Forget football, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rivals on Instagram too.
Images via Instagram

Ronaldo vs Messi: Who makes more on Instagram?

Whether on or off the football pitch, Messi and Ronaldo are always perceived as rivals. Here’s how much the stars make on IG…


Forget football, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo rivals on Instagram too.
Images via Instagram

Any time Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are mentioned together or seperately, soccer fans across the globe pay attention.

This is why even something as meaningless as a friendly match between the two football stars is a big deal.

ALSO READ: Highest-paid soccer players: Ronaldo, Messi, Mbappe still in top 5

The 35-year-old World Cup winner and 37-year-old Portuguese star are going head-to-head on Thursday 19 January in a friendly match between their clubs; French side Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr-Al Hilal combined XI, called the Riyadh All-Star XI.

The friendly on Thursday will be the first time Messi and Ronaldo face off since December 2020 when Ronaldo was on the winning side as Juventus beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Champions League.

But, as their fans would have it, the soccer stars are ALWAYS going up against each other — even without their knowledge. This is why, a website called Net Credit conducted a survey of the richest Instagram influencers on the globe, revealing roughly how much the two soccer players make from their sponsored posts.

ALSO READ: Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi: Who are the star’s WAGS?


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.

Cristiano Ronaldo to earn R7.3 billion in Saudi Arabia. Image via Instagram @cristiano.

ALSO READ: Neymar’s girlfriend: Meet Brazilian model Jessica Turini [photos]

While the debate about who is the G.O.A.T greatest of all time) between the two stars is ongoing, 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.

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

Lionel Messi
Argentina’s captain and forward #10 Lionel Messi poses with the FIFA World Cup Trophy after Argentina won the Qatar 2022 World Cup final football match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP)


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: Rose Bertram: Who is Kylian Mbappe’s OTHER rumoured girlfriend?

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 536 million followers to date. While Lionel Messi takes the second spot with 421 million followers.

When the list was created, Messi was the third most followed person on Instagram as he was approximately 5 million followers behind reality TV star and businesswoman Kylie Jenner who was in the second spot. But, the Argintine’s following has significantly increased since the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.