Ronaldo on Facebook, it would seem, is as big a star as Ronaldo on the soccer pitch.
The prolific Real Madrid striker, who has tucked away an impressive 16 goals in 15 games this season, has officially become the first sports star to join the 50 million club on Facebook. That puts the Portuguese dynamo in pretty exclusive company with Michael Jackson (52.1 million Likes), Lady Gaga (53.3 million), Shakira (55.2 million), Eminem (61.5 million), and Rihanna (61.8 million) the only other celebrities to have passed the same mark.
While many fans still consider Ronaldo to be only the second best player in the world to Barcelona’s Leo Messi (both men dominated the recent El Clásico between their teams), the Argentinian trails Ronaldo on Facebook by some distance – the Barcelona star has “only” 38.6 million fans.
The success of Ronaldo on Facebook is perhaps predictable. The 27-year-old is not only a genuinely world-class talent (many pundits predict he will grab this year’s Ballon d’Or), but he also boasts the kind of model looks that made the likes of David Beckham popular beyond soccer fans.
While the 37-year-old Beckham winds down his career playing in the Los Angeles Galaxy midfield, Ronaldo is quickly shaping up to be his natural successor off the field (and even on the field, both players even enjoyed their greatest success at the same two clubs, Manchester United and Real Madrid). As Sports Illustrated soccer editor Jen Chang told Eurosport, Ronaldo’s blend of looks, skill, and success is difficult to come by:
“One, you’ve got to be recognized as one of the best players in the world. Two, you’ve got to be very good looking. Three, you’ve got to be willing to soak up the limelight. Four, if your wife or girlfriend also happens to be famous too, all the better. Five, your team has to win a lot. That’s a lot of boxes to check.”
Are you a fan of Ronaldo on Facebook, or are you in the Messi camp? Perhaps this will help anyone sat on the fence: