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Juventus lost 330,000 followers on social media after Ronaldo's farewell

While Paris Saint-Germain earned 10 million with the signing of Messi

Juventus lost 330,000 followers on social media after Ronaldo's farewell While Paris Saint-Germain earned 10 million with the signing of Messi

The 2021 summer transfer market session has just ended and was one of the most chaotic and rich ever. In the same summer, Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo changed teams, two transfers that do not distort so much from an economic point of view - the prices of the cards of both amount to a total of 23 million euros - but from a social point of view. It was an austere transfer market for certain teams, it was the transfer window of records for others but the social component is increasingly relevant within the strategies of a club. The most evident trend from the analysis of the accounts of the teams that have been most active on the market is related to the orientation of the fans, who are increasingly interested in the events of individual players compared to those of the clubs. A trend that becomes even more central if we talk about Asian audiences and fanbases that make internationality an important social weapon. There are more and more users who will follow the team where their idol will play only to access content that sees him as the protagonist and not because they are linked to that club.

Messi, for example, is the perfect example of how the migration of fans to PSG is due to a single player and not a sudden love for the colors of Paris. After the tears of the press conference on August 8, the Argentine flew to Paris where the signature - and the 24 posts that were dedicated to him on Instagram over the two days of the presentation - generated a social growth of 6,847,366 followers, passing from 38 million to the current 49 million if the analysis period is extended from 10 August to 31 August. The increase in followers, therefore, is more than 10 million users if we also consider the debut dated 29 August. Unlike Juventus - which lost about 330,000 followers in five days - Barça managed not to lose followers, indeed. The lack of agreement between the Blaugrana and La Liga avoided the social crucifixion of the Pulce and the "unfollow" effect turned into an unexpected growth that exceeds 760,000 new users.

Different reasoning for Cristiano Ronaldo. His much-talked-about farewell to Juve brought him back to Manchester, first on the City side and then - with the surprise hit of the summer - back to United, complete with a dedication to Sir Alex Ferguson. The numbers of the return of CR7 are less bombastic, due to the fact that he has already been a Red Devil and that the vast majority of United fans have never stopped following the Portuguese on social media. The boom is nevertheless remarkable: from 26 August to 31 August, the Manchester United account recorded a growth of 3,709,120 followers, with an astounding average of 618,000 more followers per day. The move from 42 to 46 million followers is less impactful than the 10 seen with Messi's transfer, but CR7 and United have broken the record that belonged to Messi after Copa America as the most liked post in the history of a sports club. If Barça has stood up to Messi's farewell on social media, the same is not true for Juventus which, in the hours of rumors and after Ronaldo's departure, lost 330,000 followers in five days. An effect to be emphasized is also that relating only to market rumors: the City was, according to the insiders, close to the signing of the Portuguese and the Ronaldo-Guardiola match alone generated a boom in followers that exceeded 200,000 in four days.

Significant numbers, albeit lower, for the other two big names in the summer market: Lukaku has returned to Chelsea, generating an increase in followers of 435 thousand units thanks to the 22 posts that the Blues have dedicated to Big Rom - no decrease for Inter Milan; Grealish arrived at Pep's court after spending 117 million euros and increased the City fan base by 552,000 followers between August 4 and August 9 (with 26 dedicated posts between announcement, presentation and debut). The other market hits have translated their signature to an increase in followers in a minor way: Jadon Sancho registers a +88.524 at the time of signing, Varane even lower figures despite the expense and the caliber of the player (the mandatory quarantine also affected which broke up his arrival in England), while Hakimi and Sergio Ramos are two other signatures who have added 500,000 followers in the social coffers of Parisians.

The growth trends of club accounts are particularly volatile in the period in which the market windows are open, but above all the recorded numbers make it clear how much a player can be a precious social asset for the company, especially those in which the content structure production is already highly developed.