Even though it is evident that every football player is famous since they are celebrities in the hearts of millions of people. Football as a sport has about 3.5 billion supporters globally. This year, we compiled a list of the world’s most famous players.
Social media is taking over the globe, especially among football players who communicate with their fans via their social media profiles. This is the catch for us to figure out who has the most following and enormous devoted admirers all around the world.
Our appraisal will consider not just fan following, but also sponsorship and successful careers. Let’s take a look at the world’s most famous footballers in 2023.
10. KARIM BENZEMA – FRANCE | REAL MADRID
Karim Mostafa Benzema born on December 19, 1987, is a French professional footballer who plays as a striker for La Liga club Real Madrid and the France national team. A creative and prolific forward known for his playmaking and finishing, he is regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation.
Benzema won three Ligue 1 titles with Olympique Lyonnais. In 2008, he was voted Player of the Year and Team of the Year by the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) after finishing as the league’s top goalscorer and winning his fourth title and first Coupe de France.
Benzema joined Madrid won twenty trophies, including 3 La Liga titles, 2 Copas del Rey, and 4 UEFA Champions League titles, and is the club’s fourth all-time leading goalscorer and assist provider. Benzema was voted French Player of the Year four times while with Real Madrid. He is the world’s ninth most famous player with over 45 million Instagram followers.
9. NGOLO KANTE – FRANCE | CHELSEA
N’Golo Kanté is a French professional footballer who plays as a center midfielder for the Premier League club Chelsea and the France national team. He was born on March 29, 1991. Kanté is largely regarded as one of the world’s top midfielders, with many praising his work rate and defensive savvy.
Kanté joined Leicester City and won the club’s first Premier League title. In 2016, he joined Chelsea for a cost of £32 million and won the league again, becoming the first outfield player since Eric Cantona in 1992 and 1993 to win consecutive English league titles with separate teams.
He won the PFA Player of the Year, the FWA Footballer of the Year, and the UEFA Men’s Midfielder of the Year, as well as an FA Cup, the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the FIFA Club World Cup. He helped France win the World Cup in 2018. He is the world’s tenth most famous player with over 12 million followers on Instagram.
8. MOHAMMED SALAH – EGYPT | LIVERPOOL
Mohamed Salah Hamed Mahrous Ghaly, born on June 15, 1992, is an Egyptian professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Premier League side Liverpool and captains Egypt’s national team. He is noted for his finishing, dribbling, and speed and is regarded as one of the top players in the world.
He won two Swiss Super League championships in Basel. Salah became the most expensive Egyptian player of all time when he joined Liverpool for £36.9 million in 2017. Salah won the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, the Premier League Golden Boot twice, and was named Best FIFA Men’s Player in 2018 and 2021.
He also holds the record for the most Premier League goals (32) scored in a 38-game season and is Liverpool’s ninth-highest all-time top goalscorer. He is the world’s ninth most famous player with over 48 million followers on Instagram.
7. ERLING BRAUT HAALAND – NORWAY | BORUSSIA DORTMUND
Erling Braut Haaland (born July 21, 2000) is a Norwegian professional footballer who plays as a striker for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund as well as the Norwegian national team. Haaland is a prolific goal-scorer known for his speed, agility, and finishing skills. He is widely regarded as one of the top strikers in the world.
He won two Austrian Bundesliga championships and one Austrian Cup while at Salzburg. He became the first youngster to score in five straight UEFA Champions League matches in the 2019–20 season.
Haaland won the Golden Boy award for 2020 when he joined Dortmund. He played a key role in Dortmund’s DFB-Pokal victory, was named Bundesliga Player of the Season, and finished as the Champions League’s top scorer in 2020–21. He is the seventh most famous footballer, with over 14 million followers.
6. KEVIN DE BRUYNE – BELGIUM | MANCHESTER CITY
Kevin De Bruyne, born on June 28, 1991, is a Belgian professional footballer who currently plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the Belgium national team. De Bruyne is widely considered one of the top players in the world and has been dubbed a “complete footballer” on several occasions.
He won the Belgian Pro League in 2010–11 at Genk. He won 3 Premier League titles, 5 League Cups, and an FA Cup at Manchester City. In 2019–20, De Bruyne tied the record for most assists in a Premier League season and was crowned Player of the Season. He is the sixth most famous footballer, with over 16 million Instagram followers.
5. ROBERT LEWADOWSKI – POLAND | BAYERN MUNICH
Robert Lewandowski, born August 21, 1988, is a Polish professional footballer who currently plays as a striker for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and is the captain of the Poland national team. Lewandowski is regarded as one of the finest strikers of all time, as well as one of the most successful players in Bundesliga history, thanks to his positioning, technique, and finishing. Over the course of his senior career, he has scored over 600 goals for club and country.
He won two straight Bundesliga titles and the league’s best goalscorer award in Dortmund. He has won the Bundesliga title in each of his first seven seasons at Munich.
Lewandowski was instrumental in Bayern’s treble-winning UEFA Champions League campaign in 2019–20. He is one of only two players, along with Johan Cruyff, to win the European treble while scoring the most goals in all three competitions, and the first to do so as the sole top scorer. He is the fifth most famous footballer, with over 24 million Instagram followers.
4. KYLIAN MBAPPE – FRANCE | PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Kylian Mbappé Lottin, born December 20, 1998, is a French footballer who plays forward for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and the France national team. He is considered one of the world’s best players, and he is known for his dribbling, speed, and finishing talents.
He won the Ligue 1 title, the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award, and the Golden Boy trophy in Monaco, and joined Paris Saint Germain the following year. He won the 2018 World Cup, with France playing a key role.
Mbappé has 3 Ligue 1 titles, 3 Coupe de France titles, has been voted Ligue 1 Player of the Year twice, and has been the top scorer in Ligue 1 for three straight seasons. He is also the club’s second-highest goalscorer in history. With over 67 million Instagram followers, he is the world’s fourth most famous footballer.
3. NEYMAR JUNIOR – BRAZIL | PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, born on February 5, 1992, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a striker for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain as well as the Brazil national team. He is highly considered as one of the world’s top players.
He won two consecutive Campeonato Paulista titles, a Copa do Brasil, and the 2011 Copa Libertadores in Santos. He won the continental treble of La Liga, Copa del Rey, and the UEFA Champions League in Barcelona.
Neymar moved to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017 and won three league titles, three Coupe de France, and two Coupe de la Ligue in France. In the 2019–20 season, Neymar helped PSG win the domestic treble and guided the club to its first Champions League Final. He is the world’s third most famous footballer, having over 170 million Instagram followers.
2. LIONEL MESSI – ARGENTINA | PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Messi, widely recognized as one of the best players in the world and one of the greatest players of all time, has won a record seven Ballon d’Or trophies, a record six European Golden Shoes, and was nominated to the Ballon d’Or Dream Team in 2020. He spent his entire professional career with Barcelona, winning a club-record 35 trophies, including ten La Liga titles, seven Copa del Rey titles, and four UEFA Champions Leagues.
Messi is a prolific goalscorer and creative playmaker who holds the records for most goals in La Liga (474), most goals in a La Liga and European league season (50), most hat-tricks in La Liga (36) and the UEFA Champions League (8), and most assists in La Liga (192), a La Liga season (21) and the Copa América (19).
In addition, he holds the record for the most international goals scored by a South American guy (80). Messi has almost 750 senior career goals for club and country, making him the most prolific goal scorer for a single club. He is the world’s second most famous footballer, having over 300 million Instagram followers.
1. CRISTIANO RONALDO – PORTUGAL | MANCHESTER UNITED
Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro, born February 5, 1985, is a Portuguese professional footballer who currently plays as a forward for Premier League side Manchester United and leads the Portugal national team.
Ronaldo, largely recognized as one of the best players in the world and one of the greatest players of all time, has won five Ballon d’Or trophies and four European Golden Shoes, the most by a European player. Throughout his career, he has won 32 trophies, including seven league crowns, five UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA European Championship, and one UEFA Nations League.
Ronaldo holds the marks for the most Champions League appearances (182), goals (140), and assists (42), the most goals in the European Championship (14), the most international goals by a male player (115), and the most international appearances by a European man (184). He is one of the few players with over 1,100 professional career appearances and over 800 recognized senior career goals for club and country. He is the most famous footballer in the world, having over 400 million Instagram followers.