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Cristiano Ronaldo becomes 1st person to reach 200M Instagram followers

Cristiano Ronaldo becomes 1st person to reach 200M Instagram followers
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo makes more money from advertisement posts on Instagram than he does playing soccer per season at Juventus. Photo by Alessandro Di Marco/EPA-EFE

Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Portuguese soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first person in the world to reach 200 million Instagram followers.

Ronaldo celebrated the achievement Wednesday with a photo montage on the social platform. The Juventus striker follows just 434 accounts but had more than 200,468,000 followers as of Thursday morning. Only Instagram itself has more followers (330 million).

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"Wow 200 million! Thank you to each and every one of you for sharing this journey with me every day," Ronaldo wrote in his post Wednesday.

Ronaldo, 34, is also the most-liked athlete on Facebook, with more than 122 million likes and 124 million followers.

Singer Ariana Grande has the second-most Instagram followers, at 173 million. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson ranks third at 170 million, followed by Selena Gomez (167 million), Kyle Jenner (160 million), Kim Kardashian (158 million), Lionel Messi (141 million), Beyonce (139 million) and Neymar (132 million). Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber each have 126 million followers.

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Ronaldo makes about $975,000 per paid Instagram post, according to a 2019 study by Buzz Bingo. He posted 49 advertisements on the social media platform in last year, adding up to nearly $48 million. Ronaldo has an annual soccer salary of $34 million at Juventus, a Serie A soccer club in Turin, Italy.

Ronaldo was ranked the second-highest paid athlete of the decade by Forbes at the end of 2019, pulling in about $800 million. Boxer Floyd Mayweather ranked first with $915 million. Forbes also ranked Ronaldo as the second-highest paid athlete from June 2018 through June 2019, reporting his income at $109 million from salary, winnings and endorsements. Messi -- Ronaldo's longtime soccer rival -- ranked No. 1 last year at $127 million in income.

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In addition to his Instagram and Facebook fans, Ronaldo also has 82.4 million Twitter followers and 1.4 million YouTube subscribers, adding up to a social media following of more than 400 million accounts.

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