By 90Min
October 25, 2018

Footballers are so much more than professional athletes in 2018, they are models, ambassadors, spokespeople, marketers, philanthropists...

Their brand is initially created on the pitch, but built and polished on social media to the point where individuals can even become bigger entities than the teams they play for.

Here's a look at 11 superstars with more followers on Instagram than their club has...


Harry Kane > Tottenham Hotspur

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I've come a long way since 2014! 😁😂

A post shared by Harry Kane (@harrykane) on

Scorer of 160 goals for club and country since becoming a Tottenham starter in 2014, Harry Kane has enjoyed a meteoric rise and is a talisman for both Spurs and England.

His personal Instagram following of 7m is more than twice that of his club.

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🥋 #COYS #THFC

A post shared by Tottenham Hotspur (@spursofficial) on


Sergio Aguero > Manchester City

Sergio Aguero is arguably a Manchester City legend after what he has done for the club over the last seven years and draws on an Instagram following or more than 10m.

That is close to 2m more than City's official club account with 8.7m followers.

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Team ✅ Mates ✅ #mancity #cityvbfc

A post shared by Manchester City (@mancity) on


Eden Hazard > Chelsea

Eden Hazard has been a star for years, but the Chelsea winger could yet end this season in the truly elite bracket and put himself in the 2019 Ballon d'Or picture.

His 17m Instagram followers outnumbers Chelsea by just shy of 4m.


Mesut Ozil > Arsenal

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Trust your heart! ❤〽 #M1Ö #YaGunnersYa

A post shared by Mesut Özil (@m10_official) on

Mesut Ozil might have finally silenced four years' worth of critics with his latest performance in an Arsenal shirt, destroying Leicester in the Gunners' most recent Premier League game.

The German World Cup winner has always been popular with Arsenal fans around the world.


Mohamed Salah > Liverpool

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🛫🛫

A post shared by Mohamed Salah (@mosalah) on

The fact that Mohamed Salah recently won the FIFA Puskas Award, voted for by fans, for a goal that was relatively unremarkable shows the scale of the following the 'Egyptian King' has online.

More than 20m follow Salah on Instagram, compared to a shade under 10m for Liverpool.

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#AllezAllezAllez 🔴🔴

A post shared by Liverpool Football Club (@liverpoolfc) on


Kylian Mbappe > Paris Saint-Germain

Things have just blown up for Kylian Mbappe over the last two years. Incredibly, the World Cup winner and second most expensive player in history is still two months shy of his 20th birthday.

His personal journey is being followed on Instagram by 4m more than are following PSG.


Antoine Griezmann > Atletico Madrid

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Porque luchan como hermanos... #TakeTheL

A post shared by Antoine Griezmann (@antogriezmann) on

Atletico Madrid managed to persuade Antoine Griezmann to stay during the summer. The fact that the Frenchman is a huge name as well an enormous talent can only be good for the club.

More than four times as many are following Griezmann on Instagram than Atletico.

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➕3️⃣🔴⚪️ #AúpaAtleti

A post shared by Atlético de Madrid (@atleticodemadrid) on


Paul Pogba > Manchester United

'No player is bigger than the club' was always Sir Alex Ferguson's mantra at Manchester United, but that has come under threat from Paul Pogba's continually rising star so far this season.

There isn't a lot in it on Instagram, but Pogba's 29.3m followers outweigh United's 24m.


Lionel Messi > Barcelona

Just 200,000 more people and five-time Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi will hit the 100m followers milestone on Instagram. He is Barcelona and Barcelona is him.

Yet when it comes to social media, the club are struggling to keep up, close to 40m behind.


Neymar > Paris Saint-Germain

Aside from hoping that the Brazilian would help them finally make the breakthrough in the Champions League, PSG were confident Neymar would also raise the profile of the club.

But it is still mad to think that a single player could have in excess of six times more followers.


Cristiano Ronaldo > Juventus

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😎

A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano) on

Juventus benefitted tremendously on social media after signing Cristiano Ronaldo for €100m during the summer, gaining over 3m new Instagram followers in the first month alone.

Ronaldo remains the single most 'followed' footballer on Instagram, not far off 150m.


It would appear that no one is 'bigger' than Real Madrid. Gareth Bale and Marcelo both have Instagram followings of more than 30m, while Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema each has in excess of 20m followers. But no individual player can match the club's 64.6m followers.

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