From Pitch to Profit: The Surprising Goldmine Awaiting Footballers on Social Media

Exploring the Lucrative Transition of Football Stars to Instagram Influencers Post-Retirement

1 min read
team of footballers embracing
Photo by Hassan Omar Wamwayi on

Key Takeaways:

  • Instagram Gold: Zlatan Ibrahimovic leads the pack with a whopping £160,537 per post potential earnings on Instagram post-retirement.
  • High Scoring Posts: Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard follow, with single posts valued up to £133,031 and £69,016 respectively.
  • Turning Fame into Fortune: Analysis reveals recently retired footballers can earn significantly through social media, outstripping many average annual salaries.


The whistle may have blown on their careers on the field, but for many football stars, a new game begins on social media. With careers often ending in their early 30s, these athletes find themselves in a unique position to capitalize on their fame. A recent study by Ticketgum delves into this phenomenon, revealing how retired footballers can monetize their massive social media followings.

The Instagram Earnings League

At the top of the Instagram earnings league is none other than Zlatan Ibrahimovic. With an astounding 64.2 million followers, the Swedish football icon could command an eye-watering £160,537 per post.

The Top Contenders

  • Gareth Bale: The former Welsh captain, not far behind, boasts a potential earning of £133,031 per post.
  • Eden Hazard: With a successful 16-year career and over 700 matches, Hazard can fetch around £69,016 per post.
  • Mesut Ozil and Cesc Fabregas: These players also feature prominently, with significant potential earnings for their social media activities.
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Leveraging Social Media Fame

The study underscores how players like Ibrahimovic, Bale, and Hazard have strategically leveraged their social media presence. By sharing everything from witty remarks to behind-the-scenes glimpses, they’ve turned their platforms into lucrative income sources, maintaining their status as influential figures.

Methodology of the Study

The research involved analyzing 13 iconic players who retired in the past year. Using an influencer earnings calculator, Ticketgum estimated each player’s potential income per Instagram post. Players without an Instagram presence were excluded from the analysis.

A New Avenue for Athletes

This trend is not just about earnings but represents a shift in how athletes engage with their fan base post-retirement. Social media provides a direct channel to maintain relevance, engage with fans, and create new opportunities beyond the sports arena.

The Data Behind the Dollars

  • Quantifying Influence: The study quantified each player’s influence based on their Instagram followers and potential post earnings.
  • The Social Media Equation: The findings highlight the value of a robust social media presence, which can continue to yield financial benefits long after retirement from sports.


As the landscape of athlete careers evolves, social media emerges as a powerful tool for continued relevance and income. The study by Ticketgum not only sheds light on the potential earnings of retired footballers but also signals a broader trend of athletes transitioning into digital influencers. This phenomenon underscores the ever-growing importance of social media in shaping personal brands and creating post-career opportunities for athletes.


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