And the records keep tumbling for the unrelenting Portugeezer, with the news that Cristiano Ronaldo has become the first person to surpass 500 million followers across all social media platforms.

As Juventus look to extend Ronaldo’s current contract, which is set to expire in the near future, the Portugal captain has now added another bargaining chip, after it was revealed that he is the first person in the world to surpass 500 million followers across all social media platforms. Any team worth their salt would be well aware of the power of that type of audience, and the Bianconeri have so far leveraged his star power to perfection.

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But that’s only part of what the bigger story is. Ronaldo is not only one of the greatest players of all time, he represents the pinnacle of the new generation of footballer, where exploits on the pitch represent only part of a player’s influence. On Instagram, where he has 261 million followers, he is one of the most followed people in the world. On Facebook, his page has almost 125 million likes and about 147 million followers while on Twitter, there are 91 million people following him. He even boasts more than a million followers on his YouTube channel, which has been dormant for four years.

Back in October 2019, it was reported that Ronaldo earned £38.2 million from Instagram posts alone in the previous 12 months, meaning that he made more from Instagram than he did playing for Juventus. Add to that the fact that he became the football’s first billion-dollar earner, making him only the third athlete in history to hit the mark while still playing, and the kid's doing alright for himself. 

Juve will continue to try and negotiate a new deal with Ronaldo, with his current one set to expire in June 2022. But he seems content with life in Italy, enjoying the lifestyle he has in the country, so you imagine that the money on offer from the Serie A side – likely to be less than the €31 million he currently earns due to the impact of the COVID pandemic – will not be the biggest issue thanks to his massive earnings elsewhere. 

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The GOAT shepherd...