2018 Russia: 10 Most Popular Soccer Players in Social Networks
2018 Russia: 10 Most Popular Soccer Players in Social Networks
The Soccer World Cup hosted by Russia is also intensively lived on social networks. The immediacy, lack of intermediation and, especially, huge scope provided by these digital platforms have turned them into a perfect space for players to interact with their fans in real time and bigger their already inflated bank accounts, by advertising their sponsoring brands. The use of social networks is so common that fans presently visit these spaces to have a first-hand opinion from their favorite players; on the other hand, journalists use the reactions of athletes on their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles to put together stories and publish them.
Some hours after David De Gea’s mistake that cleared the way for Portugal’s second goal in the World Cup, the captain of the Spanish team, Sergio Ramos, decided to publicly support the goalkeeper by writing twit: “It's not about never failing, it's about never giving up. @D_DeGea always on my team. Let's keep it up! #VamosEspaña”. The player with the highest number of followers on social networks, Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, shared on Twitter his happiness after having been labeled as the best man in the duel against Spain: “I’m happy because I was described as the best man on the field. Good team work!” Colombian James Rodriguez posted a twit to encourage his teammates, after the unexpected defeat against Japan: “Winners are not stopped by mistakes. They rise their head and patiently wait for the next opportunity to make it better. I trust my team.”
How do teams manage their social networks during the World Cup? The German Federation asked its players to refrain from posting opinions on their profiles during the event, the Spaniards asked for “prudence”; while the Danish suggested to use “common sense” and the Swedish told their representatives to “reflect” before posting a content on the cyberspace that might have a negative impact for the team. ECCO PR agency conducted a research to identify the teams with the highest exposure on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Portugal stands out on this list, mostly because of Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact:
- Portugal (360 million followers)
- Brazil (350 million followers)
- Spain (333 million followers)
- Argentina (282 million followers)
- Germany (238 million followers)
- Colombia (226 million followers)
- France (127 million followers)
- Belgium (103 million followers)
- Uruguay (84 million followers)
- Mexico (74 million followers)
The study also showed that the World Cup teams add up to 2.5 billion followers on these three social networks and 89 percent of soccer players are active on such platforms. Instagram seems to be the most popular one, since 81 percent out of the 736 athletes playing in the World Cup have a profile there, where they have 1.1 billion followers. Who are the 10 most influential soccer players on social networks? PanamericanWorld proposes an approach to players that are fighting for the world title in Russia and have an active online life. When assessing the ranking, by using the data provided by Crowdtangle, we realize that these platforms are an extension of real life, since the most outstanding athletes on the field are also the most popular stars on social networks.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal / Real Madrid)
The Portuguese player has the highest number of followers on social networks, with 306 million when combining Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and more interactions that show truly amazing figures: Twitter, 13.4 million of interactions; Instagram, 509.2 million and Facebook 47.7 million. In his profiles, just as the rest of members of this list, we can find a blend of personal and sports-related contents, as well as advertisements. The Portuguese athlete is paid over 260 thousand euros for posting a twit where one of his sponsors is mentioned.
Neymar Jr. (Brazil / PSG)
The Brazilian soccer player looks forward to leading the “Canarinha” up to its sixth World Cup crown. The debut was not encouraging, since there was a tie with Switzerland and this number 10 was hit in different ways. There were doubts on his physical condition after so many months away from training, because of a leg lesion. The Brazilian team did not show its best level, but it has a highly talented lineup, so we can foresee that the South American team is going to improve its actions. Neymar is very active on social networks, with 4.9 million interactions on Twitter, 279.2 million on Instagram and 10.3 million on Facebook.
Lionel Messi (Argentina/Barcelona)
The Argentinean player missed a penalty that would have given Argentina the winning goal in the first game against Iceland. As usual, the media back in his country criticized the captain; nevertheless, like in previous games, the entire team is the one to put the blame on, since no offensive actions were generated. Messi is very talented, but he is not a magician. We still do not know the reason why the man described by many people as the best soccer player on Earth does not have a Twitter profile. On Facebook, his profile has over 88 million followers and generates 29.2 million interactions; while there are 171.6 million interactions on his Instagram.
Sergio Ramos (Spain/Real Madrid)
The captain of the Spanish team has less followers than other athletes on this list, but his contents produce millions of interactions and that is why he holds the fourth position. These are the numbers: Twitter, 3.5 million; Instagram, 14.2 million and Facebook, 11.8 million,
Mohamed Salah (Egypt / Liverpool)
The Egyptians were looking forward to seeing their captain have a great World Cup, so they could make it to the next stage; nonetheless, “Pharaoh” Salah arrived in Russia after a lesion suffered in the final of the Champions League against Real Madrid. Therefore, he could not play the first game, where his team was defeated by Uruguay. Salah did play against Russia and scored a goal, but it was not enough as the locals had three. That is how Egypt was the first team to be taken out of #Rusia2018. Salah has a strong presence on social networks. His posts on Twitter produce 17.2 million interactions; Instagram, 77.8 million and Facebook, 17.2 million.
Paulo Dybala (Argentina / Juventus)
The Argentinean player does not seem to be included in the plans of Coach Jorge Sampaoli, although the poor image shown by the white and sky blue team during the debut against Iceland might make him change his mind. It would be great to see the talented player from Juventus work with Messi.
As for social networks, Dybala is a “crack”: he produces 86 million interactions on Instagram, Twitter 1.1 million and Facebook 2.7 million.
Marcelo (Brazil / Real Madrid)
How far will Brazil go in Russia’s World Cup? Part of that answer depends on what Marcelo can do on the field. The soccer player from Real Madrid is not very active on Twitter, but his photos and comments on Instagram generate 80 million interactions and 3.7 million on Facebook.
Andrés Iniesta (Spain/ ex Barcelona)
Iniesta will always be recalled as a brilliant play creator and the author of the goal that gave Spain its only World Cup crown. Russia will be his farewell to the “Red Fury” and the talented midfield player will certainly try to do his best. On social networks, Iniesta produces 4.1 million with his twits; 62.4 million on Instagram and 8.4 million on Facebook.
James Rodríguez (Colombia/ Bayern Munich)
The Golden Boot in the previous edition of the World Cup is under tremendous pressure in Russia. The failure against Japan let Colombia in a dangerous position, so fans are waiting for their main star to physically recover and play in the next duel. James is not very active on social networks; however, his posts attract millions of followers: he produces 2.2 million interactions on Twitter; 54.7 million on Instagram and 7.6 million on Facebook.
Paul Pogba (France / Manchester United)
The “Hawk Eye” immediately validated the goal scored by Pogba, which decided France’s win against Australia. The “Bleus” will have to improve their game, but nobody can say that they are not powerful rivals for the World Cup title. On social networks, Pogba generates 1.4 million interactions on Twitter, 57.4 million on Instagram and 1.6 million on Facebook.