With 889 million and 607 million followers respectively, Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal and Lionel Messi of Argentina led all other top global soccer players in terms of their combined followership on Instagram, Facebook and X (formerly called Twitter), as of November 7, 2023.

These are some of the facts contained in a compilation of the social media followers of the leading global soccer players who must not be older than 45 years as of September 30, 2023, and who must play for the national team of a member-country of any of the six FIFA continental soccer federations: AFC (Asia), CAF (Africa), CONCACAF (North America, Central America, and Caribbean), CONMEBOL (South America), OFC (Oceania) and UEFA (Europe).

The social media ranking was done by the editorial team of REVENUE magazine, a publication of Alford Conferences Limited, and it was released today in Abuja, Nigeria. This ranking is the basis for which the “Social Meets Soccer” award will be presented to honour Ronaldo and Messi at the inaugural World Digital Exhibition (WORLDEX). Eight other soccer stars are to be similarly honoured with this award: Neymar, Ronaldinho Gaucho, Karim Benzema, Kylian Mbappe, Sergio Ramos, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcelo and James Rodriguez, in that order.

The Chairman/CEO of Alford Conferences Limited and the President of WORLDEX, Mr. Frederick Apeji, said, “The Social Meets Soccer Awards program is one out of the eight categories of awards that we plan to present to distinguished individuals, companies and organizations when we convene the 1st World Digital Exhibition on February 7-10, 2024 in Abuja, Nigeria.”

According to WORLDEX President, “Social media is one of the biggest inventions of the global tech industry in the past two decades, especially since 2004 when Facebook was founded; and it is the invention that has the largest number of human beings as active users in recorded history.”

Mr. Apeji added, “From our survey of the categories of users of social media today, sports stars, musicians and film stars rank the highest as distinct groups on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Among the sports stars, soccer players, as a group, top the list in all three social media apps. This has informed our focus on soccer when creating this award category for WORLDEX, an annual tech trade fair that seeks to link up Africa more powerfully with the rest of the global tech community.”


Below are the top 10 soccer players in the world based on their combined social media followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, as at November 7, 2023.

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo 889,910,837
  1. Lionel Messi 607,740,051
  1. Neymar 371,362,190
  1. Ronaldinho Gaucho 152,542,273
  1. Karim Benzema 142,477,488
  1. Kylian Mbappe 140,563,556
  1. Sergio Ramos 121,337,647
  1. Zlatan Ibrahimovic 113,268,035
  1. Marcelo Vieria 107,439,389
  1. James Rodriguez 107,019,905

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