Instagram: Top 10 most followed athletes on IG in 2023

Top 10 most followed athletes on Instagram

#AthleteGram. Athletes and sports icons are just as equally as popular as celebrities, models, and public figures. Through the years, we have seen beloved sports icons shit the television or grace the big screen. But, in recent years, these personalities have used another platform to boost their popularity – SOCIAL MEDIA. From TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, athletes can be found literally everywhere nowadays. Here are the top 10 most followed athletes on Instagram in 2023.

10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic may have taken the title of football’s most controversial player. Famous for his in-game and locker-room antics, Zlatan will be remembered for being one of the best strikers in the sport. Love him or hate him, Ibrahimovic will go down as one of the best in history.

Back in June 2023, the 41-year-old football icon officially announced his retirement. The Swedish national has been playing for more than two decades and has set foot in European and American leagues.

Instagram followers: 63.8 Million

9. Marcelo Vieira Jr.

Top-tier left-back Marcelo Vieira has always been known for his offensive capabilities, trickery, and technical qualities, making him a very iconic football player.

Brazil has been creating legendary footballers through the years like Ronaldinho and Neymar Jr., and Vieira is definitely one of them.

Instagram followers: 65.8 Million

8. Ronaldinho

The Brazilian magical playmaker Ronaldinho has been retired for more than five years now. Surprisingly, his fans still follow his life despite being away from the sport for quite some time.

Ronaldinho has also seen his fair share of success throughout his fruitful career. That includes a World Cup title, a Ballon d’Or, and many more. The fan-favorite football star will always be remembered to rival Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and another Brazilian legend, Rivaldo. Ronaldinho’s account is still filled with nostalgic photos that bring back a lot of memories, especially during his heyday.

Instagram followers: 74.7 Million

7. David Beckham

David Beckham, the English football Hall-of-Famer, may not be in the same category as Messi, Ronaldo, or Ronaldinho, but the 1999 Ballon d’Or runner-up has reached the same success in terms of popularity. Beckham’s amazing attacks and his trademarked curled kicks will never be forgotten by the real fans.

The 48-year-old athlete turned celebrity/businessman is now a co-owner of an MLS (Major League Soccer) team called Inter Miami FC. This is the same team that Leo Messi chose to sign instead of Saudi Arabia and Barcelona. Aside from being an icon in the field, Beckham is also famously known for marrying Spice Girls’ Victoria Caroline Adams (now Beckham).

Instagram followers: 84.3 Million

6. Kylian Mbappe

PSG superstar forward Kylian Mbappe is only 24 years old, but the French football prodigy is already being followed by millions of people worldwide.

Back in July, Kylian Mbappe was offered a €1 Billion contract to sign with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Hilal where his former teammate, Neymar Jr., currently plays. If he agreed to that deal, Mbappe would have made history as the highest-paid athlete in sports history. As a young athlete in a world-famous sport, it’s not shocking that his fans would want to see more of him on Instagram.

Instagram followers: 109 Million

5. LeBron James

NBA superstar LeBron James is equally loved and hated. He’s got as many fans as he has haters. For more than 20 years, that has never changed. However, being loved and rejected at the same time by the basketball community did come with a great perk. The Los Angeles Lakers star currently has more than 150 million followers on his official IG account.

Currently, LBJ is on top of the list of active NBA players with the most fans and Instagram followers. Although American Football is considered to be the biggest sport in the United States, no NFL player is even close to LeBron’s number of followers. In context, Odell Beckham Jr., who is actually the most followed NFL player on IG, only has about 17.7 million. LeBron James still has more followers than OBJ, Antonio Brown, Tom Brady, Travis Kelce, Cam Newton, and Patrick Mahomes combined.

Instagram followers: 159 Million

4. Neymar Jr.

Another Brazilian star makes our list! The former cornerstone of Barcelona FC, Neymar Jr. The 31-year-old forward has always captivated fans with his flashy style of play. The famous footballer really loves to put on a show.

After leaving PSG, Neymar now plays in Saudi Arabia under Al-Hilal FC where he is reportedly being paid a hefty amount, $219 million to be exact.

Instagram followers: 216 Million

3. Virat Kohli

This may surprise some of you, but the third athlete on this list is the Indian Cricket superstar, Virat Kohli. Kohli is currently the captain of the Indian National Team and is a favorite to win in the 2023 Cricket World Cup.

Dubbed by many cricket fans as the Greatest of all time, it’s no surprise that Virat Kohli has amassed a huge fanbase after playing for 15 years.

Instagram followers: 261 Million

2. Lionel Messi

It does not come as a surprise that Leo Messi has millions of followers on social media right now. But, what piqued our interest is why he was just ranked second. Well, this could be the only time La Pulga is behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

After winning the FIFA World Cup title for Argentina in 2022, Messi has already achieved everything that needs to be won. Debating who’s the GOAT between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is another topic, but it’s clear that Messi only comes in second when it comes to followers.

Instagram followers: 489 Million

1. Most followed athlete and account on Instagram: Cristiano Ronaldo

Portuguese football icon Cristiano Ronaldo is loved by his fans on and off the court. CR7 isn’t just an athlete, he’s a mega star, a fashion icon, a model, and an entrepreneur. The 5-time Ballon d’Or winner’s fans love to see his updates even though his relationship with former team Real Madrid ended bitterly.

With more than 600 Million followers, Ronaldo also became the most followed personality on IG, way ahead of the likes of Kylie Jenner, Lionel Messi, Dwayne Johnson, and Ariana Grande. Fun fact: Instagram’s own IG account has 660 million followers. Ronaldo is the most-followed personality on the platform, but he is already less than 50 million away from becoming the overall leader in followers.

Instagram followers: 609 Million

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