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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist

Soccer players’ power felt through social media numbers

French club PSG has seen their number of followers dwindle since Lionel Messi announced he’ll be leaving the club.

It’s the off season, a time where soccer players get their much needed rest after a long season while clubs also use this period to improve their squads by firing or hiring players and coaches.

French club Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) might have expected some departures during this off-season, but the exodus of at least two million followers in days after Lionel Messi’s confirmed exit was probably unexpected by the club.

Entrepreneur and investor Joe Pompliano shared on Twitter that the French team has shed at least 2 million followers on their Instagram account since the World Cup winning forward told everyone that he’ll be leaving the club after two years.

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Just a day before Pompliano shared his numbers on Twitter, The Mirror had already reported on a million followers ditching the French club.

That loss in followers came after PSG’s game against Clermont, with PSG previously boasting 69.9million followers.

That number has now dropped to 68.9m since Saturday evening’s game, during which Messi was given a hostile farewell from the home crowd. Those who greeted Messi with boos were slammed by boss Christophe Galtier, who himself has gotten the boot after one season with the French Ligue 1.

“Concerning Leo, I find that the whistles were very harsh. Like the season, there have been good periods, and less good periods. Maybe in a few weeks, I will find the origin of Leo’s treatment, because he has always been well-behaved,” Galtier said.

Player power

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Juventus he also left with a hoard of his followers. It’s reported the Italian club lost around 248,288 just three days after his departure.

The five-time Ballon D’or winner made an impression when he joined Manchester United. United gain over a million Instagram followers in the two hours after the club announced that they had agreed a deal to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, this is according to the Daily Mail.

Before the announcement was made the club had 43.1 million followers on the social media side and a little over two hours later that number had risen up to 44.3m according to the article.

Ronaldo also benefited from returning to United. On August 26th Ronaldo had 333.1 million followers. The following day it was reported that the star footballer woke up to just over a million new followers which put him on 334.2 million. But the Portuguese remains the most followed on Instagram.

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