Cristiano Ronaldo ranked the most popular footballer on social media

Portuguese star proves he’s the Real deal for Facebook fans and Twitter followers

Cristiano Ronaldo most followed football social media
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal won the 2016 European Championships
(Image credit: Getty Images)

He’s one of the top footballers in the world but off the pitch no can get close to Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to social media popularity.

According to the latest Uefa benchmarking report, the Real Madrid and Portugal superstar is streets ahead of his rivals in terms of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.

The global appeal of European football is evident with clubs employing teams of digital and marketing experts to build their online brands across the world - and for players it’s no different.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Published this week, the Uefa report reveals that @Cristiano’s Facebook page has 122.6million likes and on Twitter he has 68.2m followers.

As well as offering football fans an insight to his career at Real Madrid and for Portugal, Ronaldo’s social media channels also give his sponsors and partners the perfect platform to showcase their brands.

Ronaldo’s popularity on Twitter is even bigger than Real Madrid and rivals Barcelona combined.

The Uefa report says: “In many cases, top players have just as large a social media following as the clubs they play for. This is particularly the case on Twitter. Cristiano Ronaldo, the most popular player, has more Twitter followers than Real Madrid and FC Barcelona combined [65.3 million] and more fans on Facebook than any of Europe’s top-division clubs [122 million].”

See more

Ronaldo’s biggest rival, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, is second behind the Real Madrid star for Facebook followers, followed by Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar in third.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are the most followed European clubs on social media. While Manchester United are in third place on both Facebook and Twitter.

The Uefa report reveals that 12 active football players currently have more than ten million followers on Twitter, whereas only five clubs have reached this milestone. Uefa states that across the top 20 teams in Europe, players are more popular on Twitter while clubs are more popular on Facebook.

“The Twitter following of the top player exceeds the following of his club in the majority of cases [11 out of 20 clubs] and is significantly higher in aggregate terms with the 20 clubs totalling 161 million Twitter followers and the 20 players of those clubs totalling 244 million Twitter followers,” said Uefa.

“In contrast to Twitter, the Facebook followings of clubs are generally higher than that of their most followed player [15 out of 20 clubs].

“Whereas Neymar [PSG] and Radamel Falcao [AS Monaco], the main outliers, were more than five times more popular on Twitter, the difference on Facebook is considerably smaller.

“In aggregate terms the 20 clubs total 642 million Facebook followers and the 20 players of those clubs total only 485 million Twitter followers.”

Uefa social media report

Most liked footballers on Facebook

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 122.6m followers
  • Lionel Messi: 89.5m
  • Neymar: 60.8m
  • James Rodriguez: 32.9m
  • Mesut Ozil: 31.5m
  • Gareth Bale: 28.8m

Most followed footballers on Twitter

  • Cristiano Ronaldo: 68.2m
  • Neymar: 37.2m
  • Mesut Ozil: 21.2m
  • Andres Iniesta: 21.2m
  • Gerard Pique: 17.6m
  • Wayne Rooney: 17m
  • Gareth Bale: 16.2m
  • Radamel Falcao: 15.8m
  • James Rodriguez: 15.7m
  • Sergio Ramos: 13.8m
  • Luis Suarez: 13.2m
  • Sergio Kun Aguero: 12.8m

Top five European football clubs on Twitter (as of November 2017)

  • Real Madrid: 28m
  • Barcelona: 26m
  • Manchester United: 16m
  • Arsenal: 12m
  • Chelsea: 11m

Top five European football clubs on Facebook (as of November 2017)

  • Real Madrid: 105m
  • Barcelona: 104m
  • Manchester United: 74m
  • Chelsea: 48m
  • Arsenal: 44m
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us