Social media has had a huge impact on the sports industry and it will continue to grow over time. Athletes weren’t that well-known in society before the internet, but today they have the highest level of interaction and engagement with their fans. After extensive research, we’ve selected the most popular athletes on social media in 2022.
Unlike retrospectives, athletes have more fans and fandoms globally than movie stars, all thanks to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There is no better form of entertainment than sports, and we are passionate fans of our favorite athletes.
Fans want to know everything their favorite athletes do and say on and off the field. There is no doubt that athletes have a huge impact on key social and cultural issues. They use social media as a catalyst to empower people and spark their ideas. Let’s dive into the most famous sports personalities.
Most Popular Athletes on Social Media | 2022 Rankings
- Marcelo – 8th most popular football player on Scoial Media
- John Cena – Most WWE Star on Social Media
- Mesut Ozil – Most Popular German Footballer
- Dwayne Johnson – Most Followed Athlete/Actor on Social Media
- Ronaldinho Gaucho – Football
- Ricardo Kaka – Football
- David Beckham – Football
- Neymar – Football
- Lionel Messi – Most Popular Footballer on Social Media
- Cristiano Ronaldo – All-Time Star on Social Media
We recently ranked the world’s most popular footballers and most popular cricketers. However, our beloved fan base definitely deserves all the athletes’ cumulative rankings. So, here are the most popular athletes on social media.
10- Marcelo – most popular football player on Scoial Media
Brazilian professional footballer Marcelo Vieira da Silva, one of the best left-backs in the world and captain of Real Madrid. He is widely regarded as one of the best football defenders in the world.
Marcelo won La Liga four times during his time at the club and helped Madrid win three Champions League titles. The dynamic and tenacious 33-year-old is hugely popular on social media with a huge following. A total of 53 million people follow his Instagram account; he has 10 million followers on Twitter and 29 million on Facebook. Additionally, Marcelo has 1.25 million subscribers on YouTube.
Due to the popularity of his fan base, he has received high requests for brand endorsements. The Adidas brand and Nike have chosen Marcelo as their new German icon. Here’s how he’s ranked 10th among the 10 most popular athletes on social media.
9- John Cena – Most WWE Star on Social Media
John Felix Anthony Cena is an American athlete who performs for WWE on SmackDown. He is a wrestler, actor, TV presenter and former rapper. John Cena, 44, is known as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He is also a well-known actor as a rapper. John holds multiple records, including 12 WWE World Heavyweight Championships and 3 WWE U.S. Championships.
Currently, he is one of the richest wrestlers in the world. He has the most interaction and engagement with fans than any other social media active athlete. Jhon has always used social media to spread positivity and enthusiasm. He has 45 million Facebook followers and 12.7 million Twitter followers, bringing his online fan base to 56.6 million.
8- Mesut Ozil – Most Popular German Footballer
Fenerbahce’s attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil is a German professional footballer. For three consecutive seasons, he helped the club win the league title and topped the league in assists. Now, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest football midfielders of all time. As the five-time German Player of the Year, Ozil holds the record for the most awards. Mesut, 32, is widely known for his amazing performances on the pitch. He is also known for his creativity and innovation.
Mesut has a huge following on social media platforms. He has 31.3 million Facebook followers and 26.9 million Twitter followers. Without a doubt, he is the most fanned athlete in the world. In addition to being an Adidas athlete, Ozil signed a seven-year commercial shoe sponsorship deal. Mercedes-Benz also named him a brand ambassador. Taking all this into consideration, Mesut Ozil deserves to be ranked No. 8 on the list of the 10 most popular athletes on social media.
7- Dwayne Johnson – Most Followed Athlete/Actor on Social Media
American actor Dwayne Douglas Johnson started his career as a professional wrestler. The 49-year-old Rock is widely known as one of the most popular WWE wrestlers of all time. He is a successful actor, producer and businessman. Before joining show business, he wrestled for the World Wrestling Federation and gained huge recognition and millions of fans around the world.
After a successful wrestling journey, Rock joined the film industry, where his films grossed over $3.5 billion in North America and over $10 billion worldwide, making him one of the highest-grossing actors in the world. He has a huge social media following. Currently, he has 58 million followers on Facebook, 14.3 million on Twitter and 263 million on Instagram. Moreover, he is widely regarded as one of the top ten most followed athletes on Instagram.
6- Ronaldinho Gaucho – Football
Former Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho Gaucho, also known as Ronaldinho de Assis Moreira, is an ambassador for Barcelona. As an attacking midfielder, he is also positioned as a winger. He was also one of the most followed football players on Instagram this year. Ronaldinho, 41, is known for his technique, creativity and his unique skills and overhead kicks.
In addition to his stellar career, he has gained a huge following on the internet, which is why Ronaldinho is ranked 6th in our countdown of the top 10 most popular athletes on social media. Ronaldinho currently has 34 million followers on Facebook and 20.3 million on Twitter, bringing his online fan base to 53.3 million.
5- Ricardo Kaka – Football
Brazilian professional footballer Ricardo Kaka is a former footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. At 39 years old, fans still consider him one of the most handsome footballers in the world.
He was twice named to Time magazine’s list of the world’s most influential people. In addition to his popularity, he is also the first athlete to reach 10 million followers on Twitter. Kaka currently has 31 million followers on Facebook, and he also has 29 million on Twitter, bringing his online fan base to 60 million.
Even though he doesn’t have many active followers on social media, he is still the most respected and loved athlete by his fans. Ricciardo may be the only player without hatred. Additionally, he is known for his off-site humanitarian and charitable work. His strong fan base prompted Hyundai to appoint him as a brand ambassador for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. These factors have helped him rank fifth on the list of the 10 most popular athletes on social media.
4- David Beckham – Football
British professional football player David Robert Joseph Beckman is one of the most sought after athletes in the United States. Beckham, 46, is still widely regarded as one of the most stylish English footballers. In addition, he is one of the most successful retired football players to earn millions. It was the first time an English footballer had won the league title in the US, Spain, France and England while captaining the England national team. In 2004, FIFA included him on their list of the 100 greatest living footballers.
With his good looks, great football talent, image and style, he is regarded as an ideal icon in Britain and the Far East. On social media, he has a huge following. In total, he has 121.9 million online followers, including 54 million on Facebook and 71.6 million on Instagram. His popularity and his cherished lifestyle have earned him the fourth spot among the 10 most popular athletes on social media.
3- Neymar – Football
Brazilian professional footballer Neymar da Silva Santos currently plays as a striker for French club Paris Saint-Germain. He is also the captain of the national football team. In 2015, he won the continental treble of La Liga and the Champions League with Barcelona’s attacking trio.
He was the first Brazilian athlete to be honored by Time magazine. Moreover, Forbes magazine listed him as the highest-paid athlete of the year with $95.5 million. SportPro magazine included him on the list of the world’s best-selling athletes in 2013. With a huge fan base, Neymar is an idealistic and iconic celebrity for all the top brands.
Neymar currently has 258 million followers online, including 60 million on Facebook, 49 million on Twitter and 139 million on Instagram.
2- Lionel Messi – Most Popular Footballer on Social Media
Argentine professional footballer and one of the greatest footballers of all time, Messi, now plays for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain. In addition to being a striker for the Argentine national team and the French club, Messi also captained the national team. Between 2010 and 2012, Messi won the FIFA Ballon d’Or three times. He has won the European top scorer award six times, the European Golden Boot, setting records in every category.
In 2011 and 2012, Messi was named one of the most influential people in the world by Time magazine. He is one of the most followed athletes on social media after Cristiano. On his first day on Facebook, Messi gained 6.3 million followers within three hours. He has 90.1 million followers on Facebook and 307 million on Instagram, bringing his online presence to 375.1 million.
1- Cristiano Ronaldo – All-Time Star on Social Media
The greatest Portuguese footballer of all time, Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, is known for his incredible jumping ability. In addition, Ronaldo is also known for his elegance. As a striker, he currently plays for Serie A club Juventus and captains the Portugal national team. In 2008, Cristiano Ronaldo won his first Ballon d’Or and the FIFA Player of the Year award. These awards were won by him several times in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017. Of all the athletes on social media, he has the most followers.
Moreover, with a huge fan base, he advertises for some of the world’s most famous brands including Nike, Clear, Herbalife and CR7. LiveScore, the world’s leading provider of live sports updates, hired him as a brand ambassador. He has 150 million Facebook followers, 998 million Twitter followers and 415 million Instagram followers. As a result, Ronaldo was named the #1 most popular athlete on social media.
Thanks for reading! We’ve rounded up the most followed athletes on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Moreover, we’ve selected athletes who are truly memorable for their popularity and moral standards. I hope you enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any questions, you can let us know via comments and email. Your reply will be greatly appreciated.