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Messi ‘could KO Ronaldo at top of Instagram rich list’ after £9m World Cup haul

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LIONEL MESSI could replace Cristiano Ronaldo as sport’s top earner from Instagram after a £9million World Cup bonanza. Ronaldo netted £2m per branded post in 2022, ahead of football GOAT rival Messi on £1.5m and India cricketer Virat Kohli’s £902,000. 5Football legends Ronaldo and Messi lead the sporting earners on Instagram, in terms of amount per paid partnership 5Lionel Messi has raked in £9m from promotions like this for Call of DutyCredit: Instagram / @leomessi 5Cristiano Ronaldo has been quiet for paid promotions on Instagram since December 10 and was busy completing his move to Al-NassrCredit: Rex But the Argentina icon’s Qatar heroics have sparked a feeding frenzy from sponsors. Messi also picked up an Instagram record of 75m likes for a picture of the 35-year-old lifting the World Cup, as well as 50m hearts for a snap of the legend sleeping next to the trophy The PSG attacker has 414m Instagram followers, well behind Al-Nassr new boy Ronaldo’s 528m. But he’s gone into online overdrive since triumphing in an epic World Cup final against France on December 18, in which he scored twice. Messi also won the Golden Ball as the tournament’s best player. In contrast, 37-year-old Ronaldo was only a sub for Portugal’s last two games as they slumped out with a shock 1-0 quarter-final loss to Morocco. And in the past three weeks, Messi’s account has promoted Budweiser beer, the Call of Duty and eFootball video games, energy drink Gatorade, crypto exchange Bitget and artificial eyewear firm Orcam. It all means Messi’s haul from paid partnerships has rocketed. HOW TO GET FREE BETS ON FOOTBALL Ronaldo, on the other hand, has perhaps been distracted by his own woeful World Cup and the search for a new club that ended in the past week with a move to Saudi Arabia. It’s a massive new adventure that will spark worldwide curiosity, as well as earn him £173m a year from Al-Nassr. But for sporting publicity it might not match the global brand of Manchester United, who terminated his contract in November following his incendiary interview with Piers Morgan on TalkTV. In fact, Ronaldo has not posted any paid partnerships since Portugal’s defeat by Morocco on December 10. Messi’s club-mate Neymar was fourth on the Instagram earners’ list at £784,000 for each branded post. Completing the top five is basketball icon LeBron James, on £545k. Ronaldo and Messi also lead the list for most Instagram followers. Next come American media personality Kylie Jenner on 377m, actress Selena Gomez with 367m and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson on 356m. Two other sportsmen sneak into the top 20. Kohli, in 17th, has 230m followers and Neymar’s in 20th place on 200m. LA Lakers legend James is 27th with 141m, with Kylian Mbappe in 36th spot on 93.3m. Real Madrid, on 130m, and Barcelona, with 115m, are the most followed sporting clubs. 5eFootball 2023 is on Messi’s list of moneyspinnersCredit: Instagram / @leomessi 5Messi has also had a paid partnership with OrCam since glory in QatarCredit: Instagram / @leomessi

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