Jahanbakhsh and his big fan

Over on Instagram, we have witnessed a meteoric rise in the popularity of individual players. Facebook’s study claims that 94% of sports fans use the platform to see the personal side of athletes. Ronaldo (158m), Neymar (112m) and Messi (111m) have the greatest number of followers (more than outshining their respective clubs), proving that some players are far bigger than the clubs themselves. Juventus’ Instagram grew by 4.7 million when Ronaldo signed; conversely, Real Madrid lost a million fans over the same period.