BARRIO – Lionel Messi is cashing in on his World Cup success with Budweiser, Call of Duty and crypto sponsored Instagram posts raking in over £9m. Messi stands to make millions from sponsored Instagram posts following his World Cup success with Argentina – and he could even overtake his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Since he lifted the World Cup on December 18, Messi’s official Instagram account, which has 414 million followers, has promoted Budweiser beer, the Call of Duty and eFootball video games, energy drink Gatorade, crypto exchange Bitget and artificial eyewear firm Orcam.
It suggests Messi’s sponsors are clamouring for paid partnerships to capitalize on his World Cup glory with the star earning over £9m so far.
By contrast, Ronaldo hasn’t posted a single paid partnership to his 528million Instagram followers since Portugal crashed out of the World Cup to underdogs Morocco on December 10.
Ronaldo’s dismal World Cup could affect his status as the top-earning Instagram celebrity, with Messi poised to leapfrog him.
Ronaldo, 37, topped Hopper’s most recent Instagram Rich List, earning around $2.4m (£2m) per branded post. That had soared from around £1.16m per post in the 2021 ranking.
The Portugal forward, who has just signed a £175m-per-year contract at Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr after leaving Manchester United, promotes brands including Nike, Clear shampoo, Louis Vuitton, Bitcoin exchange Binance and app Livescore.
Messi was third on Hopper’s list, commanding $1.77m (£1.5m) per branded Instagram post but his World Cup success, which confirmed him as the greatest-ever footballer in the eyes of many, could see the gap to Ronaldo narrow.
The two footballers are split by American celebrity Kylie Jenner, who has 377m followers and rakes in around $1.8m (£1.52m) a post.
Messi, 35, made social media history when an Instagram picture of him lifting the World Cup trophy became the most liked post ever. It has amassed more than 75 million likes since it was posted on December 18, surpassing a picture of an egg posted by British advertising executive Chris Godfrey in 2019.
A later post of Messi in bed with the World Cup trophy after the team returned to Argentina gained over 50m likes.
Paris Saint-Germain star Messi also has endorsements from Adidas, PepsiCo, socios.com, Sorare, Byju’s and Louis Vuitton.
Ronaldo’s lucrative move to Al Nassr has made him the highest earner in world sport, seeing him surpass Messi and basketball star LeBron James.
Messi earns £103.4m per year but this will be dwarfed by Ronaldo’s new salary, not to mention his off-field sponsorships.