Cristiano Ronaldo has shot to the top of Instagram’s annual rich list of celebrities who can charge the most for a sponsored post, with the footballer able to command as much as $1.6 million to endorse a product on social media. The Portugal captain, who rattled the Euro 2020 sponsor Coca-Cola by removing its drinks from view at a post-match press conference, has been crowned king of the influencers in a list that includes the wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and the singer Ariana Grande.
It is the first time the footballer has reached first place in the annual rankings, which are dominated by US celebrities from the reality TV, film and music industries.
The amount Ronaldo is estimated to be able to charge for a sponsored post climbed significantly last year, almost doubling from $889,000 in 2019. Ronaldo moved from third place in 2019, leapfrogging the previous list-topper Johnson and the second-ranked Kylie Jenner, the makeup entrepreneur and celebrity.
The 36-year-old is estimated to make more than $40 million annually from Instagram, more than his salary as a player at the Italian Serie A club Juventus, and his pay-per-post fee has rocketed along with his popularity which has soared during the pandemic.
Ronaldo is the most-followed person on Instagram with more than 300 million fans, having added more than 125 million since the beginning of last year, more than triple the 100 million he had in 2017 when the first “rich list” was compiled. His combined social media following, including the major platforms Facebook and Twitter, is more than 550 million.