The most influential players at Euro 2024, according to Instagram

The most influential players at Euro 2024, according to Instagram
Cristiano Ronaldo launches 'special' new business venture away from football
Cristiano Ronaldo

Now, let’s be clear, the Euros isn’t a popularity contest or a beauty pageant: it’s a serious sporting event showcasing the best in European footballing talent.

And yet, the fact remains that this year’s tournament is throwing some big names onto the pitch, whose fanbase is only set to grow.

Even those spectators who normally show little interest in the beautiful game have a soft spot for some players, whether that be thanks to their extensive charity work or their impressively smouldering underwear campaigns (eh, Jude).

So here, indy100 has decided to take a look at the Euro 2024 stars with the most followers on Instagram and consider why they’ve become such super-hot influencers.

10. Harry Kane
National team: England
Club: Bayern Munich
Number of Insta followers: 16.9 million

Harry Kane is what you might refer to as one of football’s “good guys”. The down-to-earth England captain has four children with his childhood sweetheart and hasn’t let his sporting success get to his head.

When the Covid pandemic struck in 2020, Kane personally sponsored the shirts for Leyton Orient (his first professional team) after they were left struggling financially. On the front of the shirt, there was a message thanking NHS frontline workers, and a percentage of the proceeds from the shirt’s sale went to charities.

Kane was the Bundesliga’s top scorer in 2023/24, with 36 goals in his first season at Bayern Munich and was the overall top scorer in Europe.

9. Pepe
National team: Portugal
Club: Porto
Number of Insta followers: 17.7 million

Pepe is another figure who has used his considerable status to help those in need, notably in his home country of Brazil, where he has supported a range of causes related to health, education and supporting underprivileged youth.

Like England's Marcus Rashford, the 33-year-old has been vocal about social issues including racism, both in football and society more generally, using his platform to address these.

8. Álvaro Morata
National team: Spain
Club: Atlético de Madrid
Number of Insta followers: 22.2 million

Spain’s superstar captain and striker Álvaro Morata has had a long and varied career that has seen him play football at the highest level across Europe. But it’s not only for his footballing prowess that the 31-year-old is admired for.

Morata previously shaved all his hair off in solidarity with children going through cancer treatment. He explained at the time, “kids with cancer wanted to have my haircut but they couldn’t, so I gave myself theirs”.

7. Kevin De Bruyne
National team: Belgium
Club: Manchester City
Number of Insta followers: 26.3 million

Belgian footballer Kevin De Bruyne will be known to most football fans as the talisman of Manchester City’s recent Premier League success. Despite injury struggles, he has come back to breathe life into his club and national teams

De Bruyne has been dubbed “normal” – a descriptor used in the most complimentary of ways given the number of big egos in the sport. On top of his incredible skill, he is a consummate professional and manages to work with fellow countryman Thibaut Courtois even after his girlfriend left him for the goalkeeper!

6. Jude Bellingham
National team: England
Club: Real Madrid
Number of Insta followers: 30.8 million

Another class act on and off the pitch is England midfielder Jude Bellingham. The 20-year-old has grown a reputation for being mature beyond his years and an even bigger reputation for his footballing ability, having already won the Champions League.

His dashing good looks also don’t hurt, as the young sensation has starred in ad campaigns for Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS underwear which sent fans into a frenzy.

Bellingham looks set to have a glittering career ahead and many England fans have tipped him to be the next captain of the national team.

5. Luka Modric
National team: Croatia
Club: Real Madrid
Number of Insta followers: 35.2 million

Croatian footballer Luka Modric is widely regarded as a legend of the sport and considered one of the best midfielders ever. Raised during war conditions in his country, his international status has been credited with helping bring prosperity and positive branding to Croatia.

Despite some legal issues and controversies, he supports several charities and, in 2023, he donated his World Cup shirt to raise money for victims of the Turkey earthquake.

4. Robert Lewandowski
National team: Poland
Club: Barcelona
Number of Insta followers: 35.5 million

35-year-old Robert Lewandowski is a veteran of football and has achieved great success with clubs Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Barcelona.

Off the pitch, Lewandowski has plenty of philanthropic endeavours, supporting causes such as paediatric health care and humanitarian efforts. In 2014, he was named as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and in 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, he and his wife donated €1 million to help fight it.

3. Toni Kroos
National team: Germany
Club: Real Madrid
Number of Insta followers: 45.4 million

German midfielder Toni Kroos has enjoyed a magnificent career in football and will play in some of his last-ever professional matches during the Euros as he is set to retire after the tournament.

His pinpoint passing and elegant style have seen him earn comparisons with the tennis legend Roger Federer. There is absolutely no doubt that fans will miss seeing him conduct masterclasses on the pitch after his playing career is over.

Thanks to his success, The Toni Kroos Foundation he set up has been able to help families of children who are sick or terminally ill.

2. Kylian Mbappé
National team: France
Club: PSG
Number of Insta followers: 113 million

The star of 25-year-old Kylian Mbappé has been on a meteoric rise over the last several years. In 2018, the then-19-year old became only the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final, as France went on to win the tournament.

Mbappé is widely seen as one of the best players of his generation, with many millennial parents joking that they are undertaking “Project Mbappé” in order to make their children just as good at football (and as rich!) as him. Some of his lucrative brand partnerships include Nike and Hublot.

1.Cristiano Ronaldo
National team: Portugal
Club: Al-Nassr
Number of Insta followers: 629 million

Cristiano Ronaldo is undoubtedly one of the biggest names to ever emerge in football and is one of the rare stars of the game to transcend the sport to become a global icon.

His work rate and dedication to his craft have earned him millions of fans around the world and it is his commitment that has seen the 39-year-old achieve great longevity in his career.

Outside of football, Ronaldo is an ambassador for Save the Children, Unicef and World Vision, and continues to use his platform to help others who are less fortunate.

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