It’s a hard task, to encapsulate the popularity of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese soccer super star commands the respect and attention of millions of fans, many of those on Instagram, and literally competes with celebs and popstars in terms of followers. I don’t own an Instagram account. I’m not one for taking photos of my life only to showcase them to everyone to sell my vanity. It’s bad enough that I’m on Facebook, part of the social media spectrum, and something almost completely dedicated to self-worship.
Whatever the original intentions of social media was, it has gotten lost under a sea of commercial ventures and self-glorification. What’s interesting to note about something like Instagram is the manner in which it makes money. You see, when you download and join these apps “for free”, you waver certain rights. One of those rights is in fact the rights to your pictures. Let me put this another way; if one of your pictures taken via Instagram ever appears on a billboard in China advertising washing powder, you’re not the one who will be getting paid.
People like Ronaldo are commercial gold to a company like Instagram who pays the star a whopping £308 000 by way of sponsored photos. He’s the highest paid soccer player on this forum but not the highest paid of the lot. No, that position belongs to Kylie Jenner and pop queen herself – Selena Gomez, follows her.
The Fanaticism of the Fans
Zealots, fundamentalists – fans. These are the followers; those dedicated to their sports and celebrity idols. Okay look, this is a vast and gross exaggeration. I’m quite sure that many of the so-called fans lead very normal lives and are simply harnessing the perks of technology. Although having said this, think about this: when Ronaldo was at Real Madrid, the team had an Instagram following of 120 million. After his transfer to Juventus was announced, they dropped to 60 million! One team member, I say gain, one team member, was responsible for half of the team’s following! Then there’s the fact that this epic drop in numbers happened within 1 hour of Ronaldo being sold. There’s no discounting the power that this guy wields. However, if we were to look at the leader board, then he is trumped, although only by two stars, namely Kylie Jenner and the brand itself that makes all this ridiculous fandom possible – Instagram.
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From Madrid to Juventus: The Numbers
Ronaldo’s move to Juventus was apparently the result of a dispute with Madrid president Florentino Perez over a new contract, something to be expected when you consider that Lionel Messi and Neymar are both leading him as far as player salaries are concerned. In terms of dollars, he walks away with $64 million, $2 million short of what he would have earned had he stayed with Real. However, the man is a walking economy and tops all his peers when it comes to endorsement deals. Annually he makes $47 million from his numerous ties and affiliations. Still, this writer believes it’s somewhat of a strange moves when you consider that Juventus comes in at 9th place on Forbes’ list of the world’s most valuable soccer teams. Italy does however have a top tax rate and this to my mind says that in the future, Ronaldo will cream it when it comes to his net profits. In conjunction with his endorsements, this will make him the world’s second highest paid soccer player. His departure from Real Madrid is the end of an era. He is their all-time leading goal scorer and if fortune favours him as it has thus far, he will bestow this talent on Juventus.