Ronaldo, Messi

Here’s how much Ronaldo and Messi make on Instagram. Images via OLI SCARFF/AFP, Getty Images

Instagram rich list: How much Ronaldo, Messi make from posts

Ronaldo and Messi are not only rivals on the pitch, but on Instagram too. Take a look at the top 10 Instagram earners in the world…

Ronaldo, Messi

Here’s how much Ronaldo and Messi make on Instagram. Images via OLI SCARFF/AFP, Getty Images

Football arch-rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the top Instagram earners globally, according to Net Credit.

The website, which conducted a survey of the richest Instagram influencers on the globe, revealed how much the two soccer players made from their sponsored posts in 2021.

ALSO READ: ‘Billionaire’ Black Coffee: Net worth, houses, cars and more


Messi and Ronaldo have been pitted against each other on the football pitch for over a decade. From the number of career goals they’ve scored to the number of trophies they have — including the prestigious Ballon d’Or, which Messi dominates — the two sportsmen are always in contest.

ALSO READ: Pitso Mosimane: Net worth, new Saudi Arabia salary REVEALED!

While the debate on who is the best footballer between the two Argentine and Portuguese stars has not yet been concluded, there is no debate about who makes more on Instagram.

Net Credit revealed that Cristiano Ronaldo is the world’s top Instagram earner, making a staggering $85.22 million (R1.6 billion) in 2021 from sponsored posts.

ALSO READ: Cristiano Ronaldo faces match ban over mobile phone incident

Lionel Messi is in close second place, with a whopping $71.96 million (R1.3 billion).

ALSO READ: Messi makes it to 100, and signs a fan’s back!


Following Ronaldo and Messi in third place is Indian cricketer Virat Kohli who made $36.67 million (R673 million).

The rest of the top earners can be found in the table below:

Ellen DeGeneresUnited StatesTV Host$33.72 million
BeyonceUnited StatesMusician$33,71 milliom
Kevin HartUnited StatesComedian and Actor$26.12 million
JisooSouth KoreaMusician$18.90 million
AnittaBrazilMusician$16.01 million
Larissa MonoelaBrazilActor$15.12 million
Dua LipaUnited KingdomMusician$13.05 million
2021 Top Instagram Earners from number 4 to 10


To reveal the world’s top Instagram earners, the website first built a list of the most-followed Instagram stars from every country.

ALSO READ: Top 3 richest South Africans in the world – 14 October 2022

With that, Net Credit used figures from the Instagram rich list to estimate the fee-per-ad for each country’s most-followed stars. They then counted up the number of sponsored posts made by each star in 2021 and multiplied this by their known or estimated ad fee.

Cristiano Ronaldo is the most followed person on Instagram as he has 488 million followers to date. While Lionel Messi takes the third spot with 366 million followers, approximately 5 million behind reality TV star and businesswoman Kylie Jenner who is in the second spot.

The interesting thing to note is that although Kylie Jenner is the second most followed person on Instagram, she does not make the top ten Instagram earners list. This could be due to the number of sponsored posts she puts out, as well as the fee she charges per post or how much the companies she works worth pay per post.