Sancho is most influential England player on Instagram before World Cup


Gareth Southgate left Jadon Sancho out of his Nations League squad but the Manchester United striker is England’s most influential player on Instagram ahead of the World Cup.

Nielsen Sports conducted the analysis ahead of Qatar hosting the 22nd edition of the FIFA tournament in November and December. He focused on stars expected to play in the Middle East, with Cristiano Ronaldo named as the most influential on Instagram.

As quoted by BBC Sport, Ronaldo has seen a 47% increase in followers over the past year to overtake Lionel Messi. The Portugal icon has 480 million followers and an average media value of over $3.5m (£3m), Messi has 360m and an average of $2.6m (£2.3m).

Photo: Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Sancho is the most influential English player on Instagram ahead of the World Cup

The average Nielsen Sports media rating is based on a player’s total followers, follower growth, engagement rate and average brand value. It found that no English player ranks in the top-10, with Sancho their highest with 8.9 million followers and an 8% engagement rate.

But Sancho could face a fight to miss the plane to Qatar for the World Cup later this year after Southgate left the striker out of his England squad for this month’s UEFA Nations League fixtures. The 22-year-old has not appeared in any Three Lions camp since October 2021.

The Manchester United winger has also enjoyed a 21% increase in followers over the past year in line with his £73m move from Borussia Dortmund. Aaron Ramsdale has also seen a 920% increase in the past year since joining Arsenal from Sheffield United for £30m.

Photo by Eddie Keogh – FA/The FA via Getty Images

Still, Ramsdale’s rise is nothing compared to Spain and Barcelona wonderkid Gavi, who saw a 5,165% increase. The 18-year-old enjoyed his Blaugrana debut in August 2021 and continued his rapid rise over the course of last term with a La Roja bow following in October.

Gavi’s posts also have an engagement rate of almost 30%, while his value per post averages $377,000 (£333,000) – more than Sergio Ramos. The Paris Saint-Germain and Spain star is ranked 10th in terms of total influence on Instagram with 53 million followers, but is worth $369k (£325k).

Ronaldo leads the 10 most influential players on Instagram from the 32 teams that will play in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Messi is second, ahead of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema, Paulo Dybala, N’Golo Kante, Paulo Pogba and Ramos is 10th.

Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Who is the most influential country to play in Qatar this year?

Defending world champions France head to Qatar as the most influential country on Instagram. Nielsen Sports show Les Bleus have 11.7 million followers on social media and 65% of their total followers are from supporters who live outside the country itself.

Portugal has the highest percentage of followers based outside its borders, with 86.5% living outside the country. The Selecao also has the third largest following at 10.4m behind Brazil (11.5m) but ahead of England (8.5m), Argentina (7.3m) and Mexico (5.9m).

Germany have 4.9 million followers in Spain (4 million), Morocco (1.5 million) and the Netherlands (1.3 million) to round out the top 10. But while 73% of Die Mannschaft’s total fans live outside the country, only 36% of Brazilians and 33.5% of Moroccans come from those who live elsewhere.

More news: Report: Erik ten Hag wants Manchester United to sign £25m Newcastle and Leeds target in January

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