Ronaldo, Messi, Neymar: Study finds 10 most influential players at 2022 World Cup

A study has named Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar in the top 10 most influential footballers on Instagram at the 2022 World Cup.

The ranking is based on Nielsen’s influencer measurement tool, which evaluates total followers, follower growth, engagement rate and average brand value per post on Instagram to give a media value total.

To be considered, players have to be set to take part in the 2022 World Cup of Qatar.

The results found that Ronaldo was the most influential figure thanks to receiving an enormous 48% growth in followers over in the past year.

The Portuguese has 480 million individual accounts following him on the social platform and consequently averages $3.6 million in media value per post.

Second in the top 10 was Messi. The Argentine has received a slightly less impressive 38% growth in his following across the past 12 months and averages around $2.7 million per post.

Check out the full top 10 below.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal

Top 10 most influential footballers at the 2022 World Cup

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 480m followers | $3,585,218
  2. Lionel Messi: 360m followers | $2,631,388
  3. Neymar: 178m followers | $1,152,495
  4. Kylian Mbappe: 72.5m followers | $1,173,157
  5. Vinicius Junior: 23m followers | $685,120
  6. Karim Benzema: 58m followers | $489,239
  7. Paolo Dybala: 49m followers | $491.547
  8. N’Golo Kante: 14m followers | $525,178
  9. Paul Pogba: 55m followers | $407,542
  10. Sergio Ramos: 53m followers | $368,639

Of the top 10, Brazil’s Vinicius Jr has had the highest growth of any player in the past year after seeing a 90% increase in his follower base.

Meanwhile, Kante boasts the highest engagement rate with his posts (11%).

The study also considered the ‘top 10 breakthrough footballers on Instagram’ in which they identified the players that have seen the biggest growth in their platform.

Vinicius Junior in action for Brazil

Top breakout footballers at the 2022 World Cup

Gavi tops the 10 after seeing a rather incredible growth of more than 5000%. The Spaniard’s engagement rate also stands at an impressive 30% on his posts.

Whilst Brazilian’s Raphinha and Anthony seized the remaining two spots on the podium after their high-profile summer switches to Barcelona and Manchester United.

Raphinha Barcelona

View the top 10 breakout stars here:

  1. Gavi: 6.2m followers | £377,305
  2. Raphinha: 3m followers | $22,727
  3. Anthony: 4.8m | $106,229
  4. Pedri: 7.3m | $255,212
  5. Rodrigo de Paul: 5m followers | $206,983
  6. Rodrygo Goes: 7.5m followers | $119,726
  7. Aurelien Tchouameni: 2.1m followers | $80,973
  8. Achraf Hakimi: 10.1m followers | $133,187
  9. Dusan Vlahovic: 1.7m followers | $118,691
  10. Darwin Nunez: 2.1m followers | $14,527

Many of the players in this top 10, like Nunez for example, have seen their status in world football skyrocket after securing a move to a major European club.

Should they take centre stage at the upcoming World Cup, who knows how much their profile could rise before 2022 is out.

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