and his use of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) has contributed to his online presence and wealth. Off the field, he’s actively involved in charitable work, making him a role model for millions of fans worldwide.

2. Lionel Messi (488)

Lionel Messi, another football legend, boasts an impressive 488 million followers on Instagram. The Argentine forward spent the majority of his career at Barcelona, where he became the club’s all-time top scorer and won numerous titles, before transferring to Paris Saint-Germain in 2021. Messi’s Instagram feed offers fans a glimpse into his family life, his training routines, and his adventures off the pitch. His move to PSG, coupled with his stellar performances in the FIFA World Cup, has continually expanded his fan base. Messi’s online popularity is a testament to his status as one of the most beloved and skilled footballers in history, and he’s known for his humility and down-to-earth personality despite his global stardom.

3. Virat Kohli (259)

Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian cricket team, has amassed a substantial following of 259 million on Instagram. Kohli is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world and has consistently delivered exceptional performances on the cricket field. His Instagram account not only showcases his cricketing journey but also provides insights into his personal life, including his marriage to Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma. Kohli’s popularity on social media reflects his status as an icon in Indian sports and his role in advancing cricket’s prominence in the country. His endorsement deals, fitness regime, and dedication to the sport have made him a role model for aspiring cricketers and sports enthusiasts in India and beyond. Kohli’s substantial Twitter following, mentioned earlier, further solidifies his influence in the digital world.

4. Neymar Jr. (215)

Neymar Jr., the Brazilian football sensation, has taken the footballing world by storm with his dazzling skills and charismatic personality, which has translated into a massive Instagram following of 208 million as of January 2023. Neymar’s rise to fame began during his teenage years when he left Brazilian club Santos to join Barcelona, where he formed a formidable trio with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. This partnership not only propelled his career but also expanded his fan base globally. His move to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) further increased his following by nearly 40 million fans, showcasing his immense popularity. Neymar’s presence on and off the pitch, including his flashy lifestyle and endorsements, makes him one of the most marketable athletes in the world and ensures that his ranking on the list of the most-followed athletes on Instagram remains consistently high.

Neymar’s appeal extends beyond football, as he maintains an active and engaging Instagram presence, sharing glimpses of his personal life, fashion choices, and philanthropic endeavors. His posts resonate with fans, reinforcing his status as not just a sports icon but a cultural figure as well. With his immense talent and a fan base that continues to grow, Neymar Jr. is poised to remain a social media heavyweight and a prominent figure in the world of sports for years to come.

5. LeBron James (158)

LeBron James, often referred to as “King James,” boasts an impressive Instagram following of 153 million as of January 2023, solidifying his status as one of the most influential athletes on and off the basketball court. LeBron’s popularity skyrocketed from his early days as a high school sensation to his current status as an NBA legend. His active and engaging presence on social media platforms like Instagram has allowed fans to connect with him on a personal level, making him a global sports icon. LeBron’s posts often showcase his family, philanthropic work, and insights into his basketball journey, giving followers a glimpse into the life of a true basketball great.

Beyond his athletic prowess, LeBron James is known for his activism and efforts to promote social justice. He has used his Instagram platform to amplify important social issues and advocate for change, earning him respect and admiration from fans worldwide. As one of the most followed athletes on Instagram, LeBron’s impact extends far beyond the basketball court, and he continues to inspire both on and off the screen with his leadership, talent, and commitment to making a positive difference in society.

6. Kylian Mbappe (108)

Kylian Mbappe, the young French football sensation, has quickly risen to prominence both in the world of sports and on Instagram, where he commands a substantial following of 108 million as of January 2023. Mbappe’s exceptional speed, skill, and goal-scoring ability have made him one of the brightest talents in the footballing world. His popularity surged during the FIFA World Cup, where his outstanding performance helped lead France to victory and earned him legions of new followers on social media. At just 23 years old, Mbappe’s potential is limitless, and he is already a global football superstar.

On Instagram, Kylian Mbappe shares glimpses of his life on and off the pitch, offering fans a chance to get to know the person behind the athlete. His youthful energy and enthusiasm are evident in his posts, and he often expresses gratitude to his supporters. As one of the rising stars in football, Mbappe’s Instagram presence serves as a window into the life of a young athlete who is not only incredibly talented but also deeply appreciative of his fans and the opportunities he has been given. With each new achievement and milestone in his career, Kylian Mbappe’s Instagram following continues to grow, solidifying his status as a sports icon for the next generation.

7. David Beckham (83.2)

David Beckham, a global football icon, boasts an impressive following of 83.2 million on Instagram. Known for his exquisite skills on the football field and his charismatic persona off it, Beckham has successfully transitioned from being a legendary player to a multifaceted brand. On Instagram, he shares glimpses of his glamorous life, including family moments, fashion endeavors, and philanthropic activities. With a relatively recent presence on the platform, Beckham’s Instagram game is strong, engaging fans and followers through stylish posts and endorsements. He continues to expand his influence by venturing into esports and other business ventures, which only adds to his online popularity. Beckham’s enduring appeal and high post engagements make him a prominent figure on the platform, enjoyed by both sports enthusiasts and fashion aficionados.

8. Ronaldinho (74.6)

Ronaldinho, the Brazilian football maestro, is a surprise entry on the list of most-followed athletes on Instagram. With 74.6 million followers, he demonstrates that his enchanting skills on the pitch are matched by his charm off it. Despite retiring from professional football, Ronaldinho maintains a thriving online presence by sharing his football-related experiences, travels, and interactions with fellow athletes. His posts are a testament to his enduring popularity and the global fanbase he continues to captivate. Ronaldinho’s ability to connect with fans through social media has solidified his status as one of the most beloved and engaging athletes on Instagram.

9. Marcelo Vieira Jr (65.6)

Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior, popularly known as Marcelo, is a Brazilian football sensation who has earned 65.6 million followers on Instagram. As a key player for Real Madrid and the Brazil national team, Marcelo has achieved great success on the field, and he carries that success into the digital world. His Instagram account provides fans with a behind-the-scenes look at his life, offering glimpses into his training routines, personal moments, and interactions with teammates. Marcelo is also sponsored by Adidas, further boosting his online presence. With his engaging content and an ever-growing fan base, Marcelo remains one of the top athletes to follow on Instagram

10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic  (63.4)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, known for his larger-than-life personality and remarkable football skills, has garnered 63.4 million followers on Instagram. The enigmatic Swede has left his mark on every league he’s played in, and his social media presence is no different. On Instagram, Zlatan shares a mix of humorous, confident, and inspirational content that resonates with fans worldwide. His posts often reflect his iconic catchphrases and memorable moments, creating a unique online persona that’s hard to forget. Despite being in the later stages of his career, Zlatan’s digital influence continues to grow, making him one of the most-followed and engaging athletes on the platform

What Makes These Athletes So Popular on Instagram?

The popularity of athletes on Instagram can be attributed to several key factors that have contributed to their massive followings and engagement on the platform. Here are some of the reasons why these athletes are so widely followed on Instagram:

1. Sporting Excellence: One of the primary reasons for an athlete’s popularity on Instagram is their exceptional talent and achievements in their respective sports. Athletes like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and LeBron James are considered among the greatest in their fields, and their on-field success naturally translates into a strong fan base on social media. Fans follow them to witness their incredible performances, get updates on their careers, and show support for their favorite players.

2. Personal Connection: These athletes leverage Instagram to establish a personal connection with their fans. They share not only their professional accomplishments but also intimate moments from their personal lives. This transparency allows followers to relate to them on a more human level, making them more approachable and endearing figures. Fans are drawn to the behind-the-scenes glimpses into their daily routines, family life, and hobbies, creating a sense of closeness.

3. Visual Storytelling: Instagram is a visual platform, and athletes use it to tell their stories through captivating imagery and videos. They often share stunning photos of their training sessions, game highlights, and travel adventures. This visually appealing content keeps followers engaged and offers a unique perspective into the athletes’ lives. Whether it’s a breathtaking sunset over a football stadium or a candid locker room moment, these visuals resonate with fans.

4. Authenticity and Personality: Athletes who let their personalities shine through on Instagram tend to have more significant followings. Whether it’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s confident swagger or Ronaldinho’s infectious smile, their unique personalities come across in their posts. Authenticity is key in building a loyal fan base, and followers appreciate athletes who stay true to themselves.

5. Philanthropic Efforts: Many of these athletes are involved in philanthropic endeavors, and they use Instagram to highlight their charitable work. Sharing their contributions to society and causes they care about not only raises awareness but also garners respect and admiration from their followers. Fans appreciate athletes who use their platform for positive change.

6. Sponsorship and Brand Collaborations: Athletes often collaborate with brands and sponsors, and these partnerships are showcased on Instagram. Sponsored posts and endorsements add to their popularity and income. These athletes are seen as influential brand ambassadors, and their endorsements can influence consumer behavior.

The popularity of athletes on Instagram is a combination of their sporting excellence, personal connections with fans, compelling visual storytelling, authentic personalities, philanthropic efforts, and strategic brand collaborations. These factors collectively contribute to their massive followings and the continued engagement of their dedicated fan base on the platform.


Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Categories: Top 10 News

Leave a Comment