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29.08.2021 » Cristiano Ronaldo and his global fan base

Cristiano Ronaldo taking photos with fans on his back

Football has evolved a lot over the last two decades and Ronaldo has been leading a true revolution in terms of what how we perceive what a global football icon really is. The Portuguese star is followed by houndreds of millions of fans from all around the world and they will follow him no matter where he goes...

Global coverage has changed football in more ways than you might realize over the past decade or so. Yes, it means that fans all over the world can follow leagues like the English Premier League or the German Bundesliga even if they would struggle to find Manchester or Munich on a map. But it has also led to many fans following individuals more than they follow teams. Years ago, when fanbases were closer to the action, there was no "I" in team, and a player could go from hero to villain overnight by transferring. These days, the trend is more towards fans shifting team allegiance to follow their favourite player. And a certain Cristiano Ronaldo is at the centre of the revolution...

Cristiano Ronaldo - The last dance:

Why Ronaldo?

Last year, Sportkeeda set about the task of identifying the most popular footballers in the world. It's an inexact science, but on the basis of social media followers, Ronaldo came out comfortably on top. In fact, they worked out that he has almost as many fans as second and third placed Messi and Neymar put together!

Explaining exactly why is an even more difficult challenge, as popularity is such an ephemeral concept. His talent, his work ethic and his ability to come through in times of adversity are all well-known. But there is that x-factor, too. Ronaldo has a natural flair for creating memorable moments. Think about that famous Champions League final in 2014, and what image springs to mind? Of course it's the shirtless celebration, and any football fan will say the same thing, regardless of how they feel about Ronaldo.

It's images like these that create football fans today, whereas years ago it was team affiliations that sometimes went back generations. No wonder people tend to be attracted to the big personalities. And they don’t come any bigger than CR7.

Cristiano Ronaldo taking photo with invader on the pitch

Fans in unusual places

So it is that you'll find Ronaldo fans across Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. And you'd be surprised how many are in nations you might not associate with football. India is a perfect example. This is a nation that is primarily obsessed with cricket. However, football betting in India is on the increase and the bookmakers are going to great lengths to increase the game's profile.

They achieved their objective in the run up to the 2018 World Cup, and India went football crazy in a way that had never been seen before. As you might expect, the digital marketers were working flat out to understand search trends so that broadcasters, betting sites and merchandisers could cash in on the hype. By now, you can probably guess what they discovered.

Ronaldo was by far the most common search keyword related to the World Cup. However, when the researchers drilled down to team searches, Portugal was some way down the list, with Brazil ranking up top.

It just goes to show – if you go on your travels when the world fully reopens, be sure to wear your CR7 shirt. You're certain to find friends even in the most unlikely places around the world!

Cristiano Ronaldo taking photos in the US

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Portugal is on September 1, against Ireland. You can watch Portugal vs Ireland, France vs Bosnia, Russia vs Croatia, Hungary vs England, Denmark vs Scotland, and Norway vs Netherlands, all matches provided from our streaming football game pages.

Portugal next game:
Portugal vs Ireland
kick-off time (31-09-2021):

Beijing (China) | UTC/GMT+8: 02:45
| UTC/GMT+7: 01:45
India (New Delhi) |
UTC/GMT+5.30: 00:15
Italy (Turin) |
UTC/GMT+2: 20:45
(Madrid) | UTC/GMT+2: 20:45
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | UTC/GMT+1: 19:45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | UTC/GMT-3: 15:45
New York (United States) | UTC/GMT-4: 14:45
Los Angeles (United States) | UTC/GMT-7: 11:45

Sources: / /

Cristiano Ronaldo greeting fans

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