Ronaldo in Instagram pole position

NEW YORK • On Monday, after Cristiano Ronaldo posted a photo from his workout, it scored four million likes in just a few hours - further evidence that many celebrities are not a match for him on social media.

Indeed, he has just kicked out Selena Gomez from the top of Instagram's most-followed ranking.

According to E! News, the 33-year-old football star, who plays for Juventus, has 144,320,746 followers.

Gomez, 26, who held the crown for more than two years, has 144,312,745.

In 2016, she shot to the top, ousting previous occupant Taylor Swift, who now has more than 112 million followers.

Other media reports, analysing the shift in power, noted that Gomez is no longer interested in playing the Instagram game. Last month, the singer said she was taking a social-media break, with her goal to reboot her mental health.

"As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given," she wrote.

Footballer Ronaldo's recent Instagram photo of his workout scored four million likes in just a few hours.
Footballer Ronaldo's recent Instagram photo of his workout scored four million likes in just a few hours. PHOTO: CRISTIANO RONALDO/INSTAGRAM

She has not posted on Instagram since Sept 23.

Other big names in the Instagram champions league include singer Ariana Grande, with more than 132 million followers; reality show star Kim Kardashian, with more than 120 million followers, and singer Beyonce, with more than 119 million followers.

But Ronaldo need not fear being overhauled by a footballer, with closest rival Neymar trailing with more than 104 million followers, while Lionel Messi has 100 million.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 31, 2018, with the headline 'Ronaldo in Instagram pole position'. Print Edition | Subscribe