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The other ‘battle’ between Mbappé, Neymar and Messi

The PSG trio form part of the top 50 most followed personalities in the world on social media

Lionel Messi, Neymar y Kylian Mbappé celebrando una victoria del Paris Saint-Germain Football Club.
Matthias HangstGetty Images

Until proven otherwise, the fact that Mbappé, Neymar and Messi share a dressing room at Paris Saint-Germain offers more headlines off the field than on it. It becomes silly to think in any other way once you take into account that the goal of the club, in addition walking the league every season, is to achieve the long-awaited Champions League, something that money is not able to buy at the moment.

In any case, having those three superstars on the squad list has given the club a sense of media exposure that has multiplied exponentially. Le Parisien, a media outlet closely linked to the club, highlights this in an extensive report published this Monday in which it says that the three players appear in the top 50 most followed personalities on social networks.

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L. Messi
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  • delantero
  • Argentina
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  • PSG
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  • Brasil

The question quickly arises of whether they are they footballers or influencers: both, without a doubt, is the answer. Whether they like it or not, the PSG stars are role models for tens of millions of people around the world and in the age of social media, the impact of the words or photos of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappé has become more direct, more powerful (see Neymar’s comments about the recent Brazilian election.)

The Argentinian star is the third most followed personality in the world on Instagram. He is only beaten by Cristiano Ronaldo (492 million) and media personality Kylie Jenner (372 million). Neymar still has some way to go to reach the top 20 with 180 million followers, while Kylian Mbappé currently has 73 million followers. The order of the three is the same on Facebook, but to a lesser extent.

Of the trio, Messi may be the figure with the greatest number of unconditional supporters, but Neymar definitely tries to make the most of his presence on social networks.

It is clear that Neymar is the one who exposes himself the most. Your digital life is about both your professional and your private moments with your hobbies, concerns, meals or holidays with your family as well as with your child or with friends”, explains the expert Teddy Pessot, for whom it is not a “surprise” that the Brazilian is the only one present on TikTok. Neymar’s projected philosophy of life, to have fun and enjoy himself, is very similar to the concept that drives TikTok, of which young people form a large majority of the users.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Messi also compete on social networks.
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Neymar, Kylian Mbappé and Messi also compete on social networks.Tim Clayton - CorbisGetty

Mbappé threatens Messi

However, for Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappé, social media is much less personal. Most of the Argentine’s posts are dedicated to his sponsors while the Frenchman is a mix of his two teammates with the exception that he is extremely tight-lipped about his private life.

“Everything is under control,” says Teddy Pessot, who sees the potential in the Frenchman to beat Neymar and above all Messi. “Mbappé will equal and surpass Messi in the accumulation of individual and collective trophies, if he meets all expectations and continues to be the best player in the world for several seasons”, adds the expert. What is key is that he is part of a generation that has grown up consuming social media content; his fans are younger than Messi’s and he is in a position to one day surpass the Argentine.

Whether this event will happen at PSG or elsewhere (Real Madrid?) is somewhat difficult to know. The state of sadness surrounding the Frenchman in the Parisian club, which has gained more than 20 million followers on Instagram in just one year, is well-documented and it is likely that his arrival at a more prestigious club will add a new flavour to his image.

At the moment, the fact of remaining in France seems to undermine his potential in both a sporting and personal sense. Messi and Neymar start with an advantage form this perspective and this is reflected in the data. But Mbappé definitely possesses the possibility of bucking the trend.


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