Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the first athlete to reach and surpass 100 million likes on Facebook confirming his status as the most popular sportsman of the internet. He also has 30.5 million followers on Twitter.

Ronaldo added yet another record to his already astonishing career on the same day that he scored a last-gasp winner for Portugal in their Euro 2016 qualifier against Denmark but what other footballers are popular on social media.

By Becki Cookson – @beckicookson

10. Luis Suarez – Of course… The Barca man leads a social media presence that reaches over 14 million fans worldwide. His social media accounts have been a particular useful tool for him to fiercely deny then apologise for his various indiscretions and controversial moments. Apart from that he shares plenty of personal photos and videos of his wife and two little children.

Facebook likes: 10.3 million

Twitter followers: 3.9 million

Total: 14.2 million

  1. David Villa – One of many athletes on this list who do not have an official Twitter account but that doesn’t seem to count against him much! The New York City FC Star – currently on loan at Melbourne City – is the 16th most popular athlete on Facebook with nearly 16 million likes, edging out Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova.

Facebook likes: 15.8 million

Twitter followers: N/A

Total: 15.8 million

  1. Gerard Pique – Ah, one of my personal favourites! Pique engages with his fans through his thoughts on matches and sharing personal photos of him, pop star partner Shakira and little Milan. They seem to make the perfect social media pair as Shakira’s hips clearly don’t lie. She is the second most popular person on social media on the planet with 132 million combined follows.

Facebook likes: 15.8 million

Twitter followers: 9.6 million

Total: 25.4 million

  1. Andres Iniesta – Iniesta is the highest ranked player on social media who communicates almost exclusively in Spanish although if we’re lucky the Barcelona star expands his appeal and provides translations in English and Arabic. His twitter followers also would have seen him scream like a little girl when he took on the Ice Bucket Challenge in August.

Facebook likes: 22.9 million

Twitter followers: 9.7 million

Total: 32.6 million

  1. Mesut Ozil – He might not be the most popular with some fellow professionals and former cohabitants at this moment but he is the 10th most popular athlete on Facebook with over 26 million fans. Something for Arsenal fans to celebrate. Unfortunately there’s no trophy, although as an Everton fan I cannot say anything!

Facebook likes: 26.4 million

Twitter followers: 8.1 million

Total: 34.5 million

  1. Ronaldinho – May be nearing the end of his career but this has not affected his social media popularity. The Brazilian star – currently playing in Mexico with Queretaro is a fairly active tweeter whilst his Facebook page seems to focus on commercial duties.

Facebook likes: 27.9 million

Twitter followers: 10.9 million

Total: 38.8 million

  1. Kaka – The 32-year-old is the second most popular athlete on Twitter and his Facebook numbers are on the brink of 32 million – just a little lower than wrestling stars John Cena and The Rock.

Facebook likes: 31.9 million

Twitter followers: 21.1 million

Total: 53 million

  1. Neymar – His inability to go a few days, even minutes sometimes without taking a selfie has seemed to serve him well on Twitter, getting himself nearly 15 million followers. He like Ronaldinho tends to use his Facebook page for more commercial reasons but different content is posted to each network – making it all the more reason to follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

Facebook likes: 47.8 million

Twitter followers: 14.8 million

Total: 62.6 million

  1. Lionel Messi – Leo is the second most popular athlete on Facebook, but the Argentinian does not have an active Twitter account, hence the reason why his numbers are dwarfed by rival Ronaldo. Maybe if he sees the results it might persuade him.

Facebook likes: 74 million

Twitter followers: N/A

Total: 74 million

1. Cristiano Ronaldo – He broke 100 million likes on Facebook this week confirming his status as the most popular athlete on social media – conquering both Facebook and Twitter. He is the second most popular person on Facebook, behind Shakira and the 13th most popular Twitter user. To top it off he’s also very talented, rich and some would even say good-looking.


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