ManU gains Insta cred with Ronaldo's return as Juventus' following crashes and burns
After Lionel Messi dropped his boyhood club, Barcelona FC, to join Paris Saint-Germain in July this year, the next big ripple in soccer world was caused by the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus FC. Manchester United's website confirmed that he will be the club's new number 7 - a move that has done wonders for the club’s social media presence.
The British club confirmed on Friday that they had reached an agreement to sign the 36-year-old for £12.8 million ($17.6 million). Ronaldo had previously signed for Manchester United in 2003 at just 18-years-old and stayed with them until 2009. At the time, he won three consecutive Premier League titles and a Champions League before signing to Real Madrid. On Friday, ManU took to their Instagram page to confirm the transfer, dedicating a post on their social media page with his name written in bold letters right in the center, with the caption, "Welcome home @Cristiano."
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They added that they were “delighted” to welcome the five-time Ballon d’Or winner back. The post has gone viral with over 12 million people liking it. The Premiere League added in a comment, "196 appearances 84 goals, 34 assists, 1 Golden Boot, 2 Player of the Season, 3 #PL titles, Welcome back, @Cristiano!"
Ronaldo Pays tribute to Juventus
Following his exit from the club, Ronaldo paid homage to Juventus by sharing a montage of his recorded memories with the club. "Today I depart from an amazing club, the biggest in Italy and surely one of the biggest in all of Europe. I gave my heart and soul for Juventus and I’ll always love the city of Turin until my final days. The “tifosi bianconeri” always respected me and I tried to thank that respect by fighting for them in every game, every season, every competition. In the end, we can all look back and realize that we achieved great things, not all that we wanted, but still, we wrote a pretty beautiful story together," he wrote in the caption. "I will always be one of you. You are now part of my history, as I feel that I’m part of yours. Italy, Juve, Turin, tifosi bianconeri, you’ll always be in my heart." It has gathered 45 million likes.
The social graph: ManU, Ronaldo, Juventus
The social media graph for both ManU and Juventus was bound to change after Cristiano Ronaldo transferred from one to the other. After announcing that Ronaldo had joined the club, Man United saw a surge in Instagram followers.
According to the Social Blade, Manchester United previously had 42.7 million followers on August 26, the day before the club announced that Ronaldo was officially a part of their club again. On Saturday, as of the time of writing this article, the club's social media numbers had been boosted to 45.4 million. That means there was a total increase of 2.7 million followers thanks to Ronaldo’s return. If reports are to be believed, the account added a million subscribers in the first two hours after the announcement.
And our first look into the "Ronaldo effect" (~14 hours difference)— 2 UP FRONT (@2UpFrontPod) August 28, 2021
+2,3m followers 📈 pic.twitter.com/SDrNyFJH7b
Even Ronaldo saw a boost in his own social media followers after he decided to return to ManU. While the Portuguese footballer has always been one of the most followed person on Instagram, an increasing number of people flocked to his social media account after he created headlines with his decision to change clubs. On Thursday, the number his Instagram followers stood at 333.1 million. However, Saturday saw a distinct spike as his number of followers increased to 334 million. He remains the second most-followed person on Instagram, followed by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson at 265 million.
The transfer adversely affected Juventus' social media numbers. The Italian club has actually lost around 100,000 followers following its star footballer's exit and currently stands at 51.1 million.